Xander Demos – Guitarcadia

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Xander Demos – Guitarcadia

URL: http://www.xanderdemos.com

Xander Demos is an exceptionally talented guitarist. He’s produced an album here that manages to show off that guitar skill while also entertaining.It runs the gamut from shred to epic metal to prog metal and manages some other things in the process. I’d say that it starts off strong and struggles a bit late. Still, every bit of this is good. Some of it is just great. The song structure on the first song (“Right Angles”) makes me think of Ozzy’s “Shot in the Dark” a times. The guitar soloing lends some nice melody to the proceedings. The next song is entitled “Nothing Major.” The shredding continues, but this time it has some keyboards in the mix. There are also some more melodic chordings in some ways. On “Under a Darkened Sky” we get some awesome epic metal. This is a great touch. It features vocals and just plain rocks. It has a good balance between more rocking and mellower music. It’s a highlight of the set. There is almost a progressive rock vibe to “White Knuckle Driving,” a bit like Dream Theater. Sure, it’s closer to the shredder territory, but DT isn’t far removed. This tends to overstay its welcome a bit, though. More of a mainstream guitar god kind of sound pervades the title track. While it’s good, it’s nothing exceptional. I like “Woodshed Sonata” better. The drumming is noteworthy and the whole crunchy sound works well. There are some changes, most notably a mellower section later and some seriously frantic stuff beyond that. Next Demos covers Don Henley’s “Boys of Summer.” I’ve never been a big fan of this song. Bringing it into the metal world only helps so much. If the vocals were more screaming throughout, like they are at times on the chorus, I’d like it more. I can hear a bit of that Dream Theater element on “Chase the Sun,” too. It’s got other things going on, too, but DT is a reference worth making. This is not bad, but not really a standout, though. I like the shred section later in the track on “Metagalactic.” Beyond that, this isn’t all that spectacular or different, though. There is one more cover on the disc, the closer, a take on Chris Deburgh’s “Lady in Red.”

The 80s classic gets recreated as an instrumental here with the guitar doing the “singing.” I like this. I’m not sure I would have ended with it, but it works. I like this set a lot. I look forward to hearing more in the future from Xander Demos.

Purchase Link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/guitarcadia/id547440087

8.5/10 Stars

Steve Rafferty.

Approved by Drew Blackwell (UK)