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Nick Giannakos and Alchemy – The Alchemist Award winner

Nick Giannakos and Alchemy
The Alchemist
by Jean-François ‘’Jackal’’ Poulin at 16 January 2020, 12:26 PM

This is debut instrumental release of NICK GIANNAKOS AND ALCHEMY. Nick is the lead guitarist of WRETCH, a Power Thrash Metal band out of Cleveland, Ohio. He has also been a member of the underrated American Thrash Metal Outfit called BREAKER. This time, he built his band and wanted to show another side of his musical upbringing and his overall talent. I haven’t had the chance to listen to an instrumental metal album in a very long time. I don’t mean a band that is specifically instrumental, I mean in the genre of guys like JOE SATRIANI, GUS G, STEVE VAI among countless others. I do listen to a song here and there when I am in the mood but I haven’t sat down and listened to an album back to front in a number of years. Well this guy might change the way I listen to anything else this year. He gives me the motivation to find other shredders and guitarists that are doing their solo projects out there. It’s that good!

He shines on the brightest stage. This is his band and he shows the audience what he can do. He is an excellent guitarist in his other bands but on this album, he shows the whole plethora of styles he can muster.  He has various influences and sometimes you can pinpoint the various guitarists that has influenced throughout his musical career. The guy can do it all and you have various genres on this first release. Some songs sound like older HELLOWEEN, some songs have that 80’s Rock Influence (like BON JOVI, DEF LEPPARD) and some songs like ‘’Contemplation’’, sound like Prog Rock Goodness (PINK FLOYD-esque). All the songs have their own vibe, their particular ambiance. All the songs create something whole but each song brings something different to the table.

My favorite song has to be ‘’The Knight’s Tale’’. Nick Giannakos uses the classical guitar on this one and I love that instrument. It sounds like a song you would hear in a Medieval Feast. It’s so smooth, it’s endearing and just highly enjoyable to hear. He shows you another side of his guitar greatness and it’s quite a departure from the rest of the album. This guitarist should be better known but Metal fans all around the world, the guy can do it all and he shows his immense talent on an album I have listened to over and over again since I reviewed it. My favourite album (I know I know, the year has just begun) of 2020 bar none.

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

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. The Mission
2. The Journey
3. Resolution
4. Arabian Sands
5. Time Traveler
6. Contemplation
7. The Alchemist
8. Searching
9. The Knight’s Tale
10. The Difference
11. Memento
12. Memories
Lineup:
Nick Giannakos - Guitars
Kevin Mazey - Keyboards
Matt Bower - Bass
Burt Scheel – Drums
Record Label: Pure Steel Records
     


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