RICK RENSTROM - Until The Bitter End

Rick Renstrom - Until The Bitter End

11 songs
49:16 minutes
***** **
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Rick Renstrom may come from sunny Florida, but when listening to his music, you get the impression he'd rather be in storm ridden Europe with its ancient medieval ruins and - of course - lots of traditional metal bands. Somewhere between the Eighties Shrapnel school and the neo-classical sounds of Yngwie Malmsteen and Ritchie Blackmore, this young American has gathered a score of famous guest musicians like Mat Sinner (both are dedicated to Formula One racing) on bass guitar and Rob Rock on vocals, although a good deal of the songs are instrumental.

This time though, I prefer the non-vocal tracks, as the are better proof of Renstrom's unique technique. I am not that familiar with classical music, but Symphony #40 definitely sounds like light-hearted Mozart to me. So you have one half of neo-classical instrumentals that wouldn't be better if played by Renstrom's predecessors, and anyone into that kind of music will love his work too. The vocal tracks are unfortunately a bit bland and pale in comparison to the rest of the album.

Still, considering that Renstrom had to overcome a physical handicap, it is most astonishing and deserves respect from everyone - independent of their musical preferences - that this is technically not only a good, but even a blameless album. 7 points, with the warning that this is for guitar aficionados only.

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