Exposé Online banner

Michael Angelo Batio — Hands without Shadows
(M.A.C.E. 1-11-11-11, 2005, CD)

by Paul Hightower, Published 2007-03-01

Hands without Shadows Cover artChicago'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.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 34, 2005 releases

Related artist(s): Michael Angelo Batio

Latest news

2019-03-03
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more

2019-02-21
You Can Be Part of an Ambient Electronic Project – The Gesture of History is a new electronic project put together by Sam Rosenthal of Black Tape for a Blue Girl, Steve Roach, and violist Sam Shadow. The music started as an instrumental track Rosenthal was working on for a Black Tape album, but took on a life of its own and demanded further enhancements. The majority of the funds raised will go to manufacturing costs for LP and CD editions, as well as other items as detailed on the Kickstarter page. » Read more

2019-01-31
Keyboardist Ingo Bischof R.I.P. – Keyboard player Ingo Bischof, best known as the longtime keyboard player of German band Kraan, passed away on January 29th, 2019. Bischof was born January 2, 1951 in Berlin-Kreuzberg and joined Kraan in 1975. » Read more

2019-01-11
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more

2019-01-02
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Crimson Jazz Trio - King Crimson Songbook Volume 2 – The late Ian Wallace championed the completion of his trio’s second recording but never had the chance to hear the final fruits of his labor. Together with pianist Jody Nardine and bassist Tim...  (2010) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues