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Various Artists - 'Electric Gathering' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/2d/7d/e1/various-artists-electric-gathering-30-1451933607.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     January 04, 2016    
 
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Whilst there is no doubt about the musicianship, the songs get rather overwhelmed by the playing.

'Electric Gathering' is a showcase for instrumental guitar music which sees both undiscovered or unsigned talent as well as some established known names come together on one collection to highlight and support the future of guitar-based music. This compilation album gathers artists from all over the world including countries like U.S.A., Canada, U.K., Finland, Israel, Japan & Argentina.

World class and highly respected guitarists such as Jeff Kollman (Glenn Hughes, Asia Feat John Payne, Chad Smith's Bombastic Meatbats), Chris Poland (Megadeth, OHM) and Michael Hampton (Parliament Funkadelic) are joined by underrated guitarists such as internet favourite Jeff Fiorentino. John Herdt is backed by ex-Tommy Bolin collaborators Wally Z and David Givens and young international talent such as female Jazz virtuoso Yue's Bumping Jam, Yossi Sassi and Elmo Karjalainen.

The overall feel of the album is a little like the concept Prog albums of the seventies but without the concept. 'Ethereal' is like an "other worldly" soundtrack of a trip to Pluto followed by the heavier 'Pyramids On Mars', it's a little like a modern day Planet Suite. The atmospheric vibe continues with Sassi's 'Neo Quest' and 'Unintelligent Designs' (albeit this a little heavier) while 'Abby And Owen' is meandering and soothing.

'Alter Ego' ups the pace a little and would be a Bluesy accompaniment to a long open road trip. 'Club Metalfunkadelamack' is an Electro Rock rip up the frets whilst 'Deafen My Neighbour' it is riffy and has the strongest hooks. 'Fearless' is reminiscent of Yngwie Malmsteen's Neo Classic beginnings and the oddly named 'Hip Hop Karma' is actually rather Funky.

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My favourite track is Jam's 'Jungle Traffic Jam', it has a very 1970's Jazz Funk thing going on and stands alone. 'Patient Zero' is a pacy Rocker followed by another Jazzy number 'Rude Bayou'. 'Shedding Skin' is slightly schizophrenic, starting with a slightly South American acoustic, it morphs suddenly into something altogether heavier. 'War Machine' bottoms out the album with some heavy Funk vibes.

Instrumental albums need to have a very strong concept and for this it needs a musician who can look at the album as a whole and rein it in when needed. Otherwise it has a tendency to be rather self-indulgent.

'Electric Gathering' suffers from a lack of direction and whilst there is no doubt about the musicianship, the songs get rather overwhelmed by the playing. One for fans of the contributors as a showcase of their skills but it doesn't really gel into a memorable album.

Helen Bradley Owers

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