VARIOUS ARTISTS - Warmth In The Wilderness Vol. II

Various Artists - Warmth In The Wilderness Vol. II

27 songs
128:40 minutes
***** ****


Jason Becker can be described as THE tragic figure in the rock'n'roll circus. Heading off in the late 80ies together with Marty Friedman with the double guitar hero band Cacophony, both soon saw their careers becoming bigger and bigger. Friedman, with the fiercer style, took over guitar at Megadeth, while Jason Becker's more melodic playing was wanted by David Lee Roth. But soon after, Becker was struck by Lou Gehrig's disease which is affecting the nerves in a very severe way. Doctors only gave him months to live, but his power of will and his strength in spirituality helped him to live a decent live, and according to his website, he's even doing better.

It is really warming to see that his friends haven't let him down, and are producing CDs to help him pay his doctor's bills. Warmth In The Wilderness Vol. II is the successor of the first compilation CD released in 2001. Where the first volume features many guitar legends like Vinnie Moore, Chris Poland, Marty Friedman and Paul Gilbert, just to name a few, you only get two really big names - Steve Vai and Marty Friedman - on album number two, plus a few semi-famous musicians like Lars Eric Mattson. Most of the artists are - in my opinion - so unknown that they are not even featured at, the relevant site for music on the web.

Anyway, if you go for big names, choose the first album, but you'll be sorry about what you will miss here. Even if only 10 out of the 27 songs are real tributes (songs written or originally performed by Jason Becker), all of the musicians work tremendously well to stay true to the spirit of Jason Becker's quite unique guitar work. There are even some vocal tracks, among other a well done cover version of Cacophony's Desert Island. I mostly recommend the cover versions, if only to remember the small but important body of work Jason gave us.

Guitar fans have to buy this double-CD of course. For guitar ignorants like me, let me tell you that the more than two dozen six-stringers guarantee some variety, so you really do get plus two hours of mostly instrumental, high quality music. And if you are still struggling with yourself, remember, it's for a good cause.

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