David T. Chastain

Elegant Seduction

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In the '80s and '90s, David T. Chastain wore two different hats. His band Chastain favored vocal-oriented fantasy metal in the Judas Priest/Ronnie James Dio/Iron Maiden vein, while the guitarist's solo albums offered instrumental hard rock along the lines of Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Mads Eriksen, and Randy Coven. Elegant Seduction, one of his instrumental solo projects, is a total chopsfest -- in other words, David T. Chastain is showing off his virtuosity and making sure you know just how big his chops are. Chastain's small group of fans insist that he is one of rock's unsung guitar heroes, and anyone who doubts that he knows his way around his instrument need only give Elegant Seduction a close listen. Chastain is definitely a virtuoso, and it's nice to hear him stretching out on this 1991 release. Most of the material is instrumental hard rock, although Chastain detours into fusion on "Menage a Trois" (which wouldn't be out of place on an album by Scott Henderson, Al DiMeola, or John McLaughlin). But most of the time, Elegant Seduction has a rock mentality instead of a jazz-rock mentality, and the majority of Chastain's solos live in the land of the power chord. Of course, the chops-for-the-sake-of-chops approach has its limitations; that is true in hard bop and jazz fusion as well as instrumental rock. But serious rock guitar freaks -- the sort of people who wish that Eddie Van Halen would record an instrumental album -- will enjoy this CD anyway. Those who have spent a lot of time listening to Satriani, Vai, Coven, Eriksen, and similar players will find that Elegant Seduction is worth checking out.

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