Various Artists: The Quintessence Webzine Compilation
Ah, a compilation. Gotta love compilations 'cause with each one there's winners yeah and there's losers but they ain't no big deal 'cause the simple man baby makes the tunes, the tunes, the tunes that thrill. Something like that. Anyway. Where was I? Oh, yeah, so this comes to us from Quintessence, a metal webzine hosted by Mr. Wayne Klinger and the focus, as you might guess based on the cover, is on guitarists. Man, I tell ya, there are about a bazillion and three guys out there playing the guitar these days and about half of 'em are at least as good as Joe Satriani. The others? About as good as Mick Mars.
Luckily, ol' Wayne's got a pretty good ear (as he should, he's been writing for publications all over the place for a trillion years) for what's hot and what's not and this thing rivals just about any compilation put together since the day of the early Metal Massacre outings on ye olde Metal Blade. Now, I won't lie to you and say that there aren't any dogs but the joy of hearing Fourth Estate's multilayered "Kara Kum" is irresistible. Same goes for Ray DeTone's "The Journey Begins" which is just weird enough to make you take notice. It's not a perfect performance by any stretch of the imagination but it's damn close and you gotta love the guys dentist drill in the gums tone. It is, simply put, awesome.
Rob Sbar Noesis wouldn't know to call a song "Lexical Gap" had he never picked up a Dregs album I'm sure and that's just all right, mama. GasHead needs some serious help末the dude's like Dick Dale with a four-hour erection, unleashing some machine gun riffary unto unsuspecting listeners. Dale Villano, on the other hand, has some really refined things to say as do John Sullivan (his "Inside Out" may be my personal favorite here), Sean Mercer and Jim Morris. (I'm probably fond of Morris's "Distant Bliss" for what isn't played as what is; it's easy to imagine him sitting in a darkened bedroom playing this in the dark末well, at least for the first half.)
Others, such as Michael Knight, Tom Kopyto and Art Faccio are somewhat more predictable and churn out stuff that makes you aware that they can shred but lack some of the spark that the others have. Still, with a compilation like this, everybody's a winner because at the end of night everybody gets to go home with something they love.
1. Kara Kum末Dave Beagle/Fourth Estate (8:48)
2. Twisted Metal末Michael Knight (3:27)
3. The Journey Begins末Ray Detone (5:20)
4. Black Inside末Tom Kopyto (3:46)
5. Lexical Gap末Rob Sbar Noesis (4:21)
6. Submarine Limousine末Gashead (3:30)
7. Rebel Hot末Nicola Fassi (3:23)
8. Carpe Diem Part One末Dave Villano (4:35)
9. Inside Out末John Sullivan (3:56)
10. Fallout At 2214末Rare Blend (4:15)
11. Fire Storm末Art Faccio (4:10)
12. Alien Fetus末David Neil Cline Band (3:03)
13. Celibate Funk末Chaz DePaolo (3:06)
14. Opus 2末Dean Mercer (5:09)
15. Distant Bliss末Jim Morris (5:00)
Total Time: 60:00
Added: June 1st 2004
Reviewer: Jedd Beaudoin
Related Link: More Information
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