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Joe McGurk - 'Elements' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/68/73/38/joe-mcgurk-elements-16-1447878686.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     November 18, 2015    
 
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With a nod to Vivaldi's 'Four Seasons', this instrumental album provides interpretations of the primary elements.

Joe McGurk is the guitarist for the Prog Metal band Opposing Motion and has just released his first solo album 'Elements'. With a nod to Vivaldi's 'Four Seasons', this instrumental album provides interpretations of the primary elements – 'Wind', 'Fire', 'Water' and 'Earth'. As you can imagine, this presents an opportunity for a bit of variety in the music.

On the whole though, we are talking Progressive Speed Metal, so if he was paid for every note played on the album, McGurk would be a rich man indeed. Light and shade is abundant though, with the quieter moments filled quite heavily with Flamenco Guitar, especially on 'Elements – (For Guitar And Orchestra)'. The use of Flamenco and Classical guitar provides a perfect foil for McGurk's extreme guitar solos utilising unusual scales and employing supreme dexterity in pulling them off. The guitar solos (both acoustic and electric) are smooth, fast and melodic and it is clear McGurk is a formidable player.

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Following the four elements pieces, the final track is split into three movements (the aforementioned 'Elements...', 'Movement II: Requiem (Lacrymosa)' and 'Movement III: Grand Finale'). The first two movements set up the closer replete with extreme guitar playing and a white knuckle ride complete with the sound of the wind and rain permeating through the piece.

The Flamenco acoustic style rather than the Bach-influenced Neo-Classical playing of Yngwie Malmsteen makes Joe McGurk hard to pigeon-hole. For an instrumentalist this is probably a good thing; the heavy orchestration of pieces such as 'Requiem...' move the album more into a Metal Symphony rather than just a Metal guitar-shredding fest.

Give 'Elements' a try if this description whets your appetite.

Rob McKenzie

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