G.O.D. -Guitarists on Demand- II
G.O.D. -Guitarists on Demand- II
September 26, 2014
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G.O.D. II is the second original album released by ViViX for the Guitarists on Demand group and features a variety of instrumental rock tunes. As previously stated, these artists are a younger generation of guitarists compared to Masahiro Aoki’s other group of artists, the G5 Project. Featuring reprises from all the guitarists from the original Guitarists on Demand album, as well as two new members, how does it compare to the first album?
The album opens up with Masahiro Aoki’s “Sense of Wonder” and sets the tone for the album. I really like the orchestral and piano lead up before the rock takes front and center. There is a sense of softness to this piece, thanks to the other instrumentation at play, and I really like the complementary soundscape provided by the guitar. While not the strongest piece on the album, it definitely manages to satisfy. Mitsuyo’s “Thoroughly Radical” follows and is a much more aggressive affair. There is some killer bass guitar featured in this track and I really like the interplay between the metal riffs, the electronic elements, piano, and Japanese instrumentation, not to mention the lead guitar. Although there are a lot of elements to this tune, it definitely comes together as a cohesive piece.
“Alternative Tactics, Second Issue” by Yamato is a marked improvement over his debut G.O.D. tune “Chili Under,” namely because has more of a guitar focus. While there are still some electronic elements in this tune, mainly dubstep, they are much less frequent and even then, go well with the heavy nature of this tune. Not to mention, there are a ton of awesome guitar solos that really manage to satisfy. This is definitely a highlight of the album. “An Escape,” by Oka Satoshi, is a fantastic fusion rock piece that really manages to satisfy. The guitar playing is top notch and is just a fun romp. While not exactly the same stylistically, parts of it do remind me of “YYZ” by Rush in some of the more energetic sections. Vogue’s “coastline” is another fantastic tune that really exudes a lot of energy and takes a similar approach to his “afterglow” tune, although there is a definitely less of a blues influence in this piece. The keyboard and electric guitar make for wonderful melodic vessels and the backing orchestration helps complement the energy of the piece.
Gibson’s “Sigurðr” is also a great improvement over his debut G.O.D. tune “Chaser of Unfinished Dreams.” It is an epic rock piece that really manages to hit all the spots. I love the epic orchestration that opens the track and its continued implementation throughout the piece. As for the guitar, the melody is equally epic and really manages to accentuate the energy of the piece. There is also an instrumental breakdown with some vocal backing added into the orchestral mix that really manages to satisfy as well and in this case, I think that Gibson found a nice balance between the guitar and non-guitar elements. setsat’s “Lust of Blood” is a heavy metal influenced tune that really brings the energy. Once you add in the melodic rock aspect into the forefront, mixed with setsat’s violin playing, it’s a fantastic combination that really manages to bring both a sense of power, but also a sense of delicacy into the mix. There are also some excellent solos from both lead instruments, making this another standout track on the album.
The last two tracks on the album are from newcomers to the Guitarists on Demand group. The first, “Skyphobia,” by Seku, is the longest track on the album and it features a variety of elements. There are some metal riffs, although definitely not a strong influence, and portions of the tunes remind me of a djent style. There’s a lot going on the album, but it really manages to satisfy and is a showcase of technical skill, not to mention a tune with a strong melodic focus as well. The album ends with Korean guitarist AZ’s, “Free Wing.” This tune is, by far, my favorite piece on the album. It’s a rock ballad with an extremely endearing and touching melody. Although the piece was originally composed by AZ and featured piano and guitar, Masahiro Aoki orchestrated the piece and in doing so, I think it really heightens the tune. The orchestral elements help give it a nice pop flavor. I also really like how the piece changes into a faster tempo near the end helping give it that sense of flight. As for the guitar, the playing is impeccable and I really the emotion behind the performance as well. AZ is definitely someone I want to hear more of, and if this tune is any indication, I won’t be disappointed.
G.O.D II is, in my opinion, a clear improvement over the original G.O.D album. The addition of two composers was a great idea, as it provided some fresh ideas, and even the returning artists come back with styles both familiar and new. In addition, the fact that the album features tracks that are all strongly guitar focused is a major plus. If you were fans of the first album, this is definitely going to satisfy and you should definitely try to pick it up either in CD form or from a variety of digital retailers such as iTunes or Amazon.
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Posted on October 21, 2014 by Don Kotowski. Last modified on October 21, 2014.