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Michael Angelo Batio - Intermezzo Award winner

Michael Angelo Batio
by YngwieViking at 09 December 2013, 3:51 PM

Michael Angelo Batio is an high profiled guitar king, maybe the most extreme of his kind, a fast picking wizard that is waiting patiently in order to reach the emperor's throne, he was and still is regarded as a real pioneer, an exceptional player, a true innovator but also a very uncommon person with a fierce ethic while working hard as an individualist, a maverick both in his career choice, in his stage antics and perhaps thru his un-bending attitude or his daily behavior.

“Intermezzo” will not make any consensus around the character of Michael Angelo Batio, the lovers of his vertiginous music and the countless admirations of his undeniable technics will bow and they will worship him even more, they will sing his glory name all around the globe,  and his detractors will find some new demonstrations / justifications to hate him more. The truth is that I love pretty much everything that Michael Angelo Batio has been publishing (yep, even the outrageous Hair Metal band NITRO with Jim Gilette), so I assume, that you already know that I belong to the first category and I’m arrogant about that, to be honest very proud in fact.

I think even if I try, I cannot provide for the right reasoning method to convince the abominators of the net, the haters hidden behind their desk top, the talentless / embittered guitar players or the narrow minded bloggers, that the Michael Angelo Batio music contains a smart dose of greatness for the pure listening pleasure only. My praise and this review, finally might be regarding as a useless and dull comment, because I’m perfectly aware that a lot of people are still thinking that instrumental Metal & Shredding is just wankery and self-indulgent noodling, onanism without any melodic target, interest or harmonic creativity: hey, folks this is fucking wrong. Anyway with this new opus , Michael Angelo Batio is fighting clearly against the mediocrity of the playing level in the mainstream American Rock music, yet if “Intermezzo” reveals once again the amazing writing talent of Batio, it reveals also his huge capacity for Musical synthesis and it put some divine light toward his obvious generosity, he is like a top athlete mixed with a cursed and misunderstood artist but he don’t care at all, the flow of licks provided by Batio is like pristine wisdom, it’s healing, motivating and works like a catharsis, for both , his fans and for himself in return. This album was financed by a kickstarter campaign, I was one of the numerous contributors, and you know what, I’m pretty glad, or should I say I’m very proud of my behavior.

Cherry on the cake, Michael Angelo Batio  with “Intermezzo” offers us a few strong moments especially, when it’s time for his peers to pay homage to the master, indeed some spots are particular filled with an impressive list of guest among them nothing more than the cream of the cream of the most respected players out there from the almighty Michael Romeo (SYMPHONY X) to George Lynch (ex-DOKKEN / LYNCH MOB), from Joe Stump (RAVEN LORD/ EXORCISM / HOLY HELL)  to Jeff Loomis (ex-NEVERMORE), from Craig Goldy  (ex-DIO / ex-GIUFFRIA) to Chris Poland (ex-MEGADETH / DAMN THE MACHINE), from Rusty Cooley (OUTWORLD) to Guthrie Govan (ex-ASIA / ARISTOCRATS) each and every guest is shining: it’s a shredding fest and a celebration for musical dedication and integrity. Michael Angelo Batio is also a renowned instructor, a bounteous guy and a guitar mentor , so he makes a lot of room for less Famous Players such as Dave Reffett (SHREDDING THE ENVELOPPE) / Tobias Hurwitz / Maxxxwell Carlisle (HELLION) / Andrea Martongelli (ARTHEMIS) / Bill Peck or even some still unknown, young but talented guitarists such as Peter Ema or Joe Rose.

Michael Angelo Batio is also capable to stretch himself quite a bit out of the secure shell, with a track like “5 Four Ever” he tries something unexpected by challenging the Jazz players to their own field with success and ease. At the end of the day, it’s always the same thing, if you are blessed with an aptitude to understand and a big Metal heart you will have only a single goal: to push the repeat button over and over, because the avalanche of notes melted in a lava of superb licks is a benediction, an authentic musical journey for 59 minutes of pure red hot blast and smoking seven strings skills, a fretboard frenzy under an electric power created by a maestro endowed by an heavenly genius enhanced by an essential commitment and a rich musical superiority. 

4 Star Rating

1. Intermezzo
2. Kaleidoscope Images
3. Oceans of Time
4. I Pray the Lord
5. 8 Pillars of Steel
6. The Possession – A Tone Poem
7. 5 Four Ever
8. Juggernaut
9. Overload Intro
10. Overload
Michael Angelo Batio – Lead Guitars / Bass / Keys
Elliott Dean Rubinson - Bass
Mike Lepond - Bass
Dave Reffett – Lead Guitar
Jeff Loomis – Lead Guitar
Rusty Cooley – Lead Guitar
George Lynch – Lead Guitar
Andrea Martongelli – Lead Guitar
Craig Goldy – Lead Guitar
Alex Stornello – Lead Guitar
Guthrie Govan – Lead Guitar
Chris Poland – Lead Guitar
Annie Grunwald – Lead Guitar
Michael Romeo – Lead Guitar
Florent Atem ­– Lead Guitar
Tobias Hurwitz – Lead Guitar
Ken Burridge – Lead Guitar
Darren Burridge – Lead Guitar
Bill Peck – Lead Guitar
Peter Ema – Lead Guitar
Joe Rose – Lead Guitar
Joe Stump – Lead Guitar
Record Label: M.A.C.E. Music


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