The H'arpeggione: an 18-string fretted cello/guitar
Erik Hinds is the man in charge of Solponticello Records and the designer of the H'arpeggione, which he plays masterfully. The disc currently under review was started almost as a jest. With an upcoming folk music festival quickly approaching, a friend of Mr Hinds suggested he cover some Slayer tunes. Erik had always been a fan of the seminal thrash band and started learning how to play one of the band's strongest musical statements, "Reign In Blood". He listened to the disc incessantly to pick out the music's "compositional underpinnings". He then took liberties with the songs tempos and dynamics. The results are a disc where you'd barely recognize most of the original musical lines but which still manages to capture a certain rage from that classic album. Erik's fingers fly across the fretboards as he must single-handedly try to emulate all aspects of Slayer's music on an acoustic instrument. Of course, each track is stripped down to its barest essence and thus runs much shorter than its original length. The entire disc clocks in at under 29 minutes total. The music sounds like what Hanneman or King may have come up with if they'd decided to go on a pilgrimage through India before writing a solo disc. The tracks all have some transcendental Eastern flavor to them which marries well with the music's droning rhythms. The disc is very experimental and won't easily appeal to the general music buying public. Even die-hard Slayer fans would be hard-pressed to really embrace this version of one of their favorite band's strongest efforts. This disc is an interesting artistic statement, but I fail to see to whom it is aimed.
PS: That truly is the album's cover. I didn't substitute a copy of "Smell The Glove" just to fuck with your minds.
- Angel Of Death
- Piece By Piece
- Altar Of Sacrifice
- Jesus Saves
- Criminally Insane
- Raining Blood