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Joe Stump - 'The Dark Lord Rises' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     March 15, 2016    
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Not to diminish his impressive virtuosity however, the lack of identity remains the sole criticism.

The canon of most influential guitarists would be shamefully incomplete without a mention of Yngwie Malmsteen, arguably the most self-aggrandizing axe slinger of the 20th Century. Not only has Long Island, NY native Joe Stump adopted Malmsteen's swagger and mastery of the instrument, he has also strongly embraced his obsession of infusing Baroque-era sensibilities into his compositions.

Not to be outdone, Stump also pays considerable homage to other icons in the form of Ritchie Blackmore (Deep Purple, Blackmore's Night) and Blues Rock giant Gary Moore. Although he is able to replicate each of these influences with textbook precision, he fails to blend them and ultimately create his own style and sound.

'Out For Blood' is a great example of Stump's ability to authentically replicate Malmsteen's magical debut complete with enhanced sonics. The unison melody performed by guitar and keyboard/harpsichord is every bit as good as the interplay between Malmsteen and Jens Johannson. 'Stratomaster' is simply an amped up ode to (if not rewrite) of Purple's 'Burn' and is evidence that the massive influence of iterations Mark II and III of the band are still as relevant as ever.

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His ability to showcase all three influences in a single composition is none better exemplified than on 'The Black Knight Returns', you have Malmsteen, Blackmore and Moore all represented in spades. Not surprisingly, the album is an impressive showcase of technique and his command of the instrument is sublime. Not to diminish his impressive virtuosity however, the lack of identity remains the sole criticism.

'The Dark Lord Rises' offers nothing that has not already been said. If instrumental guitar is a passion and a desire to sample another slice of Malmsteen-esque shred is required, Joe Stump just may be the next item on the menu.

Brent Rusche

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