CHRIS BICKLEY - TAPESTRY OF SOULS

SHREDGUY RECORDS

 

Metal To Infinity

In the past, I’ve reviewed multiple reviews for albums that were released by American label Shredguy Records – THE house where phenomenal shred guitar tactics rule with an iron hand. By the way, the label celebrates its fourth Anniversary this year – the release counter reflects the number 14 so far and definitely will continue to increase as time pass by. To CEO Mike Mc Dowell I’d like to say “keep up the good works brother”! 

Newest output from Shredguy Records comes from another, very gifted guitar magician named Chris Bickley. “Tapestry Of Souls” is its first solo album that definitely will fill up any shred guitar maniac’s heart with a burning desire. Way back in the 80s, I got my first kicks while listening to the almighty US Metal compilation albums released by a legend to me called Mr. Mike Varney. All the magical guitar works I heard throughout the entire US Metal series still haunts me in my dream. So many awesome guitar players I’ve heard since that moment, decades later on now and the passion is still there, that’s for sure! 

Before the creation of his own solo album, the man played in bands like Joe Stump, Ron Keel and Thunderhead among other. He is obviously born to play guitar, a natural born guitar god he really is and “Tapestry Of Souls” has a lot in common with the highest rated guitarists on earth. Besides his phenomenal skills the album has been written / recorded during a time of two years, produced by Vic Steffens – mastered by Jim Chapdelaine (winner of 10 Emmy awards!). Finishing a record for two years long might be a long period but the results are fantastic good so the wait was worth. Just check out the album and you will agree with me for the full hundred percent! 

Eleven tracks on the list including several instrumental compositions and also a few tracks featuring guest appearances of famous singers like Kelly Keeling (John Norum, MSG, George Lynch and Trans Siberian Orchestra), Mike Viscera (Obesssion, Malmsteen, Loudness), Jimmy Kunes (Savoy Brown, Cactus), Chandler Mogul (Outloud, Talon). Adding a few sung tracks to the album gives more value to the entire concept. Don’t get me wrong, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with albums fulfilled with only instrumentals, it just creates more variation. Melodic Rock and Metal music lovers who like their stuff pure and technical to the bone will not be deceived with Chris’ debut album. Down the line you will be treated very well with tons of awesome chops and other magical moves – “Tapestry Of Souls” may not feel like the most original output but have to say I’m excited to the bone hearing a young guitarist loaded with a such a huge package of technique within his fingertips… anyway, Chris Bickley is a natural born guitar wonder to me! Beautiful guitars able to flair-up loads of emotions, moments of pleasure… the album gives me inner peace as well. And of course, my deepest appreciation to all those great guest vocalists participating on “Tapestry Of Souls”.  

Chris Bickley’s debut solo album really sounds amazingly good on all areas, this guys has it all without a doubt. Along with the release of “Tapestry Of Souls” he gets right in the footsteps of the biggest, all time famous guitar wizards on planet earth. Fans of Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Warren Haynes (Gov't Mule), Tommy Merry, Tony Macalpine or Vinnie Moore better place an order right on at: http://shredguyrecords.bigcartel.com/  Check out Chris’ homepage at: http://chrisbickley.net/  

My Points: 88 / 100 (Review By Stefan)