Sound — 8
To be honest, I've been getting tired of guitar oriented instrumental albums as there really seems to be nothing exciting about them anymore, that's until I stumbled upon this album from Bordoni after seeing a press release online that Joel Hoekstra from Night Ranger was one of the guests on it. Here you have not only incredible musicianship but an attention to song writing, vibe and groove barely heard anymore. There is plenty of "shredding" moments but they are always done in a way that functions as a service to the song. There is melody, catchy hooks, head bobbing moments, somber and heartfelt moments. This thing is the complete package. And what a band! The performances are simply incredible from the 1st to last song.
Lyrics — 9
It's instrumental but these songs speak more feeling than most songs with lyrics. I guess the guitars are the lead singers so I will rate them. Instead of giving us a shredfest with 2000 notes in 2 seconds (which is what every guitarist lately seems to be hellbent on) Andrew focuses on melody, even during the faster solo's they remain melodic and musical. Just when you start feeling "Ok this is cool but I want to hear something flashy now..." it comes in the right spot and blows you away. The solos from the various guests are incredible too. Joel Hoekstra's solo will go down in history, it's jaw dropping. I also love the solo from Arjen Lucassen that sounds like the hybrid child of Steve Vai and David Gilmour. So cool.
Overall Impression — 9
I am having a hard time comparing this to any other album. I can definitely hear the influences of Vai & Satriani but there is also some Deep Purple, Steve Morse, Pink Floyd and Toto (as described in the article I read). It's more of a band than just a guitar instrumental album. I love all the songs on this CD but if I had to choose one, the closing track "Genesis Pt. 2" is really epic with some killer guitar playing from both Andrew Bordoni and Joe Stump. There is nothing I dislike about this album. The production is top notch, the playing is incredible and I absolutely love how technique and feel are so well balanced. It's such a cool unique album which I think has a very wide appeal. I think anyone can really enjoy this.