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Joe Stump - The Dark Lord Rises Award winner

Joe Stump
The Dark Lord Rises
by Yngwieviking at 06 November 2015, 3:47 PM

After twenty years of a constant barrage of intrepid guitar dominance, the reign of terror isn’t over yet; the six string dictator is about to deliver oppositely, maybe what I  can call the supersonic shredology ideal. The no frills approach is stronger than ever, the whole decomplexed self indulgent Stump theory, his relentless machine gun attitude is clearly exposed to the incredulous world, his exceptional terrifying blasting guitar style is quite voracious, still agressive and his legendary rapid-fire phraseology fretboard frenzy is even more coherent and more impressive than before… “The Night of the Lone Shredder” could have been the title of the whole album, but the album isn’t  one-dimensional, the highly emotional and deepest “Tortured Soul” is also the proof of a total mastery of his demented skills but even stronger as a talented senior composer with a real melodic concern and this is another fat lesson for the haters, a concrete validation to his dedication for the subtlety in his music, obviously no mediocrity, no flat lukewarm instant, just the cream of the crop here my friends !

Meanwhile “Concerto No. 2 In B Minor”,“The Dark Lord's Allegro” or the superb
“The  Black  Knight  Returns”, are a pure tribute crafted in the form of the unadulterated Neo-Classical Metal in the great Swedish fashion, some cuts are more settled in a Classic Rock mode canvas…Unsurprisingly, the usual suspect of Axe Lead guitars are honoured, one by one, through the generous lead spots, the numerous solos are filled with exihibit referencial and with notably an obsessive and sagacious formula based on the Blackmorian worshipping licks (“Stratomaster”) thicker than an allusion homage, more like an altar to those splendid instrumentalists…The songs are driven by the connection between the majestic harmonies of the harpsichord and the dramatic dimension of the orchestral layers, a mix very catchy source in this generous difficult yet underrrated genre with assumed influences proudly wear as a flag .

At slot #10, the track “Battle Tested” is symptomatic of an incredible capacity to connect his compositions in an absolute amazing mix of technicity with a hyper density in the hooks, the whole based on a solid simple rythmic frame that recall the early moments: especially the violoning section that’s sounds like the birth of the sun somewhere around Stockholm…This track could have been used for virtually any EXORCISM/RAVEN LORD or even HOLY HELL vocal song, i’m pretty certain of this fact…

The fourth episode of the saga “Neo-Classical Shredfest” evidently intitled “Neo-Classical Shredfest No.4.” is another guilty moment of jubilant, benevolent blistering full-speed acrobatic soloing in the delicate archetype of the magnificent analytic genius. His artistic supremacy is similar to an era somewhere between the earth and the rainbow, where Joe Stump is nothing more than the only creditable aristocratic Shred-Lord in activity, backed up with some first class players such as, Jay Rigney (MVP/exREIGN OF TERROR/exEVENT) on Bass Guitar, who already shared the stage with Joe, and the keyboard master, Francisco Palomo, with Magic Circle Music’s HOLY HELL, also taking with pride & honor 50% of the co-producer studio duties with Mr Stump.

Drummer Jeff Hale is doing an amazing first impression with an onslaught of double kick attack and a few sophisticated fills!!!

The suprisingly extreme prowess of “Staring Into The Abyss” reveals a darkest and quite astonishing process; a brand new type with some bombastic elements and a few hyper fast picking riffage over a full blast drumming pattern…”Out For Blood” could have been stuck in a hypothetical routine, his manic determination to feed his guitar monster is palpable, nothing is ordinary with “Mr Professor Shred“ (Joe is an esteemed teacher at the Berklee College for the last 22 years); each and every note played is a symbol of his artistic freedom and his vision is prophetic…His sound is eternal, the brutal predator is still starving, we all are designated for the feast…Maybe we can share the meal with the chief !

Rigorously superior to the contemporary releases of this tagged genre, this outrageous full speed excentric high-octane all instrumental/electric album is close to perfection, closing brilliantly with a mayhem choral track, “Brothers In Shred”, enhanced by the talented guest cameo participations, some hot lava solos provided by young fellow alumni namely the young Dean Cascione and the exMANOWAR iconic David Shankle (D.S.G.)…Shred-Metal ’s not dead!

4 Star Rating

1. Hostile Takeover
2. Stratomaster
3. Out for Blood
4. The Black Knight Returns
5. Tortured Soul
6. The Dark Lord’s Allegro
7. Staring into the Abyss
8. Concerto No.2 in B Flat Minor
9. Neo-Classical Shredfest No.4
10. Battle Tested
11. Brothers In Shred
Joe Stump - Lead Guitar
Jay Rigney - Bass
Jeff Hale  - Drums
Francisco Palomo - Keyboards
Record Label: Lion Music


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