People often seem surprised that Italy produces some of the best power metal bands and shredders, such puzzlement seems ludicrous given that this is the country that produced Paganini, probably one of the first shredders to gain rock star status, albeit in 1838, (if you don’t know where I’m coming from You Tube Jason Becker playing Paganinis 5th Caprice). And so to Andrea Martongelli, better known as guitarist with Arthemis. ‘Spiral Motion‘ is his solo offering and an instrumental one at that.
Opening track ‘Eternal‘ grooves along with riffs and themes to grasp your interest. Martongelli shreds but he shreds with purpose, the notes are there for a reason not because he can run up the frets at warp speed. Having said that ‘Screaming Ninja‘ is like Rainbow on Red Bull, so fast you think he may go arse over tit, but he doesn’t. Ever. ‘Infected Garbage Blues‘ is heavy with a industrial feel. ‘Venomous‘ is a song Yngwie would be proud of and if Wakeman played guitar he probably would have written ‘Father‘. ‘Cyber Hammer of the Gods‘ is an energetic riffy romp with some very nice wah’ey arpeggios while ‘Dark Days‘ slows it down and shows that Martongelli has some real feel. ‘Phoenix Rising‘ is another track with an industrial vibe, a touch of Wakeman and some intriguing Spanish style guitar and keyboards, yeah I know it sounds weird but it works, trust me. Penultimate track ‘Dead Symphony‘ also has a retro seventies thing going on and the guitar does a pretty fine impression of a theremin. Finishing up with the riff laden, shredding, screaming ‘Bite the Bullet‘ this album leaves you feeling decidedly satisfied.
The risk with solo instrumental albums is the danger they will be self indulgent noodling with no real direction, not so with ‘Spiral Motion‘, Martongelli never loses sight of the fact that each track is a song that has purpose and he succeeds magnificently. Yes he plays a lot of notes very fast, but he knows where each one belongs and he never loses sight of the song. If you like Yyngwie, Satch and Vai then I honestly think you’ll love this album, I do.
Yes he plays a lot of notes very fast, but he knows where each one belongs and he never loses sight of the song. If you like Yyngwie, Satch and Vai then I honestly think you'll love this album, I do.