Robin Trower, No More Worlds To Conquer (Provogue 2022)

Guitar master Robin Trower offers a new album of blues rock music, No More Worlds To Conquer.

Best known initially for his work with Procol Harum in the late 1960s and early 1970s, Robin Trower went on to release more than two dozen solo albums in his career. His fluid playing style is unmistakable – not only do you recognize it when you hear it, you are always glad to be listening. Mesmerizing and poignant, the new album is an impressive achievement in his storied career. Trower plays guitar and bass, Chris Taggart is on drums, and Richard Watts sings.

The title of the album gives a hint that what we will hear will be consistent to what has come before. It is true that everything fans like best about Trower’s music is here again as he does what he does so well. His album Bridge Of Sighs (1974) is the one most often pointed toward to exemplify his style and languid demonstration of his musical presence. It is a classic, and no mistake. There is a lot of other music of his out there, too. The fascinating thing is you can pick an album at random to listen to and be amazed by it, or you can take a deep dive, listen to it all, and marvel at Robin Trower’s astonishing catalogue. There are no bad records in the bunch, and listening to them back to back never gets old.

“Ball Of Fire” gives the new set a rambling open. Every instrument shines as the rhythm sets the rails for the soulful vocals and Trower’s signature guitar. The title track and “The Razor’s Edge” are featured songs, and, while I am hesitant to pick favorites, the latter one has gotten more play hereabouts because I want to listen to the lead passages over and again. Longtime fans and newcomers alike reap rewards on this album. Recommended.

No More Worlds To Conquer is out now through the Provogue Records imprint of Mascot Label Group. Hit the link below and look at Robin Trower’s website for more information.

Photo of Robin Trower by Laurence Harvey.

Links.

Bandcamp, https://rtnmwtc.bandcamp.com/album/no-more-worlds-to-conquer

Website, http://www.robintrower.uk/

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/RobinTrower/

Provogue Records, https://www.mascotlabelgroup.com/collections/robin-trower

© Wayne Edwards

Robin Trower, No More Worlds To Conquer (Provogue 2022)

Legacy: A Tribute To Leslie West (Mascot 2022)

Guitar legend Leslie West is remembered in Legacy: A Tribute To Leslie West.

Leslie West had a massive influence on heavy music – he was there when it started coming together. Best known for his time with the band Mountain, probably, and for the song “Mississippi Queen” that everybody recognizes, West had a magical way of making the strings do exactly what he wanted. The tone he produced and his touch are legendary – if you listen, you can hear the echoes rippling throughout the history of heavy music every since.

There are twelve tracks on the album, and a good selection it is. There are many songs from the Mountain’s Climbing! album, and a couple from West’s first solo record, plus a surprise or two. Here is the full track list with noted contemporary players for the tribute versions. “Blood of the Sun” (featuring Zakk Wylde), “Nantucket Sleighride (To Owen Coffin)” (featuring Joe Lynn Turner, Marty Friedman), “Theme for an Imaginary Western” (featuring Dee Snider, Eddie Ojeda, Rudy Sarzo, Mike Portnoy), “For Yasgur’s Farm” (featuring Joe Lynn Turner, Martin Barre), “Why Dontcha” (featuring Steve Morse, Ronnie Romero), “Sittin’ On a Rainbow” (featuring Elliot Easton, Ronnie Romero), “Never in My Life” (featuring Dee Snider, George Lynch), “The Doctor” (featuring Robby Krieger, Ronnie Romero), “Silver Paper” (featuring Charlie Starr), “Money (Whatcha Gonna Do)/By the River” (featuring Bachman and Bachman), “Long Red” (featuring Yngwie Malmsteen, Teddy Rondinelli), and “Mississippi Queen” (featuring Slash, Marc LaBelle).

I can listen to Leslie West’s music just about any time, so these songs are all good for me. From the opening track where Zakk Wylde puts his spin on the lead song on West’s Mountain to the set-closing rendition of the iconic song, “Mississippi Queen,” done Slash style, you can feel the strong roots beneath the new blooms. I was especially delighted to hear “Nantucket Sleigh Ride,” which I didn’t expect, and listening Yngwie Malmsteen on “Long Red” will change your life. Highly recommended.

Legacy: A Tribute To Leslie West is out now through Mascot Label Group. It is streaming all over, and there are physical versions to choose from at the link below.

Link.

Mascot Label Group, https://usa-store.mascotlabelgroup.com/collections/leslie-west

© Wayne Edwards.

Legacy: A Tribute To Leslie West (Mascot 2022)

Yngwie Malmsteen, Parabellum (Music Theories Recordings 2021)

Heavy Metal guitar virtuoso Yngwie Malmsteen brings forth his twenty-first solo album, Parabellum.

Trilogy (1986) was the first Yngwie Malmsteen album I ever heard. That is his third album, I found out after being blown away by his playing, following Rising Force (1984) and Marching Out (1985). I have never missed one since. Endlessly prolific, his previous album was Blue Lightning in 2019 and it was an incredible achievement. The new one is even better.

Sometimes compared to Ritchie Blackmore, Malmsteen does draw inspiration for classical music, like Blackmore does, and you can clearly hear it in his compositions. Malmsteen’s playing, however, is unrivaled and can be held up to anybody at the top of your list. His execution is impeccable, flawless.

There are ten tracks on Parabellum. I always look for the instrumental songs first because I want to be amazed and astounded by Malmsteen’s playing. You don’t really have to do that because there is astonishing guitar work in every song whether there are vocals or not. Still … my favorite tracks are “Presto Vivace in C# minor” and “(Si Vis Pacem) Parabellum,” both instrumentals. I get completely lost listening to them, immersed in the miraculous guitar.

More radio-friendly (but not very friendly) songs include “Wolves At The Door” and “Relentless Fury,” both released early as singles from the album and both having vocals for broader appeal. They are great songs with killer shreds. There are also slower pieces, such as “Eternal Bliss,” to go along with the ragers ( like “Toccata”) for when you are in a more introspective mood. Something for everybody, you might say, as long as everybody wants to hear metal guitar music.

Let me say it again: every track has peerless guitar performances regardless of what else might be happening in the song. Malmsteen has not lost any energy or ingenuity as the years have passed on. My esteem grows for him and his music with each new record. Highly recommended.

Parabellum is out now. Tap the link to the Mascot Label page to see the available varieties and merch.

Links.

Website, https://www.yngwiemalmsteen.com/

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/officialyngwiemalmsteen/

Mascot Label Group, https://usa-store.mascotlabelgroup.com/collections/yngwie-malmsteen

Yngwie Malmsteen, Parabellum (Music Theories Recordings 2021)