Ram's Rock, the new CD release by the New York progressive metal band, Heavy Reign, is a stellar guitar and keyboard effort with clear neo-classical overtones. Keyboardist Ram writes the music, Dan Shimmyo provides the rapid yet melodic guitar work, and bassist Larry Calcagno contributes low-end muscle to this cohesive instrumental album. Shimmyo and Ram trade off solos on a number of cuts, evoking Malmsteen and Johansson in early Rising Force. Heavy Reign avoids overwhelming the listener with technique and repetitive scales on Ram's Rock, instead focusing their efforts on quality songwriting with precise execution.
Dan Shimmyo is a completely self-taught guitarist, learning guitar by wearing out his VCR watching Paul Gilbert instructional videos. He also spent a lot of time playing bass in college bands, while also honing his recording skills, first with a 4-track recorder, and most recently with a Mac computer system running Deck II software.
The music on Ram's Rock was entirely produced and engineered by Shimmyo. Dan is currently running his own record label, Cutting Edge Records, which is marketing Ram's Rock as well as Shimmyo's solo record Metamorphosis. While another neo-classical metal work might seem to be the next logical step, don't be surprised if the multi-talented Shimmyo has other plans.
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