Friday, February 29, 2008

Michael Angelo Batio to Guest Star on New Mark Tremonti DVD Project

MAB and Tremonti's friendship and professional relationship is to be taken a step further next month as Michael is due to appear as a guest on Mark Tremonti's new DVD.

This is what Michael's website ( has to say:
''On Wednesday March 20th, 2008 Michael will be working and performing as a guest artist with guitarist Mark Tremonti (Creed, Alter Bridge) on a new DVD that Mark is filming in Chicago, Illinois. Details regarding the release date for the new DVD will be available soon.''

New Yngwie Album, New Band Lineup Revealed!

The new line-up for the upcoming Malmsteen release has been unveiled on the official website of Yngwie (

Here is what the website has to say:
''Yngwie's long-awaited CD is now in its final stages of creation, with a tentative release date of July 2008. The new lineup that will take Yngwie's new album on the road will be Yngwie on guitars (of course!), Tim "Ripper" Owens on vocals, Bjorn Englen on bass, Michael Troy on keys, and Patrik Johansson on drums. ''

I'm already looking forward to hearing some stuff form this lineup.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Album Review – Oscar Ortega “Fruits of the Mourning”

Of Guatemalan descent, Oscar combined his talent with his love of music (which sprang from playing a variety of instruments since the age of 5), resulting in his debut full length album “Fruits of the Mourning”. With his heritage as a strong inspiration, Oscar fused heavy metal, clean guitars and Latin flavour, creating a true signature sound.

Power of One
Staying true to its name, this song is a massive, driving and motivating force. The name also takes a swipe at the blow Oscar took when his band split, a situation where Oscar felt he had no choice but to forge ahead on his own. Big, powerful and in-your-face, this is one side of Oscar you don’t want to mess with.

A very mellow song with some very introspective lyrics and sung in a most heartfelt way by Joel Klimes. This song shows a completely different side of Oscar and provides a glimpse at his limitless diversity.

Mearah’s Ballad
With a fusion of hard rock and some strong gypsy themes, this song has very interesting flamenco-style solo sections that would keep any shredder on their toes.

El Milagro
Piano played by Oscar’s father Rolando, a very strong vocal like melody line and a mind-boggling drum solo come together to create a Latin-rock master piece.

Chopin – Prelude in C Minor
Arranged for five guitars by Oscar, this piece composed by piano virtuoso Fredrik Chopin, is reincarnated in a different form, but captures the same emotive feel of the original.

Apple Valley
Full of fun, easy to listen to, but by no means boring, this song will hold the interest of shortest of attention spans. Watch out for the bobbing and weaving twists.

April 31st
Another song dominated by Joel Klimes vocals. Very chilled, very radio friendly, bordering on a “lounge” type of vibe. Could this be the “single” of the album?

Cherubic Style
Some Vai flavours, some Satch flavours and a generous helping of Ortega. The solo is a treasure trove of euphoria and the break downs are inspired. This was my favourite track on the album.

Dance With Me
Diving deeply into the rhythm and soul of Samba, Oscar whips out the nylon strings again, with a message to forget your worries, forget about tomorrow, dance and smile.

Para Mi Abue
Written with tears dripping from his eyes onto his guitar, this song was composed on the night Oscar’s grandmother passed away. The phasing stays true to what I imagine must have been a difficult time in Oscar’s life, but one that yielded a magnificent result.

This album shows the depths of Oscar’s diversity, and his skill as a musician and as an artist. If you only listen to one genre of music, this album isn’t for you. If you’re interested in fearless self-expression, look no further.