Saturday, August 22, 2015

Alex Masi - 1989 "Attack Of The Neon Shark"

Alex Masi is an Italian guitarist.
He was born in Venice, and studied at the Conservatory of Music in Verona. He formed the heavy rock band Dark Lord in 1984[1] and recorded two EPs with them. In the early 1980s Masi moved briefly to London, where he played with several musicians.
With Dark Lord he toured as opening act for several major acts of the period until 1986, when he was invited by Metal Blade Records to move to Los Angeles and join the band Sound Barrier. He later founded a band of this own, called Masi. His first solo album was Attack of the Neon Shark, which received a Grammy nomination for Best Instrumental Rock Album. The second solo album was called Vertical Invader, and featured only Masi along with drummer John Macaluso.
In 1998 Masi published the first album of a successful trilogy dedicated to three of the most famous classical musicians in history, entitled In the Name of Bach. This was followed by In the name of Mozart and In the Name of Beethoven. Around the same time he released his last Masi album, Eternal Struggle. In 2006 he published the solo album Late Nights at Desert Rimrock.

This album earned Masi a Grammy nomination in the category of Best Rock Instrumental Album. That is an interesting nod considering that not the entire album is instrumental. The opening track, "Under Fire," includes vocals by Jeff Scott Soto. Other guests featured on this recording include Frankie Banali (Quiet Riot), David Michael Philips(King Kobra), Kuni, and Allan Holdsworth (one of Masi's heroes). There are plenty of albums released by the guitar virtuoso set (Malmsteen, Satriani, and others). One of the things that sets this release apart from the majority of those is the variety of music present. Indeed, Masi contributes cuts ranging across the musical spectrum to cover blues, jazz, and metal. That same variety, though, also tends to lead to a bit of a lack of direction. However, that only hurts the album so much. It should appeal to fans of the guitar-hero type instrumental music, but even those who are not sure about that genre might want to give this a try. It certainly showcases a wide variety of what the genre can have to offer and might make a good introduction to the musical form.

Tracks Listing
1. Under Fire (4:10)
2. Attack Of The Neon Shark (3:26)
3. Average Green Band (4:01)
4. D. F. W. M. (1:38)
5. Twilight Passion (3:49)
6. Cold Sun (4:04)
7. Toccata (4:51)
8. Wasted In The West (Idiots) (3:10)
9. Lalattaia (3:58)
10. Alleys Of Albion (3:45)

Total Time 38:25

Line-up / Musicians
- Jeff Scott Soto / vocals
- Alex Masi / guitars, bass, keyboards
- Kuni / guitars
- David Michael Philips / bass, guitars
- Allan Holdsworth / synthaxe
- Frankie Banali / drums

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