In Case You Missed It: Stéphan Forté – The Shadows Compendium

Stéphan FortéThe Shadows Compendium (Listenable Records, 28 February 2012)

Ugh, I can’t believe it’s only Wednesday. Last week, with the holiday and me adding on a vacation day, I only actually worked three days… which I think has now totally spoiled me, because I keep feeling like the workweek should be just about over. This sucks. I spent most of the past couple days listening to some ultra-heavy monolithic death metal, which is usually great for settling the nerves and calming me down. Right now it isn’t really doing it for me, though, and I’m afraid the next person that bothers me is going to end up with a pretty nasty punch to the throat unless I find a better way to chill out. Considering the fact that the majority of the time, I deal with the pain-in-the-ass people over the phone or by e-mail, the whole punching thing might be a bit awkward, but believe me, I’d find a way.

So that brings us to the subject of this review, since I was looking for something totally different to listen to. How about some guitar-driven instrumental metal? Probably not something you’d expect me to gravitate towards, especially since I’ve discussed some of my thoughts on the genre previously, and how it can really rub me the wrong way unless it’s done just right. I was a bit skeptical too, at first, especially when I saw this album cover (see above) and noticed how much this guy looks like a French Steve Vai with a bunch of eyeliner. But then I decided, what the hell, I can be open-minded and at least check out a song or two, then move on to something else.

Well, I’m glad I did give this album a chance, because honestly I was pretty impressed by the quality, and — if I can say this without having it sound like a backhanded compliment — I was surprised by the overall lack of pretension and pomposity that one normally expects from solo guitarists (e.g. Yngwie, etc.).
 

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Contest Alerts: Win a Shitload of CDs or Records!

Is today your lucky day? It might be! Check it out — I’ve got the details here for TWO different contests, one where the prize is a total of 29 CDs, and another where you can win a whole bunch of vinyl (including some ultra-rare pieces)!
 

First of all, check out this contest sponsored by Clawhammer PR and MetalReview.com:

The fine folks at Clawhammer PR have always been good to us here at MetalReview, but they’ve outdone themselves with this one. Quite simply, this is the biggest contest we’ve offered up in many a malevolent moon, if not forever and ever. So, first off, let’s all say a special thanks to the Clawhammerkids for hooking us up with this gigantic haul. Once we’ve done that, let’s get down to business, shall we?

WHAT YOU GET (if you win):

Of course, in any contest, you want to know what the prize is, right? Well, for this one, if you win, you get a proverbial shitload of CDs*. Here’s the full list:
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