Rusty Cooley review by Rusty Cooley

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  • Released: May 13, 2003
  • Sound: 10
  • Lyrics: 9
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.7 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.4 (18 votes)
Rusty Cooley: Rusty Cooley

Sound — 10
The sound of this album is utterly insane! Instrumental heavy speed neo-classical shred from hell could probably be the most suitable name for this album. Never since first hearing Yngwie Malmsteen's "Rising Force" has an album's sound really made me feel so inspired and excited as this one has. Rusty Cooley has got to be one of (if not the) fastest guitar players out there, shred fans must get this CD. I had first heard a couple of songs through a friend who had randomly downloaded some of Rusty's tunes. Instantly, I was hooked onto his sound and mind-blowing technique. It felt so fresh and new-sounding that I had to get the whole album just to see what this guy's like. In short-he's unbelievable. On top of it all, he playes in several styles including jazz fusion all the way through neo-classical shred & a whole bunch in between. A very diverse album, one thing that strikes you first is the fact that Rusty plays almost exclusively on 7-string guitars which proves that not only is he skilled but the fact that when he's not playing on 7-string guitars, he plays an 8-string guitar! And that alone is impressive enough to get anyone's attention.

Lyrics — 9
Note: This album is almost entirely instrumental. However, there are a couple of bonus vocal versions of two of the songs courtesy of the singer in Rusty's vocal band "Outworld". Appearently, talent has struck his entire band because the vocals are very good, with a strong sense of control and a good range for measure. Just the same I will us this section to rate the effectiveness of the composing and arranging as opposed the lyrical content due to the fact that the vocal songs are bonuses.

Overall Impression — 10
This album is one hell of an innovation and original sound within the shred genre. Any true fan of shred will love this album and then some. All of Rusty's influences are evident on the songs and the arrangements are very well strategized, not to mention the soloing which is only describable as "god-like". Furthermore, a surprising aspect is Rusty's ability to play with a lot of soul and heart in some of the passages (which is eveident in songs such "Jazzmine's Song" which he wrote for his daughter) are also a great aspect of this album that listeners should be in tune with while listening to this self-titled. The best tunes on this album are most definitely "Dark Matter", "War Of The Angels" & "The Duel". But don't let those 3 tracks be the only ones you listen to or be the reason for which you buy this album. Every song has a great sense of structure and mind-boggling riffage and soloing that will make you wanna listen to it over and over again. Everything is well-written and I have nothing bad to say about this album. If someone stole this album, I would track them down, and torture them beyond the lyrical compsing likes of Cannibal Corpse!

