Instrumental albums are tricky to begin with; an instrumental album driven by twin guitars and offering progressive metal can be dangerous. It can be creative and entertaining or massively self-flagellating with either guitarist wiggling, twiddling, and basically fondling the neck of their guitar like its their manhood.
Don't get me wrong. Both Michael Buonanno and Geoffrey Schaefer have inspired and killer guitar chops. They're wizards in the best sense of the word, but they arrange music and play in the band context in such a way that sounds so good you forget that they are really, really good. Laser Baron, a short three song EP, gives a taste of their skillful fret work, backed up by the terrific tight rhythm section of Chris Romano on drums and Ian Morris on bass, and wrapped up in flippin' riff monster, groovasaurus, progressive arrangements blasting sharp leads with the accuracy of the laser in question.
But it's not all blistering and face-melting guitar buzz. Valence will give you some mellow like the world flavored intermission just over the half way point of Laser Baron. Then it's back to shredding your eardrums. Nearly the entirety of Wormhole explores prog rock fusion, leaving the heavy flurry to the closing minutes. The Reckoning returns the brisk shredding progressive metal where riffs fall like a meteor shower and leads fly like so many sparks from a fire. It's all good but, and you guessed it, it's too short a time. Otherwise, easily recommended.
More expressive and inspired guitar driven instrumental progressive metal, just not enough of it.
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