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Muenzner, Christian: Beyond the Wall of Sleep

Extreme metal fans will no doubt be familiar with the name Christian Muenzner, the trail blazing guitarist from Obscura, Spawn of Possession, Paradox, and formerly Necrophagist. Beyond the Wall of Sleep is his sophomore instrumental solo offering, and follows Timewarp from 2011. Joining him on this outing is the equally mind blowing keyboard player Jimmy Pitts, and his mates from Obscura, bassist Hannes Klausenitzer & drummer Hannes Grossmann.

All of the song titles on the album were inspired by various horror & fantasy stories from the likes of H.P. Lovecraft, Clive Barker, Graham Masterson, Stephen King, Peter Straub, Rudyard Kipling, Edgar Allen Poe, and Anton Szandor LaVey, with the CD booklet explaining the passages that provided the inspiration. Muenzner's guitar, as to be expected, is front and center, his massive riffing and sizzling solos perfectly executed, and while there is no shortage of shredding on the album, it's all done quite tastefully and very melodic every step of the way. The title track combines some dark, menacing riffs with masterfully crafted lead lines that are so memorable they just stick in your brain, while the rampaging, churning "Shadow Over Innsmouth" is complex, instrumental progressive metal at its very best. "The Pit and the Pendulum" is driven by some raging rhythms, rapid picked riffs, and jaw dropping solos...spellbinding stuff for sure. Tech-death metal fans will love the crushing "Evil Spell (The Book of Belial)", a relentless piece that forgoes the growling vocals for blazing guitar leads, and "The Witch of Endor" pits classic metal tones with shredding guitar & keyboard leads that recall '80s Vinnie Moore or Tony MacAlpine. Fans of melodic, neo-classical shredding will just drool over "Demon's Gate", another amazing, mesmerizing piece that also doesn't skimp on tasty metal riffing and nimble keyboard flights.

Four amazing players equals one hell of an exciting instrumental album. Christian Muenzner is a formidable player, and if you've shied away from his talents because perhaps you don't like the extreme metal style of his main bands, then this solo album just might be more your cup of tea. Stunning.

Track Listing
1) Shadow Over Innsmouth
2) Mountain fo Madness
3) Beyond the Wall of Sleep
4) The Pit and the Pendulum
5) Evil Spell (The Book of Belial)
6) The Witch of Endor
7) The Talisman
8) Nightlife
9) The Green Traveller
10) Demon's Gate
11) Veil of the Soul

Added: June 30th 2014
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Artist Website
Hits: 2865
Language: english

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