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Schadler; Alexander: Temporaris

Take a quick squint through the song titles on Temporaris, the debut offering from uber talented German instrumental guitarist Alexander Schadler and you'll be left in no doubt that we are entering into the dangerous world of "quirk". Yes, not content with having fingers capable of moving at blistering speed, with amazing dexterity and pin-point accuracy, Alexander also has to treat us to eclectic music with a sense of humour.

Album opener "Summerside" keeps things simple, coming across like Joe Satriani on speed, with lazy, bluesy waaaahhhhhs being interspersed with lightning quick bursts of notes and the odd little banjo like passage. Impressive stuff, if a little derivative of the genre in which it works, however "Freakk Phunk" gives a far stronger indication of where Temporaris is really heading. Keyboards and guitars collide with the sound of Devin Townsend attacking his one-time band-mate Steve Vai being an image brought to mind. Wild, out there, interesting and demanding, we are at the stage of could go either way here. "Creepy Cheese" unfortunately cooks things down the wrong path, with blazing fiddles and popping snare drum yeeeehaaaawing us into cod-country territory. The playing is superb, the sound big and thick, but in the end it is the sort of stuff you'll gather your friends around shouting "Get a load of this", before filing it away and forgetting about it. Something that becomes a real shame when you get a taste of the deeply atmospheric "Pertubado" where Spanish guitar is given a sumptuous moody atmosphere that makes for enigmatic engaging stuff. However when you weigh that up against "No Need To Practice" - basically an excuse to play fast - and "Aus Boehmen Kommt Die Musik" - which as its title suggests sounds like music from Bohemia, but speeded up beyond belief, and you are always left evaluating skill against listenability.

"The Machinist" heads back into shreddfest territory, but this time with tune, melody and intriguing bleeps and bloops to reinforce the song's title, while "Potpourrix" loosely hangs together a whole host of instantly recognisable classical pieces, reinterpreted for shredding electric guitar, before "Irish Tune" does, well, exactly what you'd expect. Although the album's closing title track ties together all of the loose ends to make a quirky, yet comparatively straight forward metallised piece of guitar instrumental music - and damn good it is too.

More ups and downs than a prime-time rollercoaster, Temporaris delights, confuses, amazes and perturbs in equal measure. A description that I actually think Alexander Schadler would be reasonably satisfied with. Far from instant, this is the sort of shredding album that will genuinely struggle to find much in the way of crossover appeal, being loved by those who aspire to this level of performance and cast aside by those looking for more obvious hooks, melody and structure.

Track Listing
1. Summerside
2. Freakk Phunk
3. Creepy Cheese
4. Aus Boehmen Kommt Die Musik
5. No Need To Practice
6. Perturbado
7. The Machinist
8. Potpourrix
9. Irish Tune
10. Temporaris

Added: December 17th 2012
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Alex Schadler on facebook
Hits: 2050
Language: english

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