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Batio, Michael Angelo: Hands Without Shadows

Melodic shredder Michael Angelo Batio who invented the "Double V" guitar and has been in the business with bands like Nitro and Holland long enough to know better than to waste listeners' time throws an electrifying classic-rock party on Hands Without Shadows. Fifteen months in the making, this tour de force includes seven of Batio's close friends (including ex-Creed guitarist Mark Tremonti and in-demand session players Bobby Rock on drums and William Kopecky on six-string and fretless basses) playing along on adventurous yet respectful versions of Deep Purple's "Burn," Metallica's "Wherever I May Roam" and Aerosmith's "Dream On," a Jimi Hendrix-influenced take on Bob Dylan's "All Along the Watchtower," refreshing Ozzy Osbourne and Led Zeppelin medleys and two Batio originals.

While on paper the idea may seem a little hokey, the resulting music is sonically throttling more celebration than tribute. Batio's command of the guitar and not just while shredding will hold your attention longer than most of the upstart hotshots releasing instrumental discs these days. And as proof that the guitarist isn't an egomaniac, he lets guys like Tremonti, Bill Peck, Doug Marks and Stuart Bull take the solos, whose starting and stopping points are dutifully documented in the liner notes.

Meanwhile, if the two thick and technical yet thoroughly engaging original cuts here (the title track and "Pray On, Prey") are indicative of the kind of music Batio's currently writing, he should follow up Hands Without Shadows with an album of all-original material. Until then, though, play this one loud. Extremely loud.

Track Listing:
1) Burn
2) Tribute to Randy
3) Zeppelin Forever
4) Hands Without Shadows
5) Wherever I May Roam
6) Dream On
7) Pray On, Prey
8) All Along the Watchtower

Added: February 24th 2006
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Related Link: Official Michael Angelo Batio Web Site
Hits: 3566
Language: english

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