Album Reviews

Chris Bickley – Tapestry of Souls Review

Released by: Shreadguy Records

Release Date: Out Now!!!

Genre: Instrumental Hard Rock

Links: http://www.chrisbickley.net/

Links: http://shredguyrecords.bigcartel.com/

 

Line Up:

Chris Bickley – guitar

 

Additional Musicians:

Jimmy Kunes – vocals (2)

Kelly Keeling – vocals (4)

Chandler Mogel – vocals (7)

Mike Vescera – vocals (10)

Vick LeCar – guitar (5)

Tom ‘The Suit’ Forst – guitar (5)

John Bruno – guitar (5)

Eric Klaastad – bass (1)

Michael K. Smith – bass (2,6,10)

Scott Spray – bass (3)

Rick Gauthier – bass (4,7)

Dino Fiorenza – bass (5)

Alex Pierce – bass (8)

Chris McCarvill – bass (9)

Dominick Mauro – bass (11)

BJ Zampa – drums (1)

Bobby ‘T’ Torello – drums (2,3)

Paul Pedroncelli – drums (4,7)

Gaetano Nicolosi – drums (5,6,8,9)

Michael Giammattei – drums (10)

Mark Focarlie – keyboards (5,8)

Vic Steffens – organ (3,11), drums (11)

Bill Holloman – horns (9)

 

Tracklist:

01. Race Car Guy

02. This Time It’s Gonna Hurt

03. Fallen

04. Crying Shame

05. All Or Nothing

06. Chemical Love

07. Lead You Astray

08. Tapestry Of Souls

09. Walk In The Park

10. A Step Behind

11. Old No. 9

 

Ahh it’s been a minute since I enjoyed some instrumental shred records, I remember the good old days with Joe Satriani and his Satch Boogie, Tony Macalpine and his masterful grooves or even such great masters of the shred like Yngwie Malmsteen. If your familiar with the Guitar Label Shredguy Records then you know are bound to find the next big guitar prodigy our there as they are always on the look out for talented shredders to bring to the fold. This time around we have the virtuoso skills of axeman Chris Bickley who has become quite an asset in the guitar session arena in the Tri State Area after moving up north from his beginnings in the Southern USA. Chris also working as guitar player for the band Terri Lane which features AC/DC, the Firm drummer Chris Slade, Scott Spray, Bobby Torello and Eric Klasstad, as well as other projects he’s working with.

I’m not the biggest instrumental albums freak out there, but I do enjoy well played guitars, especially when they are played loud, fast and groovy; Bickley has a good balance mix of all those elements on “Tapestry of Souls” and then some. He also welcomes to the forefront some very known guest musicians, really a pool of talented folks chip in to make the record stand out. People like Mike Vescera, Kelly Keeling and Chandler Mogel all lend a hand on vocals among other notable players guest on the album. Is easy to fully dive into it and go all out with Chris infectiousness grooves and chops as he dominates the fret board with precise accuracy and juice, and no there isn’t enough wankery here to discredit him as just another “guy who can shred”. Substance over style usually wins.

Bickley wastes no time as he launches right into the Racer X like vibe of “Race Car Guy” a superb tune which holds it’s place firmly at the beginning and introducing the listener to his style. Kelly Keeling guests vocals on the tune “Crying Shame” and while the music is good, his vocals seem a bit overdone, too bad cause this tune had some promise. Next we have “Fallen” which is a more laid back bluesy Hard Rock instrumental which highlights Bickley’s guitar skills once more, a tight number with plenty of hooks and licks. Probably the best guest vocal job comes when Outloud’s front man Chandler Mogel hits some radiant vocal lines on “Lead You Astray”, a kick ass modern Hard Rock taste of shredding antics. The variety really flashes with diversity and dexterity on another instrumental number in “Walk in the Park” where you witness some horns in the background…interesting little caveat to add to the fray.

Overall not a bad effort and one certainly that may peek the interests of instrumentalist and fans alike, I really do think it can find an audience out there as Bickley’s guitar playing is not all shred ripping fast and just for show, but rather his tuning seems to work really well on the more laid back tracks. If I had a negative certainly the guest vocalists probably could of done a better job, even though the flow of the record mixes different genres and all, I felt the vocals could of been worked in better, that’s why I wasn’t feeling all of the guest vocalists maybe it seemed a bit out of fit relative to the pure instrumental songs. If you’re a fan of instrumental guitar players though, then I can’t see anything wrong with checking out Chris Bickley and his arsenal of professionalism as it’s all on display and performed extremely well.

 

Written by Denys

Ratings    Denys    8/10

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