Hess is back again with a vengeance with their sophomore release, Opus 2. After the success of the band's first CD, Opus 1, it was imminent that a second CD would be on the way. Opus 2 is a ferocious masterpiece of neoclassical guitar insanity that will stun anyone who dares to listen. Hess' guitarists, Tom Hess and Mike Walsh, blister through each piece effortlessly. Both players set fret boards on fire with their energetic and enthralling shred antics. Tom and Mike never back down from expressing the true meaning of extreme guitar playing. The songs are well orchestrated and written. All music fits together seamlessly. Hess took Opus 2 to a new level with more intense composition and, most importantly, soul. Heart and soul are things that critics always claim that the world of neoclassical and shred lack. Well, I'm here to say Hess breaks each stigma with every note that is born from the band's hands.
This triumphant guitar CD is packed with ten instrumental masterpieces of guitar magic. Let's take a look at some of the highlight tracks from the CD. 'Nexuses' opens the CD with intense guitar shredding. Hess sucks the life right out of you and won't even let you stop to catch your breath. I found the solos/harmonies to be very intriguing and I'm sure you'll feel the same. Beware of the haunting arpeggios!
'Into The Pinnacle' is an amazing mix of style, charisma, and subtle charm. Guitar harmonies dominate the focus of this track and the listener will be mystified by the simultaneous simplicity and complexity of it all. Hess and Walsh tear through some of their best lead work to date throughout this song. One thing you can't say is that it lacks melody. Hess has succeeded perfectly in composing a song that is very catchy and intense at the same time. 'The Cynic, The Sad, and The Fallen' is gut wrencher that will melt your face off! The song opens with demon-like riffing that segues into the deeper realms of shred guitar. The song's dark overtones will keep an active ear begging for more. Not only does Hess crank out some hot licks, but he also steps it down and slides through some melodic moods.
Looking back, Opus 2 is amazing instrumental album that carries the flag for extreme instrumental shred guitar. Hess and Walsh are a great guitar team, complementing each other's playing. If you're wondering who's responsible for each solo, no fear, just open up the CD booklet for a time listing of each guitarist's solo time! Both guitarists (Hess and Walsh) burned up fret boards effortlessly and I know guitarists from all schools can and will enjoy the masterpiece that is Opus 2.
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