Chuck Schuldiner Project

Monday, April 16, 2012

Axis of all Things, Chris Brooks

So today I'm reviewing Chris Brooks, a virtuoso guitarist from Australia. Known for previous albums like Master Plan he has slowly built up his name in the virtuoso guitar community. His new album The Axis of all Things is one of the greatest fusion releases of the year. He has a fusion style reminiscent of guys like Holdsworth and Govan. His combination of styles leads to a great sound that is incredibly fun to listen to. In addition to his killer guitar work, his back up band shows some nice bass and drum chops. Yet the heart and soul of this album is truly found within the guitar work. The fusion of classical music, jazz, rock, and even a little metal allows for a unique sound and leads to a great album!

The guitar work on this album is phenomenal. Listening to this record can be enjoyable for fans of many different types of music. The prelude features some really cool classical stylings with a nice toccata-like bit. Then there are a lot of rock stylings, in particular the song Transfiguration features a heavy blues-rock type riff. The blues has a large role in this music and some of the long bends are reminiscent of BB King. In some songs like Open Doors, we even have a Yngwie type shred vibe to the music. Then we have the jazz, oh the jazz. With jazz elements coming into play in all songs it is one of the more important elements. Yet Brooks does an excellent job of giving his jazz a sense of rock so that the solos don't become dull and wanky, but instead stay lively and fun. Not the Day provides an excellent example of a jazzy song that stays lively with a rock feel. The rhythm playing is also excellent, best described as hard rock with crazy changes Brooks does not fail to impress. I particularly like the rhythm bit on Wisdom Road which makes the song feel beautiful and powerful. In brief, the guitar playing on this record will blow your mind to bits.

The back-up band is quite excellent and adapts well to all the playing styles on the album. The bassist, Nate Apparati manages to be powerful and emotional. He changes nicely to the style of music presented. On the more rock based songs he is aggressive and fiery and on the more laid back tracks he layers in a driving force to the music. The drum work is equally good with skillful playing in songs like Feeding the Myth drummer Gordon Rytmeister proves that he is a true master. The other drummer, Peter Mcdonaugh, is also excellent, he can handle the rock playing just as well as the jazz and fits in very well with some of the more acoustic pieces. In other words, the back up band for Chris Brooks is most excellent and nearly as good as the man himself.

In conclusion, Axis of All Things is one of the greatest things you will hear all year. The guitar work is brilliant, and nearly as good as that of Govan himself. Brooks has a power to create moving songs that show off an excellent level of theoretical knowledge. His back up band is also excellent and really helps to make the album shine. So go check this album out if you're a fan of godly musicians and awesome music!

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