Valby Hallen, Copenhagen, DEN - 26/4
Jarle H. Olsen
Written by: PP on 27/10/2011 02:19:58
Look at me, I'm a fucking guitar wizard, is what this album tells me. Featuring advanced technique and majestic progressive metal arrangements, the debut album "Quadrasonic" by Jarle H. Olsen defies my prejudices that all-instrumental prog metal falls into the category of a borefest of epic proportions by delivering some of the most back-chilling, amazing craftsmanship I've ran across in guitar music. "Quadrasonic" explodes Olsen directly into a group of elite guitar players that includes, among others, John Petrucci and Yngwie Malmsteen, an astounding tale of meteoric success from a man nobody's ever heard of before the release of this album.
Virtuoso, I believe, is the right word to use when describing Olsen's guitar ability. Seldom have I heard music so technically advanced, yet so beautifully structured and melodically appealing where the lead guitar is pretty much the only instrument that matters. Song after song features larger-than-life guitar solos, each more astonishing than the one before, ranging from ass-kicking awesome to the hair-raising kind. I suppose a comparison are in order, so how about this: "Train Of Thought"-era Dream Theater, except no need for vocals to ruin your concentration on the guitars. Olsen provides similar levels of instrumental brilliance and majestic soundscapes to compete with even footing with that seminal record. How's that for a comparison?
Best of all, "Quadrasonic" is extremely varied. Each song owns a unique guitar signature, not necessarily in terms of tone or sound, but in terms of how the song progresses, the speed, the pitch, the tempo, that sort of thing. It enables the listener to uphold interest from start to finish...which isn't that difficult given the sheer amount of ridiculously awesome guitar wizardry. Usually I hate these kinds of "show off" releases, but Jarle plays with so much conviction that it's easy to decipher his undying love for all things guitar in his life. It's as if he lives each note, each structure through his instrument as he plays it. And though I realize "Quadrasonic" isn't going to appeal to the majority of the readers of Rockfreaks.net, in its own genre, it is nothing short of a masterpiece.
Download: Pro 10, Enigmatic Mind
For the fans of: Yngwie Malmsteen, John Petrucci, Dream Theater
Listen: Official Website
Release date 20.05.2011