James Murphy


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As should be expected from a guitarist, James Murphy's first solo album, Convergence, is more notable for its instrumental attributes than its actual songs. Murphy is a skilled and inventive guitarist, creating new waves of sound and drawing depth from standard death metal riffs. Convergence, unlike his work with Testament, Death, and Obituary, isn't all gloom-and-doom -- there are passages where Murphy stretches out to demonstrate that he is a full-fledged musician, not just a guitarist. Unfortunately, Murphy isn't much of a songwriter. Though there is an abundance of leads and licks that are instantly memorable, you can't remember which boasted that stellar guitar work. All in all, Convergence is a guitarist's album and for guitarists, it's an immensely satisfying work. If you don't play, however, you probably won't need to listen.

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