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Brooks, Chris: The Axis Of All Things

Australian guitarist Chris Brooks brings all his skill to bear on this new cd. It's hard these days to bring anything totally new to the world of instrumental guitar playing. I wouldn't say Brooks breaks any new ground, but that's no reason not to like this album. He falls mostly on the side of the Satriani/Vai/Hoey, as well as new school fusion a la Jeff Kollman, but he's certainly not stuck there as a pale imitation. The songs are well-written and tuneful. Brooks constructs memorable hooks and melodies and there's a heck of a groove on most of the tracks, especially "Transfiguration" and "Open Doors". Though more steeped in the 'rock', he has no trouble breaking out the metal shred when he needs to, or flitting lightly over a jazzy phrase, reminding me also of Jeff Kollman. Chris sounds like a player who can handle and kind of music, and can do so looking relaxed and at home, always tasteful and adventurous at the same time.

Some highlights for me were the acoustic solo on "Feeding The Myth", the soaring outro solo of "In And Out In Dreams", and the blues meets neoclassical buildup of the opening track, appropriately titled "Prelude". It must also be said the the backing musicians are fully up to the task and the whole album has a certain life and energy to it that far too many instrumental albums lack. A must have for fans of instrumental electric guitar music.

Track Listing
1. Prelude
2. The Axis Of All Things
3. Transfiguration
4. Open Doors
5. Not The Day, Nor The Hour
6. Wisdom Road
7. Hammer's Heart
8. Feeding The Myth
9. In And Out Of Dreams (Axis pt2)
10. Velvet Claws

Added: December 29th 2011
Reviewer: Sean Gill
Related Link: Chris Brooks Official Website
Hits: 2682
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Brooks, Chris: The Axis Of All Things
Posted by Pete Pardo, SoT Staff Writer on 2011-12-29 09:35:43
My Score:

The Axis of All Things is the sophomore release from Australian guitar wizard Chris Brook, and though over the years we've been treated to probably way too many of these types of instrumental guitar albums, this one's a good one and worth your attention. Brooks carries some obvious influences such as Steve Vai, Jeff Beck, Joe Satriani, and Vinnie Moore, but even though The Axis of All Things has tons of jaw dropping shredding, there's plenty of groove and tasty phrasing going on throughout this CD that makes for an entertaining and enjoyable listen.

Part hard rock, part jazz-fusion, and part good old rock 'n' roll, The Axis of All Things swings and grooves from start to finish. The wild title track and "Transfiguration" contain some tasty riffs and sweet lead work from Brooks, as his lyrical solos do the job of taking over for where a vocalist might be. Not something every guitarist can do, and here Brooks manages to put down more than just endless shredding. "Open Doors" has some really nice melody lines, and "Not the Day, Nor the Hour" mixes progressive rock with blistering fusion solos for a wild romp. "Wisdom Road" features gentle acoustic work, and the emotional "Hammers Heart" evokes some of the more dramatic material of Joe Satriani. For the shred lovers, you can't go wrong with the funk/metal of "Feeding the Myth", as Brooks goes for the juggular with plenty of lethal solo trade-offs with Rick Graham, while the majestic " In and Out of Dreams (Axis Pt II)" has some scorching guest solos from Brett Garsed & Lord Tim.

The Axis of All Things is one hell of a tasty instrumental guitar album, so if these types of recordings are your cup of tea, I strongly urge you to seek this one out. Chris Brooks is a major talent, and let's hope we hear more from him in the very near future.

» Reader Comments:

Brooks, Chris: The Axis Of All Things
Posted by Timmeh on 2011-10-31 20:48:52
My Score:

Loooooove this album! I do think Chris brings something new to the table. For me he bridges the gap of "tone" players like Brett Garsed and high gain players like Petrucci, Vinnie Moore. It's a blend that has a real place I think. Anwayz, good review and glad you guys gave this album exposure cause it's an album of the year for me.

Brooks, Chris: The Axis Of All Things
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-10-31 18:42:59
My Score:

Chris's new album is incredible! I highly recommend this album to anyone who loves rock, jazz, fusion, and some metal. I have his other album, The Master Plan, as well. It is also extremely well done. Do yourself a favor and get his new album, The Axis Of All Things. You won't be sorry!

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