Alex Masi - In The Name of Mozart
Lion Music
Instrumental Guitar Virtuoso
7 songs (44:13)
Release year: 0
Lion Music
Reviewed by Jeff

There's no question that Alex Masi is a phenomenal guitar player. He can hold his own amongst other guitar virtuosos like Malmsteen, Satriani, Vai, Impelitteri, Axel Rudi Pell, etc.

One of the first Masi albums I ever listened to was "Downtown Dreamers"; a pretty straight forward attempt at commercial metal very reminiscent of the Scorpions.

Then I bought "Attack of the Neon Shark", Masi's first album as a solo artist. It earned him a Grammy nomination in the category of Best Rock Instrumental Album. The album covered a variety of music that included blues, jazz, and metal. For some reason, I could never fully appreciate an album as diverse as this and I got rid of it. From that time on I never really paid attention to Masi's work.

One thing I could always appreciate with guitar virtuosos is their love for classical music and the influence it has on them. This turns out to be a major contributor to the way in which they write their own material.

Coming across Masi's latest release, "In The Name of Mozart", my assumption was that this album would be a recording by Masi re-doing the great works of Mozart in a way that many may have never heard before.

Now before I even listened to this album, I didn't realize that he already did an album similar to this one called "In The Name of Bach".

So what I was expecting from Masi on "In The Name of Mozart" I did not get. Not that it's a bad thing. Let me explain.

I like classical music but I don't really listen to it as much or at all like Power Metal, Black Metal, etc. I love it when bands such as Trans-Siberian Orchestra take classical works and give them a metal edge, using guitars, bass, drums and keyboards, etc.

On "In The Name of Mozart", Masi fails to do this. He keeps things rather simple. He uses classical acoustic guitars throughout the album. The recording is crisp and clear and the dynamics of his guitar playing are still audible enough when they change from loud to soft. Of course, the guitar playing is precise and clean.

The only song where other instruments are used is "Guitar (piano) concerto #24 c min k.491". He has some orchestration like strings to help accompany the guitars.

When listening to the album, I got the feeling of a serenader playing to a woman eating at an Italian or Spanish restaurant. I really feel this album could have kicked ass if he had metallized it using electric guitars, bass guitars and drums.

Still, for an instrumental guitar virtuoso album in the classical sense, it's not bad at all. It's just that one can get easily bored with the consistency of just one instrument.

One would really need to be in the mood to listen to this type of stuff. So if you need a change of pace and a break from the norm like your Power Metal or Black Metal, then this might be a good way to relax and take a load off.


Killing Songs :
Allegro from eine kleine nachtmusik k.525, Allegro c maj k.545, Rondo' a la turca a maj k.331
Jeff quoted 70 / 100
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