Monday, February 14, 2011

Album Review - Eric Maldonado "Into the Moonlight"

Eric Maldonado’s influences include Paramore, Fallbrooke, Breaking Benjamin, Joe Satriani and Steve Vai. His debut album "Into the Moonlight” is a 9 track offering with a mix of songs ranging from acoustic outings to all-out shred.

"I didn't want another shred fest album, we have many guitarists already doing that and who do it very well. I wanted an album that sounded modern, melodic, fresh, and of course, have some shred." Says Eric.

The album opener, Horizon's End, is a rocking number in drop D. Eric wanted the album to get off with a bang, and this track is one of his favourites to play. Great rhythm and lead tones, with some special moments in the solos and interesting wammy work.

Track two, Hero Stand, takes advantage of the interesting options afforded by a 7 string guitar, capitalizing on the key of B Minor. Lookout for the excellent harmonies in the first half of the track.

With a nod to bands like Paramore and Fallbrooke, Under Feeling is easy listening and aimed at those who might not be shredders or guitar players themselves. Shred fans won’t be disappointed though, as Eric pays homage to George Lynch during the solos.

Premonition is an instrumental track firmly in the vein of Vai and Satch, powerful and melodic. Eric used his first Halo Morbus for rhythm guitar, and his newer black Halo Morbus and custom Strat for the solos.

Zero Control kicks off with an almost Paul Gilbert type riff and moves into the realm of younger and more recent shred-heads with a strong and unique syncopated rhythm. This track shows off the lyrical qualities of Eric’s lead guitar playing.

The Ballad on the album falls on track number 6, Ocean Cloud. A basic chord progression lays the ground for pleasing and memorable melodies.

Track 7, Fallen, starts with a chorus-loaded clean intro and morphs into a full-on rockout with a terrifying chorus riff. Eric unloads my favourite solo on this track.

Eric says that Shadows is strongly influenced by his time spent listening to Breaking Benjamin and Paramore. Although not the shreddiest track on the album, it has its fair share of guitar pyrotechnics and fits the album well.

The final track, Gates Of Eternity, is also the heaviest on the album. Shades of Yngwie, Gus G and George Bellas come to mind with heavy rhythms, scorching solos and great use of tempo to vary dynamics.
"Into The Moonlight" delivers tasty tunes and fantastic guitar work, aimed at both guitarists and general music lovers.