THE DEMO CORNER
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1. Neoclassical Fire
3. Mortal Sin
5. Paladins Fury
6. Knights of Templar
8. Hails to the Shredlord
9. Serenade of Souls
Total playing time: 29:40
Release Date: 2011
Label: Band Self Released
Dean Cascione - Neoclassical Fire
October 17, 2011
Commanding an indelible expertise of the six-string implement, Dean Cascione creates a frenzied, yet controlled musical canvas for his latest album, Neoclassical Fire, which sets in motion all of the creative pistons necessary to lift him in the echelon of names like Joe Satriani, Yngwie Malmsteen, Dave Shankle and Joe Stump, who also makes an appearance on the CD.
From the first walking notes of “Neoclassical Fire” the style is immediately discernible; this is progressive metal at its finer peak, with some carefully carved power metal thrown in for good measure. Often labeled a ‘shred’ guitarist, what Cascione does to transcend the label is combine classically-influenced and enhanced riffs that can just as easily touch your soul as they fire up your blood’s flow. Each of the tracks on this release specifically hit a region of your emotional and mental resilience, especially when the tempo shifts from chaotic brilliance ala “Emozione” to the simple, yet quick “Mortal Sin”, the latter implementing some of the more resonating guitar work I’ve been privy to in some time. Even as a musician I find myself drawn to a very specific type of instrumental album, and Neoclassical Fire achieves its intended feel: a classical concerto in the form of guitar notes and chord structures that often seem to defy conventional design.
“Sospeso” is a track that simply finds the crevices in your mind that rely on external stimuli to venture into the depths of the self and burrows in with no effort at all. It’s a humbling journey from one end of the track to another. The overt metal styling found in “Knights of Templar” is the track on here that pretty much exemplifies the record accordingly. Joe Stump’s guitar solo at the end of the song is also a highlight; for some of the better classical power/prog out there this album is a certain must-have. The attentiveness to structure and how easily the moods switch from track to track, chord to chord is nothing short of enthralling. As a novice to the six-string guitar this is the sort of album that makes this bassist long for a few less years and a lot more time. By the time Serenade of Souls” wraps up the journey I’m exhausted but still hearing cascading notes and time changes running in my head, the mark of a great album by any definition.
Dean Cascione hits every mark with Neoclassical Fire from the furious start to the glorious end, hitting every spot in between with all of the designated tenacity of a thousand horses flying at you with all of the abandon of the chariot race in Ben Hur This is truly a terrific album and you will get a charge out of it, no pun intended.