Michael Angelo Batio Leaves Strings on Fire with "Shred Force 1"
Sun, 12 Apr 2015 15:05:22
Michael Angelo Batio is one of those cats who can quite literally ignite flames on his guitar fret board when he plays, and Shred Force 1 reiterates that on each of its thirteen tracks. For the uninitiated, Batio remains an unparalleled force of nature on the guitar. The Chicago-born axe-slinger went playing lead for Nitro back in the day to receiving praise from nearly ever guitar publication for his instructional videos and prolific solo output. He’s one of the best results of the eighties musically, taking that proficiency and transforming it into raw power. Shred Force 1 compiles a slew of his best tracks into one place, making it the perfect place to start if you’re just discovering Batio for the first time. It also might just encourage you to purchase his entire discography.
The hard rock and metal worlds continually recognize Batio’s prowess, and they’re represented full force here. Queensrÿche’s Todd La Torre lends his vocals to a sizzling cover of Rush’s “What You’re Doing” that pays homage to the original while expanding it brilliantly with Batio’s own airtight precision playing. He takes on Deep Purple’s “Burn” once again with La Torre behind the mic, but this time Alter Bridge and Creed guitarist Mark Tremonti delivers some fierce, focused, and furious playing of his own. Together, the two guitarists complement each other flawlessly, delivering each part with top-notch skill and power. It’s Batio’s tributes that really shake the earth though. “Diamond” becomes practically tear-jerking as Batio gives “Dimebag” Darrell Abbot of Pantera and Damageplan the ultimate shred salute. Randy Rhodes gets a nod on “RRR,” which boasts none other than Rudy Sarzo on four-string duty. Then Eric Clapton receives an homage with “Slowhand,” where blues and shred collide like never before.
The instrumental fare such as “8 Pillars of Steel” and “Juggernaut” evince Batio’s downright overpowering charisma as player. It’s not all just a flurry of notes. The guy infuses “feel” into what he’s doing so that the guitar work remains somewhat lyrical throughout. You can hum along to these solos, and that’s the mark of true guitar greatness.
Shred Force couldn’t be a more fitting title because it describes exactly what Batio is. He’s like a one-man army on guitar with enough gusto to help encourage an entire generation to grab the instrument and start wood-shedding like there’s no tomorrow. There’s no doubt about that. They’re out there somewhere and a guy like Batio can call to them with his axe.
Get Shred Force 1 on iTunes!