|Justin Tolan: Requiem|
|2003, Demo CD|
Sixteen year old, aspiring virtuoso guitarist Justin Tolan from Georgia has compiled a set of remarkable instrumental tracks on his demo CD, Requiem. Considering his young age, Tolan demonstrates a surprisingly advanced grasp on neoclassical guitar technique, composition, and musical vision. Tolan seems undeterrably headed for greatness in the neoclassical venue. Having attained a superb control over the mechanics of the primary neoclassical techniques such as sweep picking /arpeggiation, alternating picking, patterns, pedal tones, etc., Tolan arranged four eye-widening tracks on this strictly instrumental, purist neoclassical demo. The composition, like the guitar technique, demonstrated surprising maturity sparking the word "prodigy" into consideration. Unlike many aspiring guitar! ists that get bogged down in the technical issues and mechanics of electric guitar, Tolan clearly demonstrates on this effort that he is capable of executing complex arrangements with his mind squarely focused on the musical vision, having mastery over the mechanics that he deploys. Tolan not only works out some driving, compelling arrangements, but also instills an unmistakeable direction and vision in his playing that was the most striking aspect of his demo. Though the demo is comprised of only four tracks, all four are superb both in high octane guitar work and satisfying composition laden with aggression and drive.
Neoclassical fans take note. Justin Tolan is a name to watch out for in the future. Tolan is following in the footsteps of his legendary heros, Malmsteem and Bellas, and is well on his way in climbing the neoclassical ladder of greatness. Considering his young age and quality of this demo CD that is more impressive than what I remember of the early Yngwie demos when he was at that age, Justin Tolan shows great promise... and has set great expectations among his reviewers!