Brazilian Progressive Metal
Mining the territory staked out by bands such as Planet X, Dream Theater and Queensryche is the Brazilian group Khallice, with their new CD The Journey. Led by guitarist Marcelo Barbosa, the material is sufficiently keyboard-heavy as well, courtesy of Bruno Wambier. The band mixes longer compositions ("Loneliness" and "Turn The Page" clock in at more than eight minutes) with quick hitters such as "Wrong Words" and "Vampire". Barbosa is an engaging soloist, who easily blazes within the context of each song, never overplaying, preferring to stun the listener with alternating flurries and flavorings. Bottom line: fans of progressive metal and hard rock music have another quality international band to check out.
Marcelo has played guitar since he was 12 years old (over 16 years). He is the owner of a large guitar institute in Brasilia called GTR, which has 18 teachers instructing 300 students. Marcelo writes a monthly column for the Brazilian guitar magazine Guitar Class, and he has appeared in other publications such as Guitar Player and Cover Guitarra. He also currently writes for the Chops From Hell web site. Marcelo has an endorsement with Tagima guitars.
Barbosa is also recording instrumental guitar demos, but is currently focused on promoting Khallice and their new CD.
SQS 214 Bloco A Apt 506
Brasilia DF 70293-010
Web site: www.khallice.com.br
Modern, 'Greenwich Village Style' Fusion
Sweat Hog is the largely instrumental, rock fusion offering by the group Ronnie Neuhauser's Styrocultural Antidote, which features Neuhauser on guitar, along with Mike Perez on bass and Fran Merante on drums. The CD serves up the trio's free form explorations, which of course means plenty of Neuhauser's fiery guitar playing throughout the nine cuts. The wah-wah pedal gets hammered on tracks such as "Face" and "Mojoson", while "Liberation From The Jackal", is a medium-to-slow number which allows for heavy, melodically evocative and freaked-out guitar lines that slap the listener upside the head. Finally, "Equinox At Chichen Itza" sports a cool early '70s hard rock vibe before laying out the high tech improvs. If you like your fusion improvisational and ambitious, check out Ronnie Neuhauser's body of work.
Ronnie formerly headed up the rock/funk outfit Grooveyard, which received recognition in the New Haven Advocate's Grand Band Slam/Sounds Of New Haven. His song "Dr. Sus" took first place in the 1999 Songwriter's Association of Washington's Mid-Atlantic Song Contest. His 1999 concept CD "Congregation Against Styrocultural Brain Damage" was a recipient of a Preston Foundation grant.
Neuhauser is working on a slew of compositions, some of which are putting to use his own music theory, which he has been developing for a few years now. He has many recordings scheduled for release in the future, including a new instrumental CD entitled "Stupid Like Cow", his opera "Gangr'ear" and another CD of complete madness entitled "It's All About The Grass", which should bring to light Neuhauser's depth and adventurousness of composition.
No Cheez Records
P.O. Box 120244
East Haven, CT 06512
Web site: www.nocheez.com