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Clark, Angus: Your Last Battlefield

An eight year veteran of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Angus Clark has also played guitar for new age artist Kitaro and the band Naked Sun. His second album entitled Your Last Battlefield is an all instrumental release combining elements of metal, progressive metal and rock. Clark is clearly an excellent musician and provides guitar, electric sitar and keyboards. His guitar playing really shines on this disc, from precise extended runs to rapid fire chord progressions, guitar aficionados will find plenty to enjoy. Joining Clark are Pemberton Roach (bass), Tobias Ralph, Dave Berger and Dennis Leeflang (drums), Dan Stein (keyboards) and Anna Phoebe (violin on a couple of tracks). Clark has cited David Gilmour, Tony Iommi, Ritchie Blackmore, Randy Rhodes and Jimi Hendrix as his main influences and once you hear this disc you will understand why. Incidentally, the name of the album refers to the Star Trek episode Let That Be Your Last Battlefield. You might also notice other Star Trek references in some of the song titles.

While this record rocks hard, there are lighter moments and slower changes in tempo to relieve the blistering pace the heavy songs set. The excellent guitar melody of "Upon Arrival" sets the tone. The mellower passages provide a nice compliment to the shredding guitar that follows. The straight forward fist pumping hard rock of "Festival" would sound great live as would the fluid guitar runs in "Drunk Klingons". The progressive metal of "Burning Cities of Cheron" offers some of the album's finer moments, especially Phoebe's violin providing a nice contrast to Clarks intense guitar phrasings, somewhat reminiscent of TSO's heavier moments. "Redjac the Menace" continues in the same vein with one of the best guitar melodies on the disc and keyboards provide the necessary accents. The Eastern influenced "The Dohlman's Tears", features the superb violin of Phoebe and Clark's electric sitar playing is stellar.

The album eventually slows down with the pretty "Let Me Help" allowing Clark to demonstrate his ballad writing skills. The Hendrix influenced "Phoenix Hotel" and a reworking of the classic "Greensleeves" (Hendrix style) end the album with a fury.

I really enjoyed this release. My interest never waned as it has in the past with other instrumental albums. This is a diverse record with stellar musicianship and great melodies. If you enjoy any of the artists previously mentioned and like instrumental guitar rock this would be a worthy addition to your collection.

Track Listing:
1. Upon Arrival
2. Festival
3. Drunk Klingons
4. Burning Cities of Cheron
5. Redjac the Menace
6. Pleasure Planet
7. The Dohlman's Tears
8. Let Me Help
9. Scalosian Water
10. I Am Kirok
11. Phoenix Hotel
12. Greensleeves

Added: March 22nd 2009
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Artist's Official Site
Hits: 2461
Language: english

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