Following a distinguished career with bands such as Eidolon, Megadeth and King Diamond, guitarist Glen Drover makes his solo debut with the instrumental “Metalusion”. Besides a number of guests that appear throughout the album, the core members of Glen’s band are: bass player Paul Yee, keyboardist Jim Gilmour (also of Saga) and Chris Sutherland (himself an ex-Saga session player) on drums.
The title is a reference to the Jazz Fusion covers that make up half the album and also reflects the genre-crossing inspirations of the original numbers. It’s an interesting format, even though “Metalusion” is essentially a Metal album.
The quality of the original numbers varies but on the whole this is one of the more satisfying instrumental guitar albums. ‘Colours Of Infinity’, for example, contains a bluesy vibe interweaved with some impressive shredding. This composition in particular exposes the exceptional ability of all the band members. ‘Ascension’ is another original number – one that reflects Glen’s admiration for Jean-Luc Ponty.
Speaking of whom, I felt one of the album’s best tracks is ‘Mirage’, a Ponty cover. The band members don’t seem excessively concerned with sounding note-by-note faithful to the original as much as they strive to convey the original version’s magical feel. Similarly, Glen’s version of Al DiMeola’s ‘Egyptian Danza’ is a spirited display of a complex but ultimately tender composition.
“Metalusion” is an excellent album that should be particularly appreciated by Metal fans into technically proficient music. Rest assured that the covers within it could be enjoyed even if the listener is not familiar with the original versions.