Crimes of Virtuosity
James Byrd’s Atlantis Rising
There was a bit of trepidation when I plopped this sucker in the CD tray. After several recent bad experiences with guitar wizards and their god awful instrumental albums, I was a wee bit worried. I needn’t have been, this is in fact a group album from Atlantis Rising with that type of musical instrument called vocals. This is a re-released of 1998 album (with bonus tracks) and it is a rather good hard rock. While it won’t be breaking any sales records; its competent stadium rock that does not disappoint. Oweing to the prescence of one time Fifth Angel guitarist Byrd, you can bet the guitars on here are shit hot. Considering the complements this bloke has gotten from Malmsteen, its not surprising that much of the guitar playing here shares some similarities with his as well as in style of the music. I believe Byrd is rather fond of Malmsteen in his Rising Force guise, which to be honest, so are the rest of us. There are other nods to Rainbow on such tracks as ‘Heaven on their Minds’ as well as Deep Purple on ‘Storm King.’ The vocal & guitar pairing on ‘In My Darkest Hour’ is rather impressive. Basically my first impression of this disc were way the hell off. Quite an impressive collection of tracks.