|Review: Mark "M.E." Edwards - Heavy Rock Instrumentals 1993-1995|
|Heavy Rock Instrumentals 1993-1995|
Year released: 2002
Genre: Heavy Metal
Review online: January 16, 2003
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
for:Heavy Rock Instrumentals 1993-1995
Rated 2/5 (40%) (1 Vote)
During the several years that surrounded the breakup and the reformation of New Jersey's Overlorde, guitarist Mark "M.E." Edwards did not just sit around watching TV. Beside working with a couple of bands, he also wrote on some instrumental solo stuff, and this CD presents 6 of these songs, which, while all of the heavy rock/metal variety, vary quite a bit in style - from dark and solemn to slightly "festive" (for lack of a better word.)
The first track, "Summer Cruisin'" is aptly named since is a bit happy sounding, lots of high notes on this one, and very catchy. It can get a bit tiring after several repeated listens, however. The second track, "The Joust" is the darkest (I guess I could go as far as to say it is the only dark-sounding song on this CD), with drums (well, drum machine) that have a kind of military march beat. The guitar is a bit weird on this one, a bit "monotone" - not in a negative sense but rather due to the fact that the playing doesn't change much during the song - it's all along the same line, kind of like an extended solo or something. Taken apart like that, it may sound boring, but the end result is actually very good and this is my second favourite on the CD, right after the third track, "Spur of the Moment", which is by far my favourite and it pretty much leaves the five other tracks biting the dust - Very rich sound, very good guitar riff agreemented with some very cool soloing. It has a heavy sound that seems rooted in late 70s/early 80s hard rock/heavy metal, not without reminding me of some NWOBHM material. Excellent. I can't say the same for the next one, "Dance", which is kind of overloaded by keyboards which end up taking too much room. Well, I'm known to have a low tolerance for keyboards. :) A little side-note, this SOUNDS like keyboards, but it's actually Mark getting experimental with his drum machine. I didn't know drum machines could generate such sounds. There are some really cool guitar parts in this song (of course... this is a guitarist's solo stuff after all!), but I just can't get past the keyboard-like stuff. "Dance" is a good name for the mood of the song, however. ;) Things are back to a better sound with the fifth track, "Lunch Break Boogie" which returns to a more hard rock mood, again with some great guitar solos - some parts here actually remind me of Satriani's playing, but I'm not familiar enough with his material to venture into a more detailed comparison. The closing track, "Ceremony" is a bit of a solemn anthem, whose sound I found suited to the Christmas period when I got the CD, with predominant synths and "quiet" guitar playing accompanying them... Not bad at all, but a bit too seasonal maybe? :)
Bottom line, there's a bit of experimentation on here, but the constant is some damn fine axe work. Enough variety that you are bound to like at least one song off the six presented here. Fans of Overlorde and/or of good guitar playing should check this out. This is a special offer for Force Recon members (the Overlorde fan club), I'm not sure whether or not you can get your hands on this otherwise - check Overlorde's web site at www.overlorde.com for more information.
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