Terry Syrek: Self-titled (Cassette, 35:51) independent (pre-CD) release [TS698], 1998 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Cyberhome: http://userweb.interactive.net/~rek/ Terry Syrek has mastered his guitar, synth, bass, drums, and vocals into one very tight progressive metal/ guitar hero package. We open things with a tight but sweetly bizarre guitar- synth instrumental called "Shiva". This cut, (thankfully), is NOT straight up rock but has twists and turns enuff to keep things interesting. Lotsa nice chops and syncopated chord progressions here. I heard a taste of Prong sans vocals and Forced Entry here. The synth work took me back to Ronnie Montrose's early solo releases. The big axe-solo is strongly Satriani with Chastain machine-gun bursts of notes. The finale solo is early Satriani and Syrek pulls it off with ease. Next we do "Mine To Leave Behind" with mean power-metal chords intertwined with synth that leads us to angst vocals over speedy, Santana percussive work. Think Styx does Metallica and Satriani trades licks with Chastain. This could easily hit a college radio rock slot and get the "Whowazzat?" phone calls afterwards. Syrek explodes on "Spiral Majesty" sounding like a cut that could've come right off Satriani's Not of this Earth. Great guitar work with a smidgen of Mason Williams' "Classical Gas" chord progression flavorings fleeting by. "Grimpett Widdleshins" is another strange excursion into David Chastain/ Satriani, (Not of this Earth) space with wild-hair riff supernovas to make even Ron Thal smile. I was reminded at times of Mahogany Rush's "Strange Universe" synth work in places. Pretty cool stuff. On "Beyond Within" we find interesting tribal drumming with guitar-enuff-to-fill-an-empty- cathedral solos. Plenty of interesting tempo changes and "open-spaces" chordal breaks heighten interest. The unique percussion leading into church organ keys with power-chorded assault worked nicely to prepare you for the guitar finale. "Change the World" returns with decent vocals and echo effects. Guitar again is forefront throughout and this cut leans strongly toward that college radio play format. Then Syrek throws in a great Steve Tibbettsan/Hendrixian alternate-dimension guitar solo that was THE pinnacle moment of Syrek inventiveness to me. I could've taken at least ten to fifteen minutes more of such whacked-out guitar-scapes. Maybe on the CD, Terry, just for me? Great debut release! Believe me, I've heard the whole nine yards of ammo shot off on many a debut -- yet Syrek is right on target for that future CD. ~ John W. Patterson
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