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Brian Tarquin

& Heavy Friends - Brothers In Arms

Review by Gary Hill

I have reviewed several of these charity works from Brian Tarquin. They are all guitar heavy releases. All benefit veterans charities. This time part of the proceeds go to Fisher House Foundation, which "supplies housing to veterans' families while they are hospitalized." I've put this under heavy metal, but it's not the tightest fit. Certainly this is metallic, but perhaps not pure metal except for a few songs. There are guest performers throughout, but the biggest names are Joe Satriani, Vinnie Moore and Bumblefoot. I like this instrumental (one song has some non-lyrical vocals) quite a bit, but it does get a little samey at times.

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Track by Track Review
Speed of Sound feat. Joe Satriani
This instrumental romp has some Hendrix angles, but brought into a modern age. It also includes some smoking hot and rather soaring guitar work.
Kiss My Axe feat. Vinnie Moore
I really dig the heavy, wah guitar sound at the heart of this screamer. Another powerhouse instrumental stomper, this works so well.
Luxor feat. Bumblefoot
Much more purely metal in a lot of ways, this has some hints of things ranging from UFO to Van Halen in the mix. It's such a strong tune. In fact, this is one of my favorites here.
Hounds of Hell feat Johannes Weik, Budapest Symphony Orchestra
This piece is amazing. It's dramatic, symphonic and powerful. It has a killer proggy sound to it. There is some seriously powerhouse guitar work on this scorcher.
Devil's Tombstone feat. Alex De Rosso

There is a driving, building metal guitar vibe to this screamer. This is another that has some hints of progressive rock built into it.

Black Widow feat. Travis Stever
More fierce hard rocking sound is on the menu here. This is another screamer.
Stryker feat. Jeff Duncan
Much heavier and decidedly metallic, this really rocks. It's not a paradigm shift, but it represents taking it to a new level in some ways. The guitar soloing on this is positively incendiary.
D-Day feat. Johannes Weik
While this is another ferocious tune, it gets a little droney at times. The guitar soloing really shines, though.
Saigon Sally feat. Gerald Gradwohl
This has some vocals of the non-lyrical variety. The track feels a bit like Black Label Society to me. It's decidedly metallic, but it drops to an almost proggy movement mid-track.
Purple Heart feat. Chris Haskett
The wah sound on the first part of this just feels a little annoying to me. That said, when it moves out to a mellower, almost fusion-like jam, this turns so cool. When it turns more metallic later the sound is better than the opening section, and this works well. The wah section does eventually come back at the end, but it doesn't stay around long enough to get on my nerves again.
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