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Andrey Smirnoff - Electric Gravity Award winner

Andrey Smirnoff
Electric Gravity
by Kevin Lewis at 17 November 2021, 7:38 PM

ANDREY SMIRNOFF is a Russian guitar virtuoso who has played on a number of projects and many different bands, most notably, U.D.O. with Udo Dirkschneider. He is also a composer and writer. Electric Gravity is an instrumental record, his third full-length solo album and was released independently on September 10, 2021.

Right off the bat, you get a heavy dose of power. “Samurai” begins with thundering drums and a crunchy riff. The bass is played much like a rhythm guitar and the leads are lightning fast. The techniques used are solid, the flow is good, and the song is entertaining. The quick fills, the solos, all of it are well-placed and give the song a good bit of coherence. There are even a few piano key strikes added in for punctuation. The whole thing just rocks.

Dream It Out Loud” and “Wings of Freedom” both are lighter songs. These are still fast, but the tone is different. “Magic Dancer” feels like an instrumental ballad. The heaviness is gone and in its’ place is more of a musical eloquence that speaks to a different part of the mind and soul. This song is graceful and airy. Even shredders need to express their heartfelt emotions, not just their angst and rage.

Djentology” has a bit more darkness in it, as do “Light and Shadow” and “Coming Home.” These are heavier songs with some lighter fills running throughout the tunes. “Djentology” has some very interesting difference in weight between the rhythm guitar and the lead guitar. These songs really drive into the brain and stick around for a bit. The harmonics and rhythms really get in there and become earworms to a degree. The riffs are fun and really get the fingers and toes tapping.

Twist Me” has a bit of blues, some 80s hard rock and even a little groove in it. This is like if Joe Satriani and Stevie Ray Vaughn had a quick jam session. This is my “throwback” song of the disc, reminding me of some killer music that had its’ heyday over 30 years ago. “Escape” is back to more of a melancholy sound in some sections. It’s a bit more haunted and sadder, though not depressing.

The record ends with “Where the River Flows,” a song that features a slightly more prominent keyboard line while still maintaining a heavy guitar presence. This is a great riff to end the record. Heavy and dominant when there, but also giving space to the lighter sequences. When they run in tandem, the wall of sound they create is epic. Turns out, this is my favorite tune on a record full of really good songs.

The overall impression I get from this album is that Andrey Smirnoff has a lot of music in his brain, and he needed to get some if it out. The pandemic left a lot of musicians with a lot of time off that they don’t normally get. No tours and restricted travel gave them time to sit and think, to compose, to play and, thankfully, to record. This is a good record and will maintain a place in the rotation that is my musical loves.

Songwriting:  9
Musicianship:  9
Memorability:  9
Production:  9

4 Star Rating

1. Samurai
2. Dream It Out Loud
3. Djentology
4. Wings of Freedom
5. Sunrise in Butrint
6. Light and Shadow
7. Coming Home
8. Twist Me
9. Escape
10. Where the Rivers Flow
Andrey Smirnoff – All Instruments
Record Label: Independent


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