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Tony MacAlpine

4.6 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Instrumental shred guitar pioneer and keyboard virtuoso Tony MacAlpine s new self-titled album marks a highly-anticipated return to solo guitar work, after a decade of output with his bands including prog-metal-fusion trio Planet X; Grammy-nominated jazz-fusion outfit CAB; power metallers Ring Of Fire. Tony also performed keyboard and guitar duties in Steve Vai s double platinum DVD-selling live band The Breed from 2001-2006; and guitar on legendary French singer Michel Polnareff s sold-out Ze Tour in 2007
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 21, 2011)
  • Original Release Date: June 21, 2011
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Favored Nations
  • Run Time: 54 minutes
  • ASIN: B004X6J3CS
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #152,616 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Format: Audio CD
It has been ten years since Tony MacAlpine's last studio album, Chromaticity, came out. After that album, he toured extensively, mostly with Steve Vai, and was busy with both Planet X and a bunch of other stuff. Now with his self-titled solo album, he returns to exploring the perfect combination of instrumental virtuosity with cerebral compositions while utilizing his eight-string guitar work to diversify his craft.

Starting with the heavy "Serpens Cauda," the album is filled with corrosive riffing placed on top of fluid synth lines (also played by MacAlpine) climaxing with blistering solos and thunderous drumming. Not all of the album is heavy and shred-intensive, though. On "Oludeniz," (which is a wonderful holiday town in southwestern Turkey) he marries his classical leaning with thunderous bass lines and immediate standout melodies. Songs like "Dream Mechanism" and "Ten Seconds to Mercury" harken back to the more fusion-laden compositions on Chromaticity with added experimentation, especially during the middle part of the latter. "Flowers for Monday" involves acoustic guitars played in sync with a slow piano motif while the intro of "Summer Palace" is so groovy during its intro it feels like it was attached to the rest of the song as an afterthought. Also present are the more modern-sounding pieces like "Angel of Twilight," complete with processed guitar sounds and industrial-tinged synths.

The result is a varied album with some really strong material and some less than stellar tracks. Still, this album is well worth your attention, and a solo album in the true sense.
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This was my first Tony Macalpine CD and it is excellent. It is very intense music but is melodic, impacting and rather like being hooked up to a high voltage power line. It knocked me out and I highly recommend it. The intensity is matched by the precision but I was most impressed with the melodic side that is woven into the songs. The musicianship is truly world class, if not otherworldly. The drumming is just as impressive if not even more so and it drives Tony's passion on this CD.

I like the fact that Tony expresses himself in a variety of ways both on keys and guitars. I wholeheartedly disagree with those who either have disdain for musical expression through fast playing or feel it is somehow immature or by definition lacking in substance. Just because one matures or just plain ages doesn't mean that you cannot feel the power, passion, anger or whatever emotion that can be expressed through, at times, speed.

I am referring to real musical expression not just finger exercises. Tony definitely belongs in the former category and not the latter. If you can't handle it then maybe you're just too old or stuck up. Enjoy some schmaltz instead. If you do however seriously enjoy power, intensity and melody with a feel for epic and grand departure then this one's a keeper.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The virtuosity of Tony Macalpine is back on show for his long-awaited new self titled solo album. After a number of years playing in various groups including Planet X, CAB, Seven The Hard Way, and Steve Vai, T-Mac has again unleashed his ferocious playing for all us guitar heads to enjoy. The album includes a great mix of styles that he has been dabbling in over the past few years and there's no vocals to distract from the killer guitar playing. Highlights include the intense opener "Serpens Cauda", the melodic rush of "Dream Mechanism", the catchy groove of "Blue Maserati", the progressive rock of "Summer Palace", and the melodic anthem "The Dedication". It's great to finally have another solo album from Tony Macalpine and I can easily recommend this to fans of awesome guitar playing such as George Bellas, Bumblefoot, and Steve Vai - 4.5 stars!
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Format: Audio CD
After ten years of working with other projects, Tony MacAlpine has finally returned to the genre that he helped create with the aptly named cd, Tony MacAlpine. As other reviewers have mentioned, this cd is a shred lovers dream. Instrumental music like this is obviously geared toward guitarist, but having drummers like Virgil Donati and Marco Minnemann pounding away on here definitely keep things interesting enough for drummers as well. The production is very clean and up front. Every instrument is heard and the melodies shine through. I felt Tony's previous recording was mixed very dry with an overall mid range tone, making it hard to deciphor one instrument from another, but not here. His robotic like precision is upfront and refuses to be denied. Tony sounds better than ever. Besides all that, I think the thing I liked most about this CD is that it reminded me of 1987 when I was 14 years old. George Lynch was my guitar god at the time and I had just read an article in Guitar World magazine that George Lynch had guest stared on 2 songs of Tony MacAlpine's new Cd, Maximum Security. Needless to say, I rushed to the record store and picked up a copy of Maximum Security and I was blown away with what I heard. I quickly forgot about George Lynch and started following the likes of Tony MacAlpine, Vinny Moore, Paul Gilbert and Steve Vai. Fast forward almost 25 years later, and with Tony MacAlpine's new CD, I'm pleastanly reminded why I was blown away all those years ago. Well done Tony!
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