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Review: David Valdes - Imhotep
David Valdes

Label: Heavencross Records
Year released: 2006
Duration: 62:07
Tracks: 13
Genre: Progressive Power Metal

Rating: 4/5

Review online: September 14, 2007
Reviewed by: Bruce Dragonchaser
Readers Rating

Rated 3.67/5 (73.33%) (3 Votes)

Perhaps the biggest surprise in the world of instrumental guitar, Spanish bastard-shredder David Valdes has returned after a number of years with the instrumental album of the year, combining all elements of the style without unjustly spending his studio time musically masturbating. True, there are segments when Valdes crams as many notes into a second as time allows, but those are few and far between, making his follow up to 2002's "Paradise Lost" a strong, pugilistic affair.

His sound is quite varied, sticking to the melodic prog-power staple for the most part, although unlike most self-deprecating, lacklustre instrumental albums, "Imhotep" doesn't take residence in neo-classical country, merely driving through it for the occasional lick. For those who would otherwise miss this general deviation, Valdes does pay homage to the greatest composer of this style with re-workings of Bach's "1099 Adagio" and "Bouree". As Valdes snakes a glut of influences into his music, it would be rather difficult to give you an idea of how this sounds, but if you stripped away the vocals from Pagan's Mind, Dreamscape and Kenziner, you wouldn't be a million miles away. The guitarist does manage to squeeze as much melody into the music as possible, without resorting to over population, and frankly his keyboard playing is just as outstanding as his fret work. A true genius in the making.

Squarely produced, complexly arranged and elegantly played, "Imhotep" is an accomplished piece of work that far surpasses this year's paltry competition. Marc Rizzo, what the hell were you thinking?

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