Rating:
6.5
Stéphan Forté - The Shadows Compendium
28 November 2011


01. The Shadows Compendium [feat. Jeff Loomis & Franck Hermanny]
02. De Praestigiis Daemonum [feat. Mattias IA Eklundh]
03. Spiritual Bliss
04. Duat [feat. Glen Drover]
05. Sorrowful Centruroide [feat. Derek Taylor]
06. Prophecies Of Loki XXI
07. I Think There's Someone In The Kitchen [feat. Daniele Gottardo]
08. Improvisation On Sonata 14, C # Minor - Op. 27 No 2


Jesus...That's not even a Steve Vai album cover or anything, believe it or not. This is usually the part where I say "Defying all expectations, Stephan Forte turns out to play this unique ____ metal, that's so ____"...


...Don't bother waiting. The Shadows Compendium is in fact Steve Vai worship with a few extra elements.

To be honest, I have never really found anything impressive about albums like this. Oh, well yes, they are quite impressive at first, just as a good guitar solo is, but sitting through over 10 consecutive minutes of nothing but sweeps & shredding is just more than a bit tedious. The album cover really just personifies my feelings towards albums like these; vainglorious, self-righteous, and far too ostentatious. Granted, I'm not totally against ever giving albums like The Shadows Compendium a chance, as they are usually highly entertaining in small doses, but the complete lack of cohesive, band-like structure just gives off the impression of aimlessness.

That's all my personal feelings though. If you are into Steve Vai-esque guitar worship, there's definitely some interesting stuff here. Yeah, for the most part this is pretty standard lead-guitarists solo album material, but occasionally there is some stuff brought out that hasn't really been explored too deeply in this context; djent style riffing. Not a whole lot of it, mind you, and mostly just used as backing rhythm tracking, but after so much Steve Vai-ness, it is nice to get a breath of fresh air with some Meshuggah riffs.

Stephan Forte is a fantastic guitarist, that is dead certain. It just seems a bit unnecessary to make a 40 minute reminder of that, especially considering the creativity does not match the virtuosity that is The Shadows Compendium.


 



Written on 26.02.2012 by
Doc Godin
Former EIC. Now just a reviewer guy.
More reviews by Doc Godin ››



Comments

‹‹ Back to the Reviews
Comments: 22  
Users visited: 253  
Search this topic:  


K†ulu - 26.02.2012 at 19:48  
Unfortunately, I don't know Steve Vai's music, but one can definitely hear some of Jason Becker style riffs here because Stephan is his huge fan. I listened to the album once and actually really liked it. I understand your reasoning though.
malaikat - 28.02.2012 at 12:33  
To me, the main problem with albums like this is not the guitar-wankery, but rather a total lack of quallity song-writing. Ok, we got it, you know how to play guitar, how very impressive, but can you, like, write a decent song? Something else than arpeggios and generic shredding?

I mean, what's even the point of that kind of music when literally every good guitar student can play it?
It's the songs that count, not how fast your fingers can go.


DISCLAIMER: does not apply for gifted guitarists who actually know how to write good and inovative songs.
Milena - 28.02.2012 at 16:28  
I dunno, the shredding is one of the main points of shred albums... a lack of solos in shred albums would be a real problem for me . But I still do find those albums redundant unless I really like the guitarist in question and/or if he produced something of great quality and just rockin' all over. Some shred guitarists have freakin' anthems attached to their solo work. This dude just made an album to vent a bit I guess; his fans probably like it.
† RaVeN † - 28.02.2012 at 16:32  
I don't get it ... if you're not into guitar virtuoso's , why even review an instrumental album? We all knew it was going to be guitar from start to finish. I quite enjoyed this album actually. I think stephan has outclassed himself here. I was never that much into Adagio cause you felt that stephan had so much more to offer as a solo guitarist. Technically he is a brilliant shredder but he also came up with some good riffs and melody that carried you through 45 minutes of awesomness. Guest participation from Jeff Loomis and Mattias Eklundh definitely added something special to this album. Also i don't get the reference to Steve Vai. Vai is more of an experimental guitarist and i can't even define what he plays at times. This is different. It's more metal-oriented, maybe it would've been better to compare him to Loomis or Andy James.
Milena - 28.02.2012 at 17:04  
Written by † RaVeN † on 28.02.2012 at 16:32

I don't get it ... if you're not into guitar virtuoso's , why even review an instrumental album?

