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Daryl Stuermer


Review by Gary Hill

Certainly Daryl Stuermer is probably best known for his work in the touring version of Genesis. The truth is, though, he's a great musician in his own right and Go is his latest disc. The disc is composed of a batch of fusion instrumentals that really work quite well. I have to say that a fully instrumental disc can tend to bog down with sameyness, and this one is no exception. Stuermer manages to hold that wolf at bay fairly well with enough style changes, but still by the end it starts to sound a little too similar from one track to another. The thing is, as good as the music is, that's only a minor complaint.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2007 Volume 2 at

Track by Track Review
This is a smoking slab of fiery fusion. It's got plenty of meaty guitar work and mighty melodies. It's a great opener for the disc.
Masala Mantra
The opening to this one has almost a Celtic sound, at least in terms of the swirling melody line. Overall, though, what we've got here is more impassioned fusion. While the mode doesn't differ much from the opener, this is no carbon copy. There is a killer guitar solo segment later that serves the piece well.
The modes that lead this off actually have a bit of a Genesis sort of texture, but still the overall motif is of a fusion style that calls to mind Steve Vai or Joe Satriani. It's another solid number on a disc that's full of them.
Dream In Blue
By this point the tried and true approach could have been getting a bit old. Seeming to sense that, Stuermer drops it back for something that, while not differing a lot in terms of genre, is much more sedate and pretty. He still finds the opportunity to throw out some guitar pyrotechnics, but overall this one is mellower than what has come before.
Breaking Point
Here we get a piece that's a little closer to metallic textures. It's a smoker that reminds me a bit of the Dregs for some reason. It's a highlight of the disc.
More Genesis-like elements lead this one off. While it still has a definite fusion back bone I can hear some sounds that call to mind that band throughout. We also get some killer Eastern textures at points. It almost turns jam band like for a while later.
Heavy Heart
For a change up, percussion leads this off. As the other instruments join in it threatens to turn into metal. Instead the bouncing jam that ensues reminds me a lot of something that Mike and Mechanics might have done. Stuermer's guitar serves as the “vocal line” on this more “song” like structure. This serves as a nice change of pace and one of the standouts.
One would have thought that this might be a fiery display of fusion by the title. Well, it is fusion, but it's of the exceptionally melodic and evocative variety. Mind you, it does jump off on some smoking tangents and is one of the more dynamic pieces on show here – seeming to shift and change at regular intervals. At times I almost hear UK on this cut.  
The Archer
Here we get a fast paced fusion track that feels a bit more like classic prog than fusion at times. The keyboard solo section is a nice touch.
Stuermer saved the best for last. This screams out of the gate with nearly metallic fury. From there it launches into a series of musical motifs that blend together to create a mosaic that is the most powerful and awe-inspiring of any on show here. He drops it down at points and lifts it back up. There's even a percussion solo. It's a great way to end a strong disc.
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