TOBY KNAPP - THE CAMPAIGN

SHREDGUY RECORDS

 

Metal To Infinity

I’d like to start my review for Toby Knapp’s new album entitled “The Campaign” with the following statement: “I have named my latest solo album "The Campaign" as a salute to Jimmy Page. The Led Zeppelin tune "The Song Remains The Same" was originally called "The Campaign" until Robert Plant put his vocals to it.” One legend shows his dignity for another legendary musician feesl like an ultimate gesture of total respect, actually a real good point to me! 

For sure, Toby Knapp is one of those guitar players always in to leave me breath and / or speechless behind! Delivered many solo albums up to date but played also in numerous other projects. A genius, a real master – basically a famous world class guitar player he is, his new album released through Shredguy Records named “The Campaign” has been unleashed in full power and glory and it’s a very explosive one – you’re warned! 

I see TK as one of the most variable guitarists – he acts like a magician those brings forward incredible shred tactics, magical tricks for real. Former effort “Misanthropy Divine” got a very high rating (98 / 100), points that were totally deserved! The album spoiled / impressed me all over, releases like this one means a lot to me. For the first time on American based Shredguy Records, Toby Knapp’s new album sounds spectacular good. Of course, all the guitar duties are offered by the master himself but got also company from a few guest singers such as Dean Sternberg (ex-Into Eternity), Attila Csihar (Mayhem), Jeff Gruslin (ex-Vital Remains and Godless Rising), Tom Cline (Noise Auction)… guest drums by Andy Jones. A gathering of gifted musicians - people who know where these guys come from should have already know they have a lot to offer! One by one deliverers of multiple sub-genres of Metal music – expect a huge pallet of varieties on “The Campaign”… full pleasure will come your way out!  

Opener and title track is a full instrumental one – I feel the strength of Marty Friedman’s ‘Forbidden City’ breathing down my neck… first shot, first killer song! Fans of Helstar better watch out for next ‘Conspire’ – clear vocals this time from Mr. Sternberg and the song brings on pure US Power Metal feel! More US Power Metal, the following track ‘Towards Power Unimagined’ is another instrumental composition, actually one of my favourite ones… all those magical guitar moves kicking me barely outta control. Fans of death grunt vocals definitely have a good time as soon as the following song ‘We Are Legions’ starts to rumble. Progressive Death Metal influenced but as for me, it’s the shred tactics that rule with an iron fist. ‘Telekinesis’ comes along and I'm impressed (again)… full ahead and awesome to the core! Next ‘Wicked’ is sung by Tom Cline who’s a good singer through my eyes – this song isn’t strong enough to please me completely. No problem actually, I see it as some kinda ‘recharge energy moment’ for what’s waiting to come on next. 

‘Reanimation’ (vocals by Attila from Mayhem) brings a technical shredding and riffing Black Metal masterpiece of nearly 7 minutes. Sometimes hard to survive ultra high speed velocities of the drums but okay, a struggle to me but I reached the end. It’s not Attila’s voice that keeps me hanging on but for sure Toby Knapp’s way of pulling strings. Normally seen, Black Metal isn’t my alley but when it’s offered this way out – I say bring on some more! And so my moment of total pleasure takes place with the song called ‘Plutonium Race’… fully instrumental work with a brilliant pallet of so many superior guitar moves – I can say while keeping my head up high, this one is my absolute favourite track of the entire album! All honour goes out to singer Dean Sternberg who sings on the last track ‘Lack Of Inspiration’ mostly in a clear way sometimes transformed to more aggressive and it seems to work out very well. Good songs anyway with a flood of superb riffage / solo services! 

As mentioned before, Toby Knapp’s previous effort “Misanthropy Divine” got a high score of me – to let my heart speak concerning the new album “The Campaign”… this one is even better so my rating will reach the ultimate peak. Absolute fantastic effort from a great master genius guitar player and a few guest comrades – fans of pure guitar shred as well as worshippers of True US Power / Thrash Metal, Black and Death Metal surely will have a blast while listening to this product. Definitely recommendable, make an order at: http://www.myspace.com/shredguyrecords or check out Toby’s homepage at: http://www.myspace.com/knapptoby 

My Points: 99 / 100 (Review by Stefan)  

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