Ring Of Fire
Released: 2001, Frontiers
Man, I hate these “supergroups”, when it comes to writing reviews! On one hand if you assume the readers knows who’s in the band, you may not be doing justice to the band, in case a reader doesn’t know who the players are. On the other hand, the review becomes along history lesson of who’s who, who plays what, and what bands they were in. Damn, better give roll call…Vocals- M. Boals (Ex-Malmsteen), Guitar- G. Bellas (ex- Moog-way), Bass- P. Bynoe (Vai), Keys, V. Kuprij (Artension), Drums-V. Donati (Planet X) Other background. Second release, Tony MacAlpine out, Bellas in., Bellas out, MacAlpine back in again! Dumway out, Bynoe in. Got all that?
Ok, let’s review the damn thing! This CD kicks eternal ass. The promo material says, “…can easily be considered as one of the best productions/performances in neoclassical heavy metal ever”. Pretty strong self-praise but pretty damn close assessment. This beast breathes icy fire and runs rampant over any number of pretenders to the neo-classical metal throne.
The combined might of the sheer technical talent is stunning. I knew George could rip but man, this is sweet! That boy can shred! Boals sounds the best he’s ever sounded. I mean, I love Triology but the modern production makes his voice sound really, really good, better than ever before. Mr. Kuprij is pretty well the undisputed king of metal keyboards with maybe only Erik Norlander coming close in technical proficiency. As for the bass, well if ya play with Vai ya gotta have talent.
What about the songs, well… they are top notch. Speedy, neo-classical, melodic, speed metal. What more can I say or what more needs to be said? After the obligatory and well-done intro, check out the hat-trick, head-kick of the three opening cuts, “Circle of Time”, Shadow in the Dark” and “Vengeance For Blood”. Totally wicked. “Samurai” slows it down a touch and adds depth and sophistication and a great chorus. The entire CD is truly enjoyable and dare I suggest it… “Does Ring Of Fire out-Yngwie, Yngwie himself? You be judge…buy it today! Oh, yeah, and another cool CD over by Belgian Eric Phillipe, one of my favorite new metal artists.