21 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Shreddin 4 Life
    Well "thel7ark", you obviously don't seem to appreciate great shred that much. Honestly, listen closely and you'll hear that there's a lot of hard work and feeling put in to Rusty's shredding. Furthermore, Rusty was influenced by Shewn Lane, and Rusty easily plays faster than Govan & Thal-believe me, shred is MY domaij in terms of music, so if u wanna start comparing shred knowledge-be my guest! (I don't mean any of this in an offensive or threatening manner)...
    Shreddin 4 Life
    Well, I see what u mean, but then again, this a debut solo album, so I figure u should go full-blast since u wanna make in impression on the world ya know...
    I thought the album was abit crap to be honest. He's fast but boring, and there are faster who are far more interesting. See Ron Thal, Guthrie Govan, and Shawn Lane.
    Oh here we go, the old "playing fast has no feeling" crap. All the shredders play what they play because they enjoy that. Paul Gilbert as an example has been through pop, blues and shred genres because he enjoys them- that enjoyment is the feeling they put into their music. Rusty enjoys playing fast- heck it's fun enough for me to just LISTEN and enjoy THINKING about playing that fast! My point is, unless you are Rusty then you can't rightfully say he plays with no feeling. Same goes for any other guitarist, musician..artist. Anything creative. Oh, and you probably want to get something for that burn..
    Rusty Cooley is one of those guitarists that I can appreciate and ****ing hate all at the same time. It's because of him that there are a million ****ing tone-deaf wannabe shredders out there that everyone loves cause they cant tell how shitty they're playing cause its so damn fast. Probably the best tip I was ever given was that just playing fast is not enough. REAL speed is a byproduct of accuracy. Now don't get me wrong, I'm sure Rusty's playing is as accurate as I am on a Barret but there's just no soul to it. I mean, listen to Vai, Satch, or Gilbert and try to tell me that Rusty is better than them. There's no ****ing contest. In my opinion, just because someone can play a million notes per second, doesn't mean they should. The guitar is one of the most expressive instruments to have ever graced the earth and the only thing that Rusty is expressing is his joy in being faster than pretty much everybody. It's just another way for him to stroke his ****ing ego. This is why I don't care how fast u can play, as long as there's some true emotional content in there. Without that, buddy, I hate to break it to ya, but u got nothin!
    The reason a lot of people hate it is because they can't get past their jealousy, if you are just thinking of the technique you won't HEAR the music, its not Rusty's playing - its your ear. Stop thinking about his technique when you listen and you will hear it better... the riders arpeggios are actually very catchy in the same way as a simple melody is, just more sophisticated.
    Shreddin 4 Life is the only one that doesn't seem to be a completely retarded guitar noob. Believe me, there is lots of shred music out there that is far more repetitive than Rusty Cooley, and he isn't at all. If you analyze his songs with a trained musical ear, or just look at the tabs, he doesn't take the common shred style that many do. Just his insane 4-note per string shredding techniques should be enough to clarify this....
    i got a cooley album from my guitar teacher its so amazing but i have no idea about the tracks on it and whether or not its actually this album. Can someone plz help me out. its my personal opinion that jason becker is still better than cooley but my perspective may change seeing i just got the album
    La Qotsa
    Understand how to play a guitar properly before even saying anything about this album or Rusty.
    im not saying that everything fast he doesn is the same just that 30-something bars of 64th notes can get old after a while(and thats an exageration before i get yelled at) i just think there should be moderation, and rusty does do a good job of that most of time, furthermore, i'm aware that he changes stuff not only for listening to my album but i have seen him play alot of personally during lessons.
    this cd is freakin amazing...Rusty plays in the same position the whole time though so it get's old kinda fast; but still this will blow your mind, after hearing this nothing will impress you anymore
    Shreddin 4 Life
    Well "hello*****s", U just made a new friend! I'm sick of a$$holes bashing shred just becuz their minds can't handle the speeds or they're jealous of the raw talent. I'm a bit of a shredder myself & believe me, it's not all speed and technique, there's a lot of persevereance and discipline involved with that kinda playing-especially when u have a lot of distortion on. U gotta start slow b4 u play fast... Furthermore, on a little informative note (for "distortion4116"): If you listen a little closer to the songs that Rusty plays on the album, you'll see that there's actually quite a bit of variation in the licks and themes that he's playin! For instance, on "Dark Matter", there's a lot of string-skipping & sweeping going on in the main theme. However, by listening a little closer (and a few times), you'll see that the progression actually changes throughout, not to mention the fact that most of these songs are progressive...
    rusty is the fastest. it's fact; period. whether anyone thinks his music gets "boring" fast is strictly their opinion and should not be imposed on others. hats of to rusty for just being so damn amazing. if you want another "rusty" player, check out francesco fareri
    i took some like five or 6 lessons from this guy i have this album autographed, I think rusty is an amazing player but i do think that the music on this album is a little repetitive, like almost every song starts out with the slide thing and alot of his fast stuff is pretty much the same, and i'm not talking trash for all the overly sensitive i consider rusty a good friend of mine thats just my opinion. Rusty is an amazing guitarist, i haven't heard any of outworld's stuff yet maybe the stuff he wrights for the band better serves the song.
    hey ****-ass, you ****ing douche!, if you think you are more gifted, talented, or overall a better player than rusty then lets hear some of your material...otherwise go listen to something else and keep your uneducated, ignorant, 18 year old know-nothing, bullshit, **** your mother comments to yourself. what kind of (probably chubby) weiner looks up websites just so they can talk shit about people that they are jealous of? either dont say anything back (and further prove that you are a ****) or respond with some audio/video proof that you actually have some frame of reference to offer your opinion.
    Egh. It's shred. What can you do? Nothing. Hats off to Mr. Cooley for playing faster than I'm likely ever to, and also boring me so much that I couldn't listen to any of his songs all the way through. (average time spent per song was 45 seconds, and this is coming from a guy who listens to Opeth, which frequently goes past 10 minutes)