Shred Force One

Michael Angelo Batio

Michael Angelo Batio is a larger-than-life character, the ultimate Guitar-hero, clearly an extremely talented and […]
By Yngwieviking
November 30, 2015
Michael Angelo Batio - Shred Force One album cover

Michael Angelo Batio is a larger-than-life character, the ultimate Guitar-hero, clearly an extremely talented and generous musician, a genius...Maybe the last of his kind, Heavenly gifted with a fierce ethic...Magnanimous and generous while working hard as an individualist, a maverick axeman both in his career choices, in his amazing stage antics and perhaps thru his un-bending focus like his obsession for perfection, a noble attitude, he was in the 80's and still is regarded as a real pioneer, an exceptional player, a true innovator able to weaving a tapestry of rich soundscapes, reaching a mastery of fluid tone, an impressive ramming speed and a legendary dexterity level that no one else could ever think to rival!

After a bunch of manifestly high-profile and sublime instrumental albums, notably the finest and latest "Intermezzo" (a five stars rated jewel or estimated 91% by your truly : "an authentic musical journey for 59 minutes of pure red hot blast and smoking seven strings skills" ) here is a slightly different project, "Shred Force One", almost a "Best-Of" quoted as "The Essential Michael Angelo Batio"... The lovers of his vertiginous music and the countless admiratiors of his undeniable pyro-fretboard-technics will bow and they will worship him even more; they will sing his glorious name all around the globe,  and his detractors, the bitter naysayers will find some new justifications to hate him even more...That's the stupidity of the mediocres!

"Shred Force One"...The title itself is delicious and jubilant, the ultra-fast picking magician is once again on fire, his fretboard is also blazing, but beside the mandatory super Shredding instruMetal tracks, this time the disc is articulated around tribute cover songs (DEEP PURPLE/RUSH) and different homage medleys (PANTERA/OZZY/CREAM) with even some amazing vocal parts performed by some first class vocalists namely: ex-CRIMSON GLORY and current QUEENSRYCHE singer, Mister stellar high-pitch himself, the one and only Todd LaTorre (featuring in the mythical "Burn"+ RUSH "What You're Doing") or Dan Lenegar (well known and respected by the M.A.B.'s fanatic followers from his famed C4 days)...By the way, the C4 song, "Call to Arms", and the even older number from the HOLLAND time "Gotta Run" (taken from 1985's "Little Monsters") were perfectly revisited,uplifted and refreshed!

The peers of every guitar players are honored from Eric Clapton (aka slowhand), to Dimebag Darrell, with a slight return to the also much regretted Randy Rhoads, with the participation of former Ozzy's bassist, the legendary Rudy Sarzo (ex-QUIET RIOT/ex-WHITESNAKE/M.A.R.S./ex-DIO), while most of the Bass work is brillantly done by William Kopecky & Elliot Rubinson (C.E.O. of Dean Guitars Company)!

Fan's favorite such as "2x again" or "Rainforrest" are also completing the canvas of this special 2015 Edition!

Icing on the cake, "Juggernaut", co-written with Dave Reffett, borrowed from"Intermezzo", with an impressive list of guests, among them nothing more than the cream of the cream of the most esteemed players out there from: enlightning the capacities of maestro Michael Romeo and his SYMPHONY X fellow Bass player Mike Le Pond (SILENT ASSASSINS). The cast of performers include of course, Dave Reffett (SHREDDING THE ENVELOPPE), Chris Poland (ex-MEGADETH / DAMN THE MACHINE), Guthrie Govan (ex-ASIA / ARISTOCRATS) each and every guest playing is at its peak: it's a shredding fest, but not only, it's mostly a celebration for musical dedication and work integrity.

The double neck maniac/Guitar Guru, Michael Angelo Batio is relentless with the choral track "8 Pillars Of Steel", which is also taken from "Intermezzo", offers us a few strong moments especially when the almighty George Lynch (ex-DOKKEN / LYNCH MOB), Jeff Loomis (ARCH ENEMY), Craig Goldy  (RESURRECTION KINGS /ex-DIO / ex-GIUFFRIA) or Rusty Cooley (OUTWORLD).

Michael Angelo Batio is also a renowned instructor, a bounteous guy and a respected guitar mentor, so he makes a lot of room for less famous players, but extremely accomplished such as young Italian Andrea Martongelli (ARTHEMIS) or Annie Grunwald...Others guest are Michael Wilton (QUEENSRYCHE)/ex-CREED now ALTER BRIDGE leader Mark Tremonti and veteran Kurt Vanderhoof from METAL CHURCH/PRESTO BALLET

Obviously necessary for the beginners on their way to redemption, really crucial....Utterly essential for the disciples of the double Shred Force : M.A.B. for President!!!

9 / 10

Almost Perfect

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"Shred Force One" Track-listing:

1. Hands Without Shadows
2. Burn
3. Juggernaut
4. What You're Doing
5. 8 Pillars Of Steel
6. Call To Arms
7. 2x again
8. Slow Hand (tribute to Eric Clapton)
9. Diamond (tribute to Dimebad Darrell)
10. Rainforest
11. Gotta Run
12. No Boundaries
13. RRR (tribute to Randy Rhoads)

Michael Angelo Batio Lineup:

Michael Angelo Batio - Lead/Rhythm Guitars, Acoustic Guitar, Bass, Keyboards, Drums, Arrangements, Production
Joe Babiak - Drums (Tracks 8, 9, 10, 12 and 15)
William Kopecky - Bass (Tracks 1, 2, 6 and 11)
Bobby Rock - Drums (Tracks 1, 2 and 13)
Todd La Torre - Vocals (Tracks 2 and 4)
Dave Reffett - Guitar (Tracks 3 and 5)
Elliott Dean Rubinson - Bass (Tracks 5 and 9)
Dan Lenegar - Vocals (Tracks 6 and 11)
John Mrozek - Drums (Tracks 6 and 11)
Mark Tremonti - Guitar (Track 2)
Chris Poland - Guitar (Track 3)
Annie Grunwald - Guitar (Track 3)
Guthrie Govan - Guitar (Track 3)
Michael Romeo - Guitar (Track 3)
Michael Lepond - Bass (Track 3)
Kurdt Vanderhoof - Guitar (Track 4)
Craig Blackwell - Guitar (Track 4)
Chuck Garric - Bass (Track 4)
Jeff Plate - Drums (Track 4)
Jeff Loomis - Guitar (Track 5)
Rusty Cooley - Guitar (Track 5)
George Lynch - Guitar (Track 5)
Andrea Martongelli - Guitar (Track 5)
Craig Goldy - Guitar (Track 5)
Warren Dunlevy, Jr. - Vocals (Track 8)
Michael Wilton - Guitar (Track 9)
Rudy Sarzo - Bass (Track 13)

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