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Raimund Burke - Into My Arena (CD)

Raimund Burke
Into My Arena
by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos at 21 February 2009, 7:28 PM

Not another instrumental album with a guitar virtuoso I thought when the promo CD of Into The Arena fell into my hands. Despite my amateur guitar activity I find it difficult to enjoy an instrumental album. Especially, if it is full of complicated phrases and faster than light scale changes.
So, with similar thoughts venturing my mind I placed the CD into my player while I was doing some household tasks clearly not in the mood for guitar seminars. The keyboard intro in Beautiful Sin followed by the distorted guitar vibrato made 'look' closer. The mid tempo track is groovy with Marty Friedman sounding like fills and solos. Things get more interesting in the Bluesy Off-Highway that hits with some more keyboards and fast finger work that give you a reason to hum the main melody.
After a couple of listening sessions I realized that the structure of the music cries out for vocals! I mean the two bonus tracks with Michael Keuter's voice are one level higher; the US Hard Rock feeling, the Blues backbone and the harsh vocals create an excellent combinations. And for this reason I do not understand the instrumental albums; it is true that the artist wants the listener to focus on his composing and performing skills but hey don't the vocals top off the music or what?
Nevertheless, Raimund manages to fill the vocal absence with nice often catchy melodies that can make you relax with the clean guitar J.A.L.Ls or even tap your foot with tracks like the staccato Caged or the almost shredder Look Forward. The latter track managed to remind of Victor Smolski classical finishing touches and his distinct artificial harmonic and trademark vibrato. The highlight of the album is definitely the nine minutes of Into My Arena; here Raimund unveils all his influences spanning from the melodic lines of Satriani touch Steve Vai playful phrases wraped in a really nice DEEP PURPLE-esque keyboard layer.
I am really glad to say that this album is not for guitar players only. The music has the structure of 'regular' songs only the vocals are shine through their absence. Raimund proves not only his performing skills but also his composing ones. I just hope that he will team up with a singer for his next discographic attempt.

3 Star Rating

Beautiful Sin
Still Searching
Rain Of My Heart
Look Forward
Rough Riff
Into My Arena
Don't You Know
Wait For The Night
Raimund Burke - All instruments
Michael Keuter - Vocals
Record Label: Private Release


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