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Syrek: Story

Here's a pretty exciting 'mostly' instrumental album (I say mostly because there are some narration bits across the album) from guitarist Terry Syrek, a guy who has monster chops that cross genres such as progressive metal, shred, fusion, and rock. He's assembled a fine cast here for this charming fantasy-based concept album Story, which includes Marco Minnemann (drums), Lalle Larsson (keyboards), Bryan Beller & Mohini Dey (bass), Florian Cristea (violin) and Keith Szarabajka on narration. Take parts Liquid Tension Experiment, The Dixie Dregs, and The Steve Morse Band, and you have an idea of what you are in store for here, guitars & keys blazing, the rhythms gymnastic, and just the right amount of violin to keep things interesting. While the 'story' of monsters, owls, and gnomes are straight out of children's fantasy books, and the narration seems a little weird on an instrumental album, it doesn't detract from the fact that this is seriously incredible stuff happening here, with Mr. Syrek leading the way with his commanding technique. This guy is a monster player, but he's not the only one here by any means. Tracks like "I Got a Lightning Bug", "I Think It's a Monster," and "The Perilous Flight From Castle Abathria" are just a few of the intricate, masterful prog-metal/fusion gems included on Story that will leave you breathless.

It's also a fairly heavy album in spots, but heavy as in Liquid Tension Experiment heavy. So, do yourself a favor and go check out this fantastic slice of instrumental prog-metal/fusion and be prepared to be amazed. Top-notch stuff!

Track Listing
1) Magic Lantern (Into the Woods)
2) I Think It's a Monster
3) Baloon Ride Over a Jigsaw Map
4) I Got a Lightning Bug
5) What the Owl Said
6) Starcrowned
7) The Perilous Flight From Castle Abathria
8) Strange Machine
9) Dandelion Sword
10) Gnomus Maleficus (Tea with the Angry Gnome)
11) Promenade
12) The End?
13) Home (Out of the Woods)

Added: September 10th 2022
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Artists @ Bandcamp
Hits: 885
Language: english

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Syrek: Story
Posted by Eric Porter, SoT Staff Writer on 2022-09-10 15:11:47
My Score:

Let's make sure this gets said right away, Guitarist Terry Syrek is simply amazing. Syrek is joined by heavyweights (2/3 of the Aristocrats) Marco Minnemann (drums) and Bryan Beller (bass), certainly a strong foundation to build upon. The music is very heavy,
and reminds me of Liquid Tension Experiment, with guitar and keyboards (courtesy of Lalle Larsson / Karmakanic) front and center, they are blazing. Trust me, Syrek is a virtuoso on guitar, and the cast bring his songs to life with intensity. There are bits of
narration scattered throughout that tell a story of 2 creatures (maybe a boy and his dog?) going on an adventure. Although it is difficult to nail down the concept, it does help to break things up and give the listener a breather. Let's just say the story is not
necessary for you to enjoy the music. If you like highly technical instrumental music bursting with guitar and keyboards, this is for you. In addition, bassist Mohini Dey (who plays on most of the tracks) and violinist Florian Cristea also appear, and for me, I would have loved to hear more violin scattered throughout. Your jaw may drop more than a few times while listening to the incredible playing that is on display. Yes, it is bombastic, but there are some fine songs with interesting and intricate arrangements. With more listens comes familiarity, and the songs and compositions begin to stick, so for those thinking simply shredfest, it is
more than that. "What The Owl Said" shows a Prog influence with it's atmospheric keyboards, and interesting background music. The intro to "Starcrowned" will melt your face, Syrek's soloing here really shows some fusion and Holdsworth influenced flair. Tracks such as "Dandelion Sword" and "The End?" show a more melodic side to Syrek. Syrek is the complete package, and Story does not disappoint.

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