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Handz Of Danz "Handz Of Danz": Independent Review

Handz Of Danz
Review of "Handz Of Danz"


@ iTunes
By: Kevin Ryan

letter uitar Nine Records' first compilation CD, "Handz of Danz", features six musicians with two things in common: a passion for high-energy instrumental guitar music, and a first name. Dan Begelman, Danny Masters, Dan McAvinchey (who is also Guitar Nine's founder), Dan McInerney, Dan Shimmyo, and Daniel Wentworth have collectively released a total of ten CD's over the past several years, and they come together for a clever 14-track compilation concept.

The styles on "Handz of Danz" range from fusion to hard rock to metal, ensuring that guitar fans get a nice variety of music. Particularly enjoyable are the opener, a driving, shredding rock monster called "Flyin' Down 94" by Wentworth; Shimyo's "Extemporalis" which mixes the qualities of a classic hard rock anthem with some touches of prog and even fusion; McAvinchey's "Fingerz and Handz", at times a driving shredfest, and at other times, a plaintive exploration of the instrument's softer side; McInerney's "Mabton Gateway To Bickelton", which sounds like a lot of very cool improvisation over the top of a great little rhythm; Wentworth's "Ten Feet Tall", which has a very 80's Metal groove and the "wah" to go with it; the prog-rock shred-a-thon with the dark edge that is Dan Shimmyo's "Sixty Cycle Hum"; Project 7/Dan Begelman's spacey, airy 11 minute epic, "The Last Night", which features some solid drumming in addition to the excellent fret work; Danny Masters' amazing blues/jazz piece, "Texas Wind (Live)" (which suffers, incidentally, from an abrupt change in the sound quality about halfway through - no big deal though); and Wentworth's emotion-laced "Falling Down", which uses held notes to really convey the feeling.

There's really not a bad tune on this disc. The talent of each of the guitarists is clearly exhibited - they are all worthy of their spots on this compilation, and not just because they're named Dan. As can be expected with any compilation such as this, the production varies from track to track, although not as much as one might expect. Overall, "Handz of Danz" is an enjoyable and recommended listen for instrumental guitar fans, or for those looking to expand their musical tastes into the instrumental guitar genre.

Shred Pick - a toss-up between Shimmyo's "Sixty Cycle Hum" and Wentworth's "Flyin' Down 94".

Shred: 9
Production: 6
Vibe: 7
Songwriting: 7

© Kevin Ryan / House Of Shred


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