Tony MacAlpine

Premonition

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    5
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Tony MacAlpine is your classic overachiever. He is not only an excellent classical pianist, but also one of the better guitar shredders to emerge after the Yngwie Malmsteen invasion. Like previous releases, he gives the listener short piano pieces that offer an inkling about his ability behind the ivories, but the main focus is on heavy metal instrumentals. The session tends to be very monotonous with less than memorable melodies and little variety in his guitar sound. MacAlpine's speed is impressive, and drummer Deen Castronovo is excellent throughout, but the predictable song structures limit the possibilities of the music. "The Violin Song" and "Inflection" are the most interesting moments, mostly due to the presence of former Malmsteen sidekick Jens Johansson. The latter tune actually has a fusion feel rather than a metal one, and is an area they should have explored further. Despite the self-indulgent playing, MacAlpine definitely gives his shredder fans a release they can sink their teeth into. For those who were expecting something fresh from this talented musician, Premonition offers little progression from his earlier releases. A slightly better than average release in a tired genre.

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