Allan Holdsworth / Anders Johansson / Jens Johansson

Heavy Machinery

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AllMusic Review by

Remember Jan Hammer and Jeff Beck jamming together with lead tradeoffs ad libitum forever amen? You will hear many similarities in guitar legend Holdsworth and keysman Jens Johansson springboarding off each other. A big difference soon unfolds -- this duo just plain smokes, cutting early into the fast lane and getting right down to business. Things overall are compositionally interesting, noticeably precise, big and phat, just more intriguing than those Hammer/Beck excursions. It immensely helps havin' monster-everywhere drumming, a veritable demon-wind blowin' at their backs like Anders Johansson kept rock steady.

It was refreshing to hear Holdsworth get funked up and get in a rockin' groove thang for a change on many cuts. His guitar tone seemed bigger -- perhaps augmented in places with some background triggered synth-echo delays and textures. Jens Johansson was outstanding in his mosaic of keyboard styles and voicings. He nearly duplicates that signature Holdsworthian lead phrasing. An expertly interwoven synthesis of sound and rhythm is present. Great jazz-rock fusion happens here.

An intensity propels this musical meeting. Drummer Anders Johansson and Jens Johansson have roots that dig deep: playing with axe-shredder Yngwie Malmsteen's Rising Force, Ronnie James' Dio, and a host of other metal ventures. Latter-day Mahavishnu Orchestra bassist Jonas Hellborg has collaborated with the Johansson brothers as well. Simply put, herein lies vast versatility. Invite guitar genius and innovator Allan Holdsworth over to jam and you spark unforgettable fireworks of furious fusion. Holdsworth fans, this is a must. Rockers and jazz-rock fusionists alike will delight in this recording.

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