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Adrian Galysh - 'Tone Poet' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/60/30/ba/adrian-galysh-tone-poet-18-1399147689.jpg Hot

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I can't see 'Tone Poet' being of interest to anyone other than friends and family I'm afraid.

Los Angeles guitarist Adrian Galysh performs regularly with Uli Jon Roth and is also a session player in great demand. 'Tone Poet' finds him enlisting the talents of Mark Boals (Yngwie Malmsteen, Royal Hunt), Philip Bynoe (Steve Vai) and Todd Sucherman (Styx) to create an album of varying moods and styles that is primarily instrumental but also features a number of vocal tracks.

Mark Boals' unmistakable voice can be found on each of the four tracks early on and I feel it is his classy performance that gives these the most appeal. 'Brick By Brick', 'When You Fall' and 'Flying' are all strong, with structures in the classic rock mould, and Galysh's playing is thoughtful and melodic. Unlike a Malmsteen album, the egos are pretty much left at the door. This is not just an excuse for a shred fest but evidence of a strong writing ethic. 'Movie In My Mind' has quite an unusual time signature but the hooks and melodies sparkle and Galysh's guitar tone really stands out.

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The second half of the album concentrates on Galysh's musical abilities but unfortunately I believe the tracks with vocals to be the strongest. Everything has a cinematic feel rather than individual pieces of music and it is more of an instrumental album rather than a guitarist's album. A classical theme runs through the music though there are no conceptual links. If I'm honest the likes of 'Luminae' and 'Epoch' don't really go anywhere and the keyboards seem to overshadow the guitar playing. I think some of these tracks would have benefited from vocals rather than choral enhancements and it would have also helped break up the monotonous pacing. When he does decide to let fly with the guitar ('Echoes Of El Greco') there is no doubting Galysh's ability and there are a large number of acoustic elements that highlight great versatility ('Ur Of Chaldees').

I think Adrian Galysh could find greater success writing songs with lyrics similar in style to the ones featured in the early part of this album. The fact he restricts his playing to the context of the song rather than use it as an excuse to massage an ego is an asset yet, on the evidence of the bulk of the material, I can't see 'Tone Poet' being of interest to anyone other than friends and family I'm afraid.

Dave Bott

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