Album Reviews

George Bellas – Astral Projection Review

george bellas_astral projection_cover

Released by: Lion Music

Release Date: June 24th, 2013

Genre: Progressive Metal

Links: http://www.georgebellas.com

 

Tracklist:

01. Into The Unknown.

02. Dimensional Portal.

03. Out of Body.

04. Fabric of Space and Time.

05. Hyperspace.

06. Rip In The Continuum.

07. Curiosity.

08. Apparition.

09. Magnetic Anomaly.

10. Tipler’s Cylinder.

11. Visiting An Alien World.

12. Interdimensional Travel.

13. Heightened Awareness.

14. On The Other Side.

15. Transcendental.

 

George Bellas is an American guitarist and composer. He currently has a catalogue of over 20 albums that he has worked on with others and as a solo artist. He has played and recorded many artists, including Mogg / Way (UFO), Dean Castronova, Virgil Donati, Trent Gardener, Vitalij Kuprij, Ring of Fire, John West, Uli Jon Roth, Michael Batio, Joe Stump and numerous others.

“Astral Projection” is the seventh solo album by Bellas and it will be released via Lion Music on 24th June 2013. Once again George has teamed up with drummer extraordinaire Marco Minnemann (Ephel Duath, Necrophagist, Tony MacAlpine, Painstyle) with Bellas handling all guitar, bass, and keyboard duties.

The music is instrumental Progressive Metal with some Neo-Classical and Symphonic influences and even jazz elements. In the very rough approach it could be characterized as Progressive version of Yngwie Malmsteen due to shredding guitar solos. However this characterization would be not very correct. This work is more complicated and progressive than before and has some similarities with Vinnie Moore and Tony MacAlpine.

The album includes 15 tracks which is more than 70 minutes totally. At first glance it seems too long for instrumental release.

I like previous works of George Bellas, they were impressive, melodic and technical with extraordinary shredding guitar work. I expect the same on “Astral Projection”. However I was a little bit disappointed at the beginning because the first tracks were complex but not very bright and slightly boring. I could not say that the first songs are bad but they are not outstanding. Usually it is enough to have a conclusion to the whole album. And I am very glad that I was wrong this time, because other 2/3 of the disc is more impressive, interesting and innovative.

“Apparition” inspired me with beautiful classical elements which were perfectly incorporated in the song structure. Then I was pleased with the next track “Magnetic Anomaly” which includes some strange but nice avant-garde orchestral arrangements and enjoyed dynamic straight forward “Tipler’s Cylinder”. Symphonic “Visiting An Alien World” and “Interdimensional Travel” developed the ideas of “Magnetic Anomaly” with even odder and vaguer music that I like, too. The last 3 songs are also strong and attractive with pretty melodies. So all those wonderful compositions are completely discharged this album and make it worth of careful listening.

The production is excellent; the sound is clean and rich. Once again George Bellas proved that he is a real guitar virtuoso, a good arranger and a talented composer. With “Astral Projection” he extended his creativity adding new elements to his music. Some tracks are more melodic-oriented and less Progressive, like “Curiosity” and “Tipler’s Cylinder”, others have more chaotic and bizarre improvisations (“Dimensional Portal”, “Hypertrace”) or even avant-garde symphonic parts (“Magnetic Anomaly”, “Visiting An Alien World”, “Interdimensional Travel”).

So George Bellas recorded another decent release that could be recommended for fans of Progressive and Shred Metal.

 

Written by Egor “EG Power”

Ratings    Egor    8/10

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