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Project Steiger: Defiance

Labeled as "Instra-Metal Guitar", this CD from virtuoso guitarist Ken Steiger totally lives up to the bill. Supported by a great cast of musicians, including Planet X'ers Derek Sherinian and Virgil Donati, plus bassist Tony Franklin, as well as a little help from guitarist Gary Hoey and keyboard player Michael T. Ross, this album shreds from start to finish, but also contains some memorable melodies amidst the complex metal thunder.

The first thing I noticed is that Steiger is by no means a member of the neo-classical, Yngwie-clone camp, which is a good thing. That style seems to encompass 90% of the instrumental guitar albums these days, but Steiger falls more into the James Murphy, Chris Poland school, mixing tons of heavy rhythms with speedy & melodic lead lines dripping with serious tone. "Run 4 Cover" is a great example of his style, as it starts off as a melodic and passionate ballad before blasting into a rocking metal anthem, complete with bombastic rhythms, whammy bar trills, and furious right hand tapping. Sherinian lets Steiger do most of the soloing on the album, as he settles in more with the rhythms and harmony lines with his keyboards. Donati however is like a man possessed-listen to his furious onslaught during the manic "Vertical Integration (V.I.)", a rampaging metal machine fueled by Steiger's heavy licks and Donati's pounding drum work. There's also some real catchy stuff here too, such as the alluring "Child of the Storm", where Steiger out-does Joe Satriani, or the mosh pit stomp rendition of Santana's "Persuasion", where Steiger duels with Gary Hoey.

While Steiger has a completely different touring band, it's great hearing him with these world class musicians on Defiance. To add even more credibility, the CD was co-produced by Sherinian, and engineered by former Ozzy bandmate Phil Soussan and ex-Guns N Roses guitarist Gilby Clarke. There's a new player in town folks, and his name is Ken Steiger!

Track Listing
1) Prince of Souls
2) Rock-It
3) Run 4 Cover
4) Vertical Integration (V.I.)
5) Child of the Storm
6) Neutron Flux
7) Edge of Forever
8) KT Boundary Event
9) Persuasion
10) Anti-Gone
11) Here Comes the Heroes

Added: March 31st 2004
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Project Steiger Website
Hits: 4003
Language: english

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