Released 16 August 2013 on Lion Music
Marcus Jidell to many will be better known as a current guitarist in Evrgrey and a previous employee of Royal Hunt. Yet “Pictures From A Time Traveller” is the guitarists debut solo album and sees a work in the instrumental mould yet one that will come as a pleasant surprise to many.
Now before you fear a million notes per second type release prepare to think again. Granted whilst Marcus can melt frets with the best out there, he also is a masterful composer and so this album works more as a collection of “songs” as opposed to mundane musical backings servicing as a backdrop for even more tasteless shredding.
Fans of Evergrey will appreciate the dark undertones to the music and the album in many ways is a conceptual work in so much as the music delivers rich imagery to the listener and takes you on your own journey.
Opener ‘Artica’ offers up different strands of light and shade with Jidell’s impassioned guitar work working its way through different moods over an inventive musical back from drummer Andreas Johansson and Evergrey/ Therion/Mind’s Eye bassist Johan Niemann and even Marcus’ own father on cello! Other musicians featured on the album include Evergrey drummer Hannes Van Dahl on 2 tracks and former Yngwie Malmsteen bassist, Svante Henryson on Cello.
“Pictures From A Time Traveller” boasts a strong textural backdrop of keyboard and piano which help create more depth throughout the album.
“Huldra (Ruler Of The Forest)” is built around a jaunty almost folk like melody whilst “Tesla World System” is a 70’s prog influenced meets gothic metal type affair with a organ solo from Royal Hunt’s mastermind Andre’ Andersen as well.
“Rei-Zan” is built around an emotional melodic theme which allows Marcus the chance to really show what he can do with soulful string bends and note choice.
The six minute “El-Amarna (Ruins of Akhetaton)” has, as its title suggest, an almost Egyptian theme to the melody and the track is a definite highlight building as it goes along, and there is some truly fine fretwork here.
“Space Dog” fuses metal riffs and even more quality leads with a Pink Floyd type ambient backdrop before the album closes with the delicate “Wedding Song”.
With a running time of just under 34 minutes for the 7 songs on “Pictures From A Time Traveller” this album certainly won’t outstay its welcome, indeed you will find yourself longing for more. This is also an album that I can see staying with the listener for a long time, there is a lot of discover contained within, yet also enough from the first listen to get you interested in the first place.
Marcus Jidell has delivered a first class album with “Pictures From A Time Traveller” sporting excellent song craft, superb performances from all involved and a very strong production to boot. Budding instrumental guitarists of the world grab this when released (digital only) on 16 August and give yourself a master class in how good the genre can be.
Rating – 95%