Tony Hernando - Instrumental shredfest rock guitar - " aka Eclectic Earwig Reviews Music and More for You!"
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Tony Hernando: The Shades of Truth
2002, Lion Music. LMC2224 2

Hold onto your hats for Tony Hernando's rip-roaring shredfest The Shades of Truth because this album is blazing into the far reaches of extreme guitar space at warp 10! Hernando tears it up with his relentless style of aggressive shred that blares his call to arms for taking no prisoners. Hernando's style that weaves assaulting speed with searing melodic themes is founded in progressive instrumental rock, blues, neoclassical, aggressive fusion, and, of course, shred! shred!! shred!!! Did I mention shred? OK.

Hernando opens the album with a subduing barrage of speed-laden tracks that aim to disarm the staunchest critics. He then demonstrates that his scopes have wider range than just shred with his blues track "Show Blues", though he does have trouble containing his uncontainable speed on that track, as well. The epic track, "Broken Hero", demonstrates Hernando's depth of feeling and capacity for thematic development with a heart-wrenching theme reminiscent of Jeff Beck's "Cause We've Ended As Lovers." The shift in focus from unrelenting speed to melodic themery (a word kind of like strategery) is a welcomed relief and thereby makes a distinctive contrast to the shredding pyrotechnics. Hernando delves into a neoclassical onslaught on the ninth track "Outsiders" that invokes in the mind of the listener fiery flashes of Vinnie Moore, Paul Gilbert, Yngwie Malmsteen, Cacophony, and, of course, Vitalij Kuprij. (Probably because he matches racquets on keyboards with Hernando's furious guitar work on this track.) "Outsiders" is hands down the best track on the album for me and rivals some of the best neoclassical tracks from the masters of that discipline. The speed and precision of the classical phrasings on "Outsiders" are staggering... And, what's more impressive than that is that, though some influence are discernable, Hernando has come up with some new neoclassical patterns and phrasings in his blistering lead work that keeps it interesting. On the next track, "Eleven 30", Hernando continues his ostentatious exposition of guitar prowess by demonstrating his aggressive legato shred and sweep picking techniques blended with raucous riffing that prove he has studied Greg Howe, as well, and that he can switch it into high gear, shaking the pepper on demand. (pun intended!)

Hernando is a serious shred talent that manages to achieve the difficult balance of shred speed and coherent composition in a manner that is digestible and appealing. With the premiere aggressive neoclassical and progressive drummer, Mike Terrana (from Tony MacAlpine's band Violent Machine), on the skins, the credibility of this effort must be taken seriously. And, if this weren't enough, the guest spots by the dominant neoclassical keyboardist, Vitalij Kuprij, and the Texas guitar legend, Andy Simmons, are a dead giveaway to Hernando's emerging talent. Fans of aggressive shred, neoclassical, and speed-centric fusion should check out this album from Tony Hernando. Hernando's relentless, blazing, raw speed will not disappoint! This guy's got world class chops that will stifle the most skeptical critic.

Just in case you've missed my meaning, Hernando is HOT! ;-) Check it out! This is no holds barred shred a la sophisticate.

Guitar Tony Hernando
Bass Pepe Bao
Drums Mike Terrana
Guest Appearances Vitalij Kuprij, Andy Timmons, Victor Herrero, Alberto Navales
1) At the Crossroads
2) Behind the Catwalk
3) House of Glass
4) Uncommon Vision
5) Show Blues
6) The Silence of Loss
7) Broken Hero
8) The Edge
9) Outsiders
10) Eleven 30
11) Still Believe

~ Christopher Ruel ~ ~ ~ Chris Ruel's Monthly Spotlight





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