Joe Stump

Rapid Fire Rondo

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Guitarist Joe Stump has been trying to get the Yngwie Malmsteen monkey off his back for his entire career. This release was his first major step in achieving this, although the comparisons are still obvious. There's a fine line between flattery and thievery, and Stump could certainly be accused of the latter on his previous releases. Supersonic Shred Machine hinted at the development of a more individual style and this release confirms it. Make no mistake, this is a typical Joe Stump in-your-face guitar shred session, but there is more variety here than on his previous efforts. His guitar tone is heavier than it had been, which helps with the Malmsteen comparisons, and his compositions even include a shuffle and an Egyptian-influenced theme. The detailed, technical liner notes reflect that Joe Stump knows exactly who his audience is. Chances are so do they.

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