Andy James – ‘Exodus’ (Album Review)
Given Andy James’ status as a prolific and renowned guitar teacher, it should come as no surprise that this all-instrumental LP represents a balls-to-the-wall metal masterclass.
Exodus is precision-targeted at the Internet’s shredheads. We’re talking ten tracks that span an impressive range of approaches to heavy music. Variety is the spice of life – and there’s plenty of variety on offer here.
Naturally, ultra-dense clusters of high-speed notes are a primary feature on Exodus – but personally, I’m a bigger fan of massive grooves. I wasn’t disappointed; opening track Ever After and Made Of Stone, Hurricane, From The Dark, and Victory all delivered on that front. Days Gone By drops in some almost obligatory but nonetheless passionate 6/8 epicness; A World Once Lost cranks up the dials labelled Thrash and Shred; Gone is a cool ballad; Never Back Down is another solid thrasher; and closing song Exit Through Ashes is a sombre synth-and-guitar ballad, no drums or bass required.
Spontaneity was a big focal point for Andy James while making Exodus – and this album’s vibe and energy are vastly superior to the other releases in his solo back catalogue. Throw in the fact that Andy James did everything himself this time around, and you have a package that effortlessly delivers a message. Andy James knows his shit – and behind his technique lies a rare degree of musicianship and intelligence.
87% (Essential Listening!)
Exodus drops May 5; preorder it on iTunes here.