Marcus Jidell steps out of his role as a guitarist for Evergrey, and also as an accomplished session player and producer, to cut his first solo album, the instrumental album, Pictures From A Time Traveller. In the promotional one-sheet, Jidell made this interesting comment: 'I wanted to make an instrumental album that was more then just shred. I wanted to make compositions that were interesting to listen to even if you're not a guitar player.'
Not shred, and accessible to the average non-guitar playing listener (like myself, and air guitar doesn't count)? While it seems a paradoxical or, at the very least, curious notion, Jidell accomplishes these very things. Well, sort of. He does shred, but it's not in your face all the time on every song. It's more nuanced and playful than guitar virtuoso bravado as within Arctica or Teslan World System.
If it counts as shred, Jidell rips it up on the cello on several songs. Well, not quite like Apocalyptica, but the cello is a beautiful sounding instrument and can add texture to an arrangement. It's grand and disarming within El-Amarna (Ruins of Akhetaton) and subtle and soothing within the softer Wedding Song (where played by his father Rolf).
But returning to the original thought of making an accessible instrumental guitar album, all the songs here are quite enjoyable and entertaining, having something to delight every listener. For instance, Huldra (Ruler of the Forest) and Arctica has sufficient guitar work to please the accomplished player, but also enough of compositional twists to lure the listener. If you want something definitely more revved up, more towards pure shred, Space Dog delivers. Overall, Pictures From A Time Traveller declares not only the depth of Jidell's musicianship, but also his penchant for writing interesting music. Mission accomplished. Yet some might quibble over the shortness of the album, seven songs in 33 minutes. I think it was just enough. Recommended.
Pictures From A Time Traveller declares not only the depth of Jidell's musicianship, but also his penchant for writing interesting music.
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