by Alissa Ordabai
Staff Writer —
It’s a precarious business releasing instrumental guitar records, no matter if the year is 1989 or 2011. To appeal to an audience other than your fellow guitar players, you have to be a top-notch composer with banging tunes and things to say that would resonate with people on a universal human level.
For those who go into instrumental rock guitar to experiment and to try new things as writers and players, the audience automatically reduces largely to other guitarists. This is – arguably – an even more difficult path where you are addressing those who have seen and heard it all.
So when something like this release by a young Hungarian guitarist lands on your desk, you become confused as to its intended audience. Because neither does this debut have the chops to impress the top league pros, nor the desire to go for serious experimentation, nor the songwriting that would appeal to a wider public. It’s all standard-issue harmonic progressions, trite melodies, and the all-too-familiar melodic rock airy vibe with occasional generic heavy riffing.
And although there are a few earnestly thought-through, unified pieces of music on this release, mostly this is a stop-and-start collection of disjointed ideas. Some of them are good and could be developed into something very meaningful, some are clichéd, and some are excuses to show off chops that wouldn’t have sounded spectacular even 20 years ago.
Part of the blame should be put squarely on the producer (if existent) who – judging by the home-made soundscape of this record, the amateur approach to composition and the amount of protracted lead guitar indulgences and empty riffing should have taken his job more seriously.
Overall, this is a textbook example of what happens when you rush a release by an artist who is at his tadpole stage and who is just beginning to get to grips with his craft as a player and as a composer. And while it is not fair to give young players premature exposure, it would be doubly unfair to subject them to premature critique. Hence no rating for this release; and no kudos to Favored Nations for how they chose to develop this sincere – albeit inexperienced – young player with potential.
Genre: Instrumental Guitar Rock
1. Rules of Thumb
3. All Night Pass
4. The Unbreakable
9. Space Walk
10. My Mind is up
Label: Digital Nations / Favored Nations
Hardrock Haven rating: n/a