There's a thing called broadening one's perspective, and I do think that, while Doc's review is "colored" with his personal opinion - and it should be, since all reviews are subjective and would be pretty boring if they weren't - he offered a good description of what you're about to hear. Lots of solo, umm, soloing, in vein of classical shred albums... Steve Vai is brought up because he's the perfect example of the scene, no matter his spacey and weird stuff, he's one of the guitarists that really made this music popular.

tl;dr it's really the same review you'd get from someone who worships shred metal but from a different angle. I haven't listened to it yet, but it is possible that Doc missed some high points, but a very positive reviewer would have probably missed some negative points too.
† RaVeN † - 28.02.2012 at 18:18  
I do believe that everyone's entitled to an opinion and the reviewer voiced his and i gave mine too. It's just a different point of view from a fellow guitarist and a fan of instrumental metal. I listen to a different styles of music (sometimes not even metal), so don't think that i'm one of those who thinks that a song needs endless shreds from start to finish to be appreciated.A solo needs more that good technique, it takes a lot of feeling from the guitarist to integrate into a piece of music and make it something original. But this album was Stephan's first full-length solo release and it was to be expected that it was going to be about just him as a guitarist. I think he was really able to express his personality through this album. It's fiery , it's heavy and has a lot of attitude. I'm not totally on board with the Steve Vai 'Worship' either because even though steve was the one who invented the 7 string guitar and is without a doubt the founder of some heavy/instrumental genres, it was really Yngwie Malmsteen who took neo-classical metal to a new level and put his signature on this style of play.
Stabby - 28.02.2012 at 22:33  
I like it, it's basically adagio without the vocals and more solos. Which is emphatically worse than Adagio but it's a fun album nonetheless. He's a talented dude, and that cover is great.
Warrior_Of_Ice - 29.02.2012 at 04:54  
I haven't posted on this site for ages...and with good reason. I have no authority on this site and will probably get grilled for having an opinion, but I really don't give a flying fuck...These fucking reviews are so narrow-minded and uninformed that it makes me both laugh and cry. Stephan Forte is a modern-day guitar virtuoso, that is a fact. Listen to Jason Becker, Chopin, Bach, Meshuggah...you will hear his influences and appreciate his unique musical style. He is not another Vai clone just because he is proficient with his instrument...
Doc Godin - 29.02.2012 at 08:52  
Written by Warrior_Of_Ice on 29.02.2012 at 04:54

I haven't posted on this site for ages...and with good reason. I have no authority on this site and will probably get grilled for having an opinion, but I really don't give a flying fuck...These fucking reviews are so narrow-minded and uninformed that it makes me both laugh and cry. Stephan Forte is a modern-day guitar virtuoso, that is a fact. Listen to Jason Becker, Chopin, Bach, Meshuggah...you will hear his influences and appreciate his unique musical style. He is not another Vai clone just because he is proficient with his instrument...

A true keyboard rebel, stickin' it to the man. Now, I'm not going to rip on you, because you seem to have completely misunderstood the point. I described the music, and stated my opinion, then gave it a rating to reflect my opinion.

I stated there's not really much in this form of music that doesn't sound over done to me, but I also described the music in such a way as to not deter people who are into this type of thing from checking it out. I want to know how that's narrow minded? I could have easily gone on about how this is 40 minutes of straight wanking, and not been far off the mark either.

Quote:
I have no authority on this site and will probably get grilled for having an opinion, but I really don't give a flying fuck...These fucking reviews are so narrow-minded and uninformed that it makes me both laugh and cry.

Man, a bit hypocritical aren't we? Anyone who takes reviews as objective truths, or thinks they write reviews from a place of objectivity is a moron. I rated it a 6.5 based on the fact that I found it largely derivative, typical stuff. Speaking of which, 6.5 is not bad. Anything between a 6-6.9/10 SHOULD mean ok, not very good, but not particularly bad either.

It seems every time I say something negative about musicians with more technical prowess than creativity, people try and discredited me for some reason or another. At least I can give you the credit of not trying to use "lack of objectivity" as a valid argument.
Mr. Doctor - 29.02.2012 at 14:00  
^ That warrior of ice fella is fucking hilarious.

Written by † RaVeN † on 28.02.2012 at 16:32

I don't get it ... if you're not into guitar virtuoso's , why even review an instrumental album?


Staff/elite members get contacted by labels/bands to review the albums. Godin just got the album either from the band or label.
Warrior_Of_Ice - 29.02.2012 at 16:28  
Ouch. you hurt my feelings (((((((

don't tickle me with objectivity/subjectivity bullshit...If I don't like what is being written about an album I really enjoy, I'm gonna let ya'll know about it....I'm taking the term 'butthurt' to a whole new level, folks!
Doc Godin - 29.02.2012 at 16:49  
Written by Warrior_Of_Ice on 29.02.2012 at 16:28

Ouch. you hurt my feelings (((((((

don't tickle me with objectivity/subjectivity bullshit...If I don't like what is being written about an album I really enjoy, I'm gonna let ya'll know about it....I'm taking the term 'butthurt' to a whole new level, folks!

And that makes the review wrong...how?

*Talk about how you'll get ripped on for having an opinion*
...

*Rip on reviewer for stating his opinion*
Morbidron - 29.02.2012 at 18:40  
Written by malaikat on 28.02.2012 at 12:33

To me, the main problem with albums like this is not the guitar-wankery, but rather a total lack of quallity song-writing. Ok, we got it, you know how to play guitar, how very impressive, but can you, like, write a decent song? Something else than arpeggios and generic shredding?

I mean, what's even the point of that kind of music when literally every good guitar student can play it?
It's the songs that count, not how fast your fingers can go.


