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Williams, James: Eclectic Shred

Are you a fan of Neo Classical shredding, but with a twist? If so, then guitarist James Williams will be right in your wheel house. Inventive, futurist and a great player are the first things that come to mine. James Williams takes the Yngwie thing and adds some Rock Fusion to the mix on his album, Eclectic Shred, which makes it a very interesting listen. Williams does rely heavily on the Neo Classical, but shows other flavors that fuels his playing. His Trower, DiMeola and George Lynch like influences do get a chance to creep in every now and again, showing he's not just a one trick pony.

You might remember James Williams from the X Opus project, The Epiphany that was released on Magna Carta a while back, but on this Eclectic Shred record the guitars are the focal point and man is there some really nice playing on it. Delving into the progressive realm, alongside the Neo Classical shred, adds a lot of different textures which Williams thrives in. Songs range from 1:36 in length to a whopping 10:26 and you never find yourself bored at all. Williams has a way of taking you on a journey that coincides with the themes of much of his songs. "B17 Flying Fortress" is the lead off tune and the imagery and feel created in this song does give you the feeling of flying in a fighter jet! Williams' soloing is quite searing, melodic and vast and they paint a great picture, especially against the canvas of the musical bed that he has laid out to solo over top of. "Maxxwells Castle" is very much early '80's Yngwie flavored, complete with those classic harpsichord/guitar harmonies that are filled with tension. Nice Classical guitar runs are also infused in this opus.

James Williams gets some help from Mike LePond (Symphony X) on bass and Matt Guillroy (James LaBrie, Malmsteen) on keyboards on a couple of tracks on the record and also has guest guitar solos by Richard Tull and Dave Thomas on "Dropa Stones". Williams handles all other aspects on the project, including drum programming, composing all of the songs and playing all of the instruments that these guests do not appear on. This is a very talented man. He has a guitar tone that is smooth and creamy and the overall production is quite nice, as well.

I found Eclectic Shred to be widely entertaining and imaginative. This IS a Shred Guitar album, but it is not at all boring or overly pretentious. Williams takes you on a nice ride of different peaks and valley's all executed expertly and all the while providing the listener a great backdrop of a musical landscape. If you enjoy guitar music in the genres of Neo Classical, Rock Fusion, then you will love James Williams' playing and songwriting.

Track Listing

  1. B17 Flying Fortress
  2. Keltoi
  3. Dropa Stones
  4. Unborn Massacre
  5. Auschwitz
  6. Eclectic Shred
  7. Cruise Control
  8. Maxxwells Castle
  9. Europa
  10. Journey To Andromeda

Added: August 5th 2013
Reviewer: Butch Jones
Related Link: Artist Facebook Page
Hits: 1047
Language: english

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