Michael Angelo Batio — Hands without Shadows
(M.A.C.E. 1-11-11-11, 2005, CD)
by Paul Hightower, Published 2007-03-01Chicago's Michael Angelo Batio is a big name in heavy metal guitar, though he's never risen to the level of a Steve Vai or Joe Satriani. His claims to fame include patents and awards, though the distinguishing feature about him is his speed — I've never heard a faster player — plus the ability to play two guitar necks simultaneously. For this he's had a special instrument built and in the past he even demonstrated his abilities on a four-necked guitar! Hands without Shadows (the title comes from fans commenting on the speed of Batio's over and under the neck hand moves) is like Steve Morse's recent Major Impacts in that it largely pays homage to Batio's influences (Jimmy Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Randy Rhodes, Metallica, etc.) while providing vehicles to display his guitar prowess. Most tracks feature Batio, usually multi-tracked, supported by William Kopecky on bass and Bobby Rock on drums with guest guitarists sitting in on a few songs. Both originals on the disk will appeal to prog metal heads with enough complexity in the arranging and variety of stylings to keep things interesting, though I preferred "Pray on, Prey" where guitar leads are more coherently wedded to the rhythmic foundations. For the majority of Exposé readers, the incessant wailing, shredding, and general circus-freak displays of finger speed on this CD won't take long to get under the skin so I'd not recommend it. While Batio is certainly a badass player, only metal guitar-heads need apply for this one.
Related artist(s): Michael Angelo Batio
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more
Eurock Documentary Seeks Funding – We've been fans and fellow travelers with Archie Patterson and his Eurock project on the journey to discover great music. After many years of promoting and trying to spread the word,a new phase is beginning: a documentary film. Things like this don't just happen, and money does not magically appear to make it happen, so it's up to the fans to get it done. » Read more
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more