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Christopher Vizcarra – Reins of Victory

Christopher Vizcarra
Reins of Victory
by John Paul Romero at 27 August 2019, 9:26 PM

Christopher Vizcarra has been around in the Neoclassical Power Metal scene for quite some time now, being a solo artist for 15 years. This time, he got signed by Bentley Records – a label known for its Pop artists to release his long awaited debut called “Reins of Victory”.

The album, like many other releases from solo artists is an instrumental. For the entire 28 minutes, Chis’ virtuosity is on full display, parading his influences from prolific guitarists Marty Friedman and Randy Rhoads. There are also instances where he takes DRAGONFORCE references where he goes berserk, like in the track “Glorious Fury”. There are also two Pop-oriented tracks, “Price of Love” and “Carlee Love” – most probably because of the label where which he was signed to. On both tracks, he utilized charming acoustics and even some electronic elements as well.

Meanwhile, the longest track off the album “Chariots of Fire” makes a really epic Power Metal where he utilized multiple shred techniques alongside an unforgiving barrage of drums. What I liked about this album is that it is really engaging despite that no one sings along to its epic tunes. The energy is well sustained, not too high to strain the listener and not too lazy to bore. The average lengths of the tracks did the job on this particular aspect. You can also notice how straightforward the approach on the tracks is, having no tension buildup at all – just blasting without warning. It also has a variety of styles and mood – “Onwards to Victory” could have easily been a RHAPSODY tribute, while “A Dragon’s Heart” could be identified as a GAMMA RAY instrumental.

Now, let’s talk about a couple of blemishes of the album. First of all, despite its engaging nature, memorability is quite an issue. Yes, you’ll be feeling the epicenes run through your veins while you venture through the tracks – but as the last note fades, you will barely remember anything from it. Next is the mix – there are lots of imbalances within the tracks, some guitar passages are not so sure if it wants to take the lead or dwell in the background. I would also like to mention that the drums are too pushed behind.

Summarizing it, the overall songwriting is good but not so outstanding. It has a couple of hooks here and there, but remembering it might be a bit difficult. Production is okay, although originality is in question. Overall, this album does enough to be above average.

Songwriting: 6
Originality: 6
Memorability: 6
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. A Dragon’s Heart
2. Onwards to Victory
3. Swords and Wands up High
4. Across the Seas
5. Price of Love
6. Carlee Love
7. Chariots of Fire
8. Glorious Fury
Christopher Vizcarra – All instruments
Record Label: Bentley Music


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