Sound — 8
This is a compilation CD of tracks from up and coming musicians from all over the world. The majority are professional guitarists, music teachers and composers, competing against each other in guitar skills. A lot of them are publishing books, inventing their own guitar phrasing concepts, writing for all kinds of bands, movies, etc. Now you know -- it just can't go wrong. The CD opens with Storming the Castle by Nick Layton, which is the title track from his debut CD. The author of instructional course Phrasing Concepts for Rock Lead Guitar Soloing, Layton filled the song with layers of incredibly fast and difficult guitar solos that make the track sound very powerful and intense. The guitarist of a metal band Septer by the name of Hawk is presented with a track called 66. You know what it is -- he just forgot to add another 6 to the title -- an aggressive metal track full of break-downs and tempo changes. Restless Nights by a young guitarist Kole is a gentle track, likely to be compared to classic tracks -- the result of his two-years studies of classical composition. There is a truly beautiful guitar part at the end. Stephenlyrics with Here I Sit falls out of the whole concept of the album. The song is so frankly pop I don't even know how it happened to be on the CD. It has a decent guitar solo, but the vocals are really awful. That was the bad news. The good news -- this is the only song of this kind on the record!
Lyrics — 8
I think sometimes a guitar can say as much as a vocalist, you just have to be an experienced enough guitar player to express your feelings through technique. The guys on Chronicles for sure know how to do it! There are a few tracks on the album that feature vocals, but sometimes you wish the singer wouldn't sings at all (like in Here I Sit by Stephenlyrics). The best example in my opinion is Dancing in Gobbler's Gulch by Old Ironsides. It is a blues-rock track with seductive vocals from Seth Peterson.
Overall Impression — 8
The idea of this compilation was to put together the unique talents of different musicians. I would say the authors reached the aim and even the above-mentioned exception doesn't dramatically spoil the picture. You can discover for yourself a few bands or musicians to look for in the future or maybe even your future guitar teacher! There are only 10,000 copies of the CD, so you're pretty lucky if you're the owner of one. If not, right now this CD is for promotional purposes only, so don't look for it in occasional music store. Turn your imagination and think of other ways to get it!