Williams, James : Eclectic Shred- Eclectic Shred Records
Some of you might recall the scintillating guitar work on the neo-prog album “The Epiphany” by X-Opus on Magna Carta Records. Well hang on to your hats, shred monster James Williams has released his first solo instrumental record and wow, does it smoke.
The playing is furious and the notes fly on this epic slab where the vibe balances between full on neo-classical shred and metal fusion. James is adept at these genres and all stops in between as he throws off, seemingly effortlessly, riffs reminiscent certainly of Malmsteen, but also of Carlton, Beck and DiMeola. The title track IMMEDIATELY had me thinking of Andy James.
What sets this apart however, is the interesting composition and melody behind the songs. I am betting many of these tunes have been quite some time in the making and that James worked extra hard to make his first solo offering something memorable indeed.
Guest performances include Mike Lepond (Symphony X) on bass and Matt Guillory (Labrie,Malmsteen) on keyboards. The gang rips through the full on shred approach of B17 Flying Fortress and then deftly handles the subtler prog approach in songs like Europa and Journey to Andromeda. One thing is consistent….Jame’s fretwork slashes and burns throughout, this is the best guitar record I have heard this year to date bar none. Highly recommended.
- 1.B 17 Flying Fortress
- 3.Dropa Stones
- 4.Unborn Massacre
- 6.Eclectic Shred
- 7.Cruise Control
- 8.Maxwell’s Castle
- 10.Journey to Andromeda