Out now on Mad Guitar Records

Finnish guitarist Samuli Federley is an 8 string specialist with his debut release “Quest For Remedy” showcasing his guitar technique nicely. 9 tracks of rapid guitar fire show this man has spent some serious time in the woodshed, yet fortunately lays down his fearsome technique over some quite listenable tracks.  Marketed as a player in the vein of John Petrucci, Rusty Cooley and Jeff Loomis will leave you in no doubt that this guy can move his fingers.

Opener “Colonoscopy” (delightful title there) sums up with Samuli is all about, shred and big riffs coupled with the odd synth pad for texture. “Reality Check” is more progressive than all out shred and so we get some good chord progressions and more airy synths, here with Samuli using his speed in more controlled bursts gives them more punch and we also see some nice rhythm work too.   “Born From The Shadow” is one of 3 vocal numbers yet its all quite disjointed and doesn’t make for an easy listen.

“Pitchblack” is the most melodic number on the album and goes through several parts, yet it also features some of Samuli’s best work on the album, I particularly enjoyed the lyrical guitar work from the 2:15 mark which had an almost Uli Jon Roth style quality to it. “Seek & Find” once again fuses the heavy riffery with a more progressive melodic outlook and is a good track.

“Nightdemon” has a pretty brutal riff yet it’s hidden somewhat behind the synth textures yet.  But the track breaks out into more melodic waters for the solo which builds nicely.  “Silhouette Of Death” is marred somewhat by programmed drums sounding just that and vocals, by which I mean guttural grunts which are an acquired taste, yet the riffery and lead work here reminded me a little of Morbid Angel’s Trey Azagoth (one of metal’s criminally underrated guitarists).

“Liqud Fire” I guess is mostly is instrumental prog metal in the vein of bands ala Ashent and is one of the most listenable tracks on the album.  The disc closes with the ethereal quality of “Road”, home to a female vocal over heavy synths the track almost delivers an enema to purge all the down tuned riffery heard before yet Samuli lays down a suitable note laden solo as a final tonic.

Overall despite the budget restraint mix this is an enjoyable offereinf from the more extreme end of the instrumental genre.  The running length of about 40 minutes feels about right too.  8 string guitar will obviously be an acquired taste for many but if you can handle the extremes of the guitars range then you will find much to enjoy.  Samuli Federley leaves us with the impression of a talented player who has potential for more.

Rating – 83%



Out now on Lion Music

Debut instrumental solo album from Danish guitarist and mastermind of Infinity Overture one Niels Vejlyt.  As is nearly always the norm for this sort of thing from Lion Music we get highly competent playing over listenable songs.

With a heavier edge than many of ilk, no doubt aided by Vejlyt’s penchant for 7 and 8 string guitars, this is a nice offering for anyone into similar works from the likes of Jeff Loomis or John Petrucci.  Tracks like “Die Today”, “Rain” and particularly “Samurai” are solid compositions with good melodies and a good sense of direction – no aimless fretboard wanking here.

In addition there are moments of lighter note such as the anthemic Vai-esque timbres of “Head’s Up” (the clue to the Vai influence being in the title perhaps?) and the piano/guitar balladry of “Kajsa” whilst closing number, the 9 minute “Winter” sums up the various moods of the album in one composition rather nicely.

With a better production than many heard of late and a nice mix from Tommy Hansen (Helloween) this is a very solid package indeed and a nice addition to any fan of guitar instrumentals collection – cool artwork too by Matthias Noren.

Rating – 84%