Step Into The Future

George Bellas

Building up a 76-minute track alone for the release of a new album is as […]
By Grigoris Chronis
January 23, 2009
George Bellas - Step Into The Future album cover

Building up a 76-minute track alone for the release of a new album is as extreme and severe as it can get for any music genre, omitting the lunacy of Progressive rock/Metal possibly. In a field that virtually nothing is out of the question, acclaimed virtuoso guitarist/composer George Bellas releases his one-track newest album not more than a year after his early 2008 Planetary Alignment CD. With Step Into The Future behaving as a nonetheless 'prog/artistic' CD, this review shall be limited to a two-part presentation of:
- George Bellas: not an unknown name to the Rock/Metal circles. Another discovery of Mike Varney (the engineer/producer responsible for the initial presence of countless guitarists like Yngwie Malmsteen, Richie Kotzen, Paul Gilbert, Tony MacAlpine, Greg Howe, Marty Friedman, Michael Lee Firkins, Vinnie Moore and Jason Becker etc), George has recorded for/with Phil Mogg/Pete Way (U.F.O.), John West (ARTENSION, ROYAL HUNT), Vitalij Kuprij (ARTENSION, RING OF FIRE) while also being a member of RING OF FIRE on their The Oracle debut CD. In addition, he has released nearly half a dozen of studio albums helped by high-profile musicians such as Dean Castronovo (JOURNEY, WILD DOGS, BAD ENGLISH, HARDLINE, CACOPHONY), Kevin Chown (ARTENSION, MAGNITUDE 9), Barry Sparks (DOKKEN, MSG, Yngwie J. Malmsteen), Tony Levin and Joe Franco (TWISTED SISTER, DESPERADO). He is said to be one of the most educated guitarists in the modern music field, having also performed everything from Rock/neoclassical Metal to Jazz/Fusion to classical music.
- Step Into The Future: a piece summoning a typhoon of tempos. Chords, moods, sounds, styles, improvisations and all you can possibly imagine (DREAM THEATER seems to be an in-your-face band related to this one...). There's a 'space' atmosphere in a sufficient part of the song-album while the successful mix does justice to the artist's span will. You'll listen to 'neoclassical' Metal in here, excerpts of Jazz Rock music extended to Fusion makings, shredding furious loops and dunno-what-else. The keys parts are - I think - critical for the unveiling of a more 'totalitarian music' aspect of George Bellas' playing in this album, while the creative and diverse drumming of Marco Minnemann does surely give credit to Bellas for choosing him to cooperate with.
If you get exhausted to the music, it can as well be a critical complain for Step Into The Future but - on the other hand - a listener willing to purchase such an album shall logically be prepared to be pushed on the edge. With silent piano parts interlude-ing with groovy energetic facets, with evergoing torturing loops exchanging parts with monotonous rhythm backups in favour of keys harmonies, I really think George Bellas has really extended the meaning of extremity in progressiveness (thinking/presenting-wise) with Step Into The Future. Memorability will surely be a weak weapon over here, making you (even) wondering what those 76 minutes of music were all about at times.
Recommended only to core/macho 'virtuoso stuff' listeners, I'd dare say.

"Step Into The Future" Track-listing:

Step Into The Future

George Bellas Lineup:

George Bellas - Guitars, Bass & Keys
Marco Minnemann - Drums

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