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Albert Marshall – Beautiful Nightmare

Albert Marshall
Beautiful Nightmare
by Paul LaPlaca at 13 July 2021, 12:37 PM

“Beautiful Nightmare” begins with a SATRIANI inspired romp that showcases guitarist ALBERT MARSHALL’S formidable chops and skills in compositional harmony. Unfortunately, this song - “Black Rooster” is hyper compressed and the rhythm guitar seems to  be fighting the bass and drums in the verse section. It tightens up by the chorus but overall feels messy. Production for the whole album in general seems overly slick and processed and it would have been nice to have more variety in the guitar tones and drum mix.

The second track, “At The Gates” is much more focused with really beautiful, layered guitar harmonies and a sick two-handed tapping solo. This is a guitar player’s album, no doubt but for the majority of the album the guitar is treated as a vocal instrument and the songs are structured with a hook-driven verse/ chorus structure that elevates it beyond a typical wank-fest. “The Mogway Song” follows and is a happy-go-lucky walk in the summer grass. Very upbeat and cheerful. I don’t like it. It sounds like BOSTON in a diabetic coma.

Next up is, “Little Rainbow” a dark and brooding track with a moving and expressive bassline that perfectly supports the soaring guitar melodies. The lead in particular on this track is transcendent with the smooth tone of the neck pick-up utilized to full effect. Overall my favorite track of the album. “Angry Monkey” is a ubiquitous throw away boogie-woogie, a style that is my least favorite from all the shredders. Leave it to ZZ TOP for this type of thing. Link to video can be found below.

“Ice Cream” is a lovely atmospheric track that incorporates a beautiful delay and harmonizer effect. Nice balance to the high intensity shredding on the rest of the album. The biggest outlier is the aptly named “Ugly Motherfunker”. This one is based in blues and funk and is a nice change of pace but definitely feels forced and against type for this project. Overall, this is a great album for anyone who appreciates SATCH and VAI type guitar instrumental albums, but much like these icons this album is hit or miss compositionally and it is completely subjective what types of songs are best for ALBERT MARSHALL’S considerable playing abilities.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 6
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. Black Rooster
2. At The Gates
3. The Mogway Song
4. Little Rainbow
5. Angry Monkey
6. Ice Scream
7. Charmanders Nightmare
8. Ugly Motherfunker
9. Armored Warfare
Albert Marshall – Guitar
Simon Dredo – Bass
Denzy Novello – Drums
Record Label: Red Cat Records


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