Torben Enevoldsen, "Heavy Persuasion" (Lion Music) Another guitar-heroics album, this album does a good job of showcasing the exceptional guitar playing and good compositional potential of Enevoldsen. However, it seems sometimes like that might be the only purpose of the album, making Heavy Persuasion a merely "ok" listen. To the album's credit, Enevoldsen's guitar playing is fantastically virtuosic and the rhythm section of drummer Mickey Hurricane / bassist Flemming Hansen is exceptional if subdued (probably intentionally). Enevoldsen has a big bag full of cool riffs and melodic figures, especially in his use of odd time signatures. However, it seems there's little more than this - songs rarely have much in the way of thematic development and, at worst, compositions can seem like a list of cool things rather than some unified piece of music. It seems like his riffs are well-developed enough that he could make an effective piece of music, but he hasn't yet. There is also a bit too much treading of the same ground, making it hard to distinguish one of the mostly heavy metal-oriented songs from another (even the two obligatory slow pieces are difficult to tell apart). Still, these may be more nitpicking arguments than some listeners would make, so I would say that Heavy Persuasion would be a great CD for someone who wants to hear fabulous metallic guitar playing and cool riffs. ~Jon Dharma
Torben Enevoldsen - Guitarisma Roxon Records 1998 Guitarisma lies firmly within the realm of the guitar-hero album. Think Vai and Satriani. More to the point, think Greg Howe, Tony MacAlpine, Vinnie Moore, Paul Gilbert, and other purveyors of the fine art of shredding. If these names mean nothing to you (or cause you to dry heave), odds are Guitarisma wasn't recorded with you in mind. The rest of you may read on. The album is, of course, Torben Enevoldsen's show, and models itself after the artists mentioned above. Ten of the twelve tracks are instrumental, most hovering around the five minute mark. The result is surprisingly listenable, even for a non-guitarist like your humble reviewer. Notable thoroughout the album is Enevoldsen's willingness to slow things down and rely on the emotional impact of melodic leads rather than shred at the speed of light. This is particularly effective as the Danish guitarist shows us his more melancholy side on the ballads "Calm Waters" and "Indian Summers." The two vocal tracks are a departure of sorts, with Enevoldsen giving up some of the spotlight to guest vocalist Kenny Lubcke. The first, "Time Ran Out," isn't too far removed Fifth Angel or some similar melodic hard rock/metal act. "Reach For Perfection" is a bit fiercer, showing a faster tempo I wish would be used throughout more of the album. As much as I appreciate Enevoldsen's sense of melody, I find that guitar-hero albums are more palatable when everything's blazing away at full speed and the guitarist is shredding his little six-string heart out. Even the faster tracks on the album plod along compared to those on many other instrumental guitar-driven albums. Carsten Neumann and Christian Rajkai on bass, along with Torben Lysholm programming a drum machine, comprise a competent rhythm section. The drum patterns are tastefully programmed, and it's easy to ignore their presence as long as they remain in the background. When the programmed drums come to the forefront, as on the intro to "Reach For Perfection," the effect is just jarring and irritating. I can't imagine what caused Enevoldsen to decide that hiring a drum machine programmer would be preferable to hiring a human drummer. Still, Lysholm gets bonus points for classy programming and a drummer's sense of rhythm. Guitarisma is sure to appeal to fans of the guitar pyrotechnic school and to fans of melodic hard rock in general. Enevoldsen has crafted a melodic slice of guitar-hero metal that will sit proudly next to your Racer X albums. Those who read EER for fusion and prog recommendations need not apply. - Mike Thaxton Track Listing: 1. Just In Case 2. Indian Summer 3. Time Ran Out 4. For A Friend 5. Deep Space Nine 6. Take Your Pick 7. Reach For Perfection 8. Calm Waters 9. Maybe Some Day 10. Brand New World 11. Dream Come True 12. What If.? Contact: Torben Enevoldsen Phone/Fax: +45 38 71 68 56 E-mail: email@example.com
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