Released: Jul 18, 2005
Label: Geomagnetic Records
Styles: Fussion, Progressive Rock
Number Of Tracks: 11
Yaan-Zek seems to be trying to revitalise instrumental jazz rock fusion for the new century.
unregistered, on august 16, 2005 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: This is UK guitarist Phi Yaan-Zek's third CD which he created over 3 years on a Welsh mountain top! It's a rock guitar fusion instrumental CD with a big difference. The quality of the song writing just sets it in another league than all the other Satriani, Vai wanna-bes. In fact, Yaan-Zek's compositional skills are more reminiscent of Zappa, with some a touch of '70s prog rock. What Yaan-Zek has done is inject massive amounts of creative energy and compositional skill into what can be a tiresome genre of music and basically give us what is more like an adventurous guitar soundtrack, full of twists and turns, mood shifts, spellbinding virtuosity, humour and mystery. As such you'll find fast polyrhythmic drum and bass, mixed with prog metal riffs, jazz funk grooves, exotic melodies, cinematic soundscapes, latin beats, screaming guitar leads and delicate ballads. Its like Yaan-Zek has found a way to distill the very best essences of many styles of music and fuse them together into his own rich musical world.
Yaan-Zek has assembled a fantastic cast of musicians to help him implement his daring musical vision. These include Paul Gilbert's amazing drummer Marco Minnemann and Swedish keyboard virtuoso Lale Larson, who's played with Shawn Lane among others. Yaan-Zek's own guitar playing brings to mind elements of Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Jeff Beck with some of the hypertechnique of Shawn Lane. Even though he plays up a storm on the guitar he never gets overindulgent and shows his maturity by putting the quality of the music first. // 10
Overall Impression: This CD will definately appeal to fans of Joe Satriani, Frank Zappa, Jeff Beck and Steve Vai. For me it represents a fresh new step in rock guitar instrumental music and is an essential purchase. // 10
Guitarzebub, on august 23, 2005 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: I don't really listen to that much guitar instrumental stuff these days. Most of it is just boring and technical, without any real tunes or melodies. This album is the big exception. Sometimes you get an album that regardless of the style just stands out because of the quality of the music. Solar Flare is such a CD. This album is pure class. You're not going to hear anything else quite like it! Phi Yaan-Zek knows how to write real music. Its the kind of music that keeps you on the edge of your seat, rocking out with mind-blowing riffs one minute and then taking you on a surreal journey into dream like soundworlds the next. // 10
Lyrics: No lyrics, but the guitar sings the melodies. It gets a 5 because Yaan-Zek's playing is that impressive. // 10
Overall Impression: I think every guitar player will be inspired by this CD. Even if you're bored with the usual guitar hero thing, get this album anyway as it takes it all to a whole new level because Yaan-Zek's composing and playing skills are simply that amazing. // 10