DISCLAIMER: does not apply for gifted guitarists who actually know how to write good and inovative songs.


right on!!

10000000000000000000% agree!!!
Morbidron - 29.02.2012 at 18:42  
I feel that the reviewer is spot-on as far as the text is concerned.

However, I feel that the 6.5 rating is a little too lenient and does not go hand-in-hand with the context of the text !!!
Wes - 29.02.2012 at 22:26  
I was looking forward to this for years, but I have to agree with the rating : ( Not a great album. Let's hope He's saving his good stuff for the new Adago.
Milena - 01.03.2012 at 14:11  
Written by † RaVeN † on 28.02.2012 at 18:18

I do believe that everyone's entitled to an opinion and the reviewer voiced his and i gave mine too. It's just a different point of view from a fellow guitarist and a fan of instrumental metal. I listen to a different styles of music (sometimes not even metal), so don't think that i'm one of those who thinks that a song needs endless shreds from start to finish to be appreciated.A solo needs more that good technique, it takes a lot of feeling from the guitarist to integrate into a piece of music and make it something original. But this album was Stephan's first full-length solo release and it was to be expected that it was going to be about just him as a guitarist. I think he was really able to express his personality through this album. It's fiery , it's heavy and has a lot of attitude. I'm not totally on board with the Steve Vai 'Worship' either because even though steve was the one who invented the 7 string guitar and is without a doubt the founder of some heavy/instrumental genres, it was really Yngwie Malmsteen who took neo-classical metal to a new level and put his signature on this style of play.

Good points, I must say... kudos for you for expressing your disagreement in a civil and insightful manner, as we may see in some of posts above, that is a rare case when someone comments on a review he disagrees with.
Korah - 01.03.2012 at 19:11  
Pretty good album. I still can't find where is the Steve Vai's worship, but I found some little pieces of the Jason Becker's one. Just listen at the intro of "Spiritual Bliss" to understand what I mean.
† RaVeN † - 02.03.2012 at 09:47  
Written by Milena on 01.03.2012 at 14:11

Written by † RaVeN † on 28.02.2012 at 18:18

I do believe that everyone's entitled to an opinion and the reviewer voiced his and i gave mine too. It's just a different point of view from a fellow guitarist and a fan of instrumental metal. I listen to a different styles of music (sometimes not even metal), so don't think that i'm one of those who thinks that a song needs endless shreds from start to finish to be appreciated.A solo needs more that good technique, it takes a lot of feeling from the guitarist to integrate into a piece of music and make it something original. But this album was Stephan's first full-length solo release and it was to be expected that it was going to be about just him as a guitarist. I think he was really able to express his personality through this album. It's fiery , it's heavy and has a lot of attitude. I'm not totally on board with the Steve Vai 'Worship' either because even though steve was the one who invented the 7 string guitar and is without a doubt the founder of some heavy/instrumental genres, it was really Yngwie Malmsteen who took neo-classical metal to a new level and put his signature on this style of play.

Good points, I must say... kudos for you for expressing your disagreement in a civil and insightful manner, as we may see in some of posts above, that is a rare case when someone comments on a review he disagrees with.

Thanks i guess it's a battle of opinion , we expect some rage and fury ... all for metal!
namewithheld - 15.12.2012 at 22:38  
You have no fucking idea what you are talking about. Cover aside, this is absolutely nothing like a Steve Vai album. Did you even listen to it? Have you heard a Steve Vai alsbum in the past 15 years?
Aeox - 03.03.2013 at 14:15  
I don't hear any Steve Vai guitar 'worshiping'...as for song-writing quality, it's a good guitar-driven instrumental album - compared to so many out there. When you listen to an album of this style, you can only reference others in the same category.
Aeox - 03.03.2013 at 14:15  
Written by namewithheld on 15.12.2012 at 22:38

You have no fucking idea what you are talking about. Cover aside, this is absolutely nothing like a Steve Vai album. Did you even listen to it? Have you heard a Steve Vai alsbum in the past 15 years?

Completely agree with you!
Windir - 14.06.2013 at 02:41  
Written by Aeox on 03.03.2013 at 14:15

Written by namewithheld on 15.12.2012 at 22:38

You have no fucking idea what you are talking about. Cover aside, this is absolutely nothing like a Steve Vai album. Did you even listen to it? Have you heard a Steve Vai alsbum in the past 15 years?

Completely agree with you!

Agree with both of u!
By the way the album is great!

Advertise on Metal Storm


Login or register to post here.



Similar topics

Forum Topic Similarity Started
Reviews Livesay - Awaken The Giant 6 15.11.2010 by Winterthrone
Reviews The Devil's Blood - The Thousandfold Epicentre 6 09.01.2012 by Milena
Reviews Ribozyme - Presenting The Problem 6 17.02.2012 by Milena
Reviews Keitzer - The Last Defence 6 19.08.2014 by Rodney
Reviews Megaton Leviathan - Past 21 Beyond The Arctic Cell 6 03.09.2014 by Apothecary



Hits total: 4701 | This month: 43