| Now playing "FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT"
"...MUSICA DEMENTIA is a TOUR DE FORCE of Hard-rockin, Fret Shredding tracks...!"
Review by Matthew Warnock Rating 4.5 Stars out of 5!
for Apple itunes / Amazon.com
The instrumental guitar genre is making a comeback in recent years after it took a pretty
big hit in the ‘90s when bands like Nirvana and Alice and Chains replaced shredders
such as Yngwie Malmsteen and Paul Gilbert on the cover of Guitar World and
Guitar Player magazines. As the genre pushed forward behind the Grunge and Alterative
Rock juggernauts, guitarists kept exploring new approaches to the instrumental guitar idiom,
keeping the music alive as it has begun to regain some of the public attention that it once
enjoyed. One guitarist that is helping to shine the spotlight back on the instrumental guitar
genre is Toronto based picker Dennis Williams, and his latest album Musica Dementia is a
tour de force of hard-rockin’, fret shredding tracks that are sure to provide ample ear candy
for any fan of rock guitar.
Immediately one can hear Williams’ creative nature as he brings spoken-word samples into his
tracks, mostly focusing on war and related speeches by famous politicians regarding this
subject. The opening track, “Sound the Alarm” features noted radio host Alex Jones talking
about the “911 conspiracy,” while other tracks such as “Fight the Good Fight” features one of
Winston Churchill’s famous World War II speeches. By adding in these spoken samples,
Williams is not only adding an extra level of interest to his tracks, but adding a bit of narrative as well. Sometimes the compositional intent and outside
influences on an instrumental artist can be lost on the audience if they do not know the backstory of the album or a given track. By including these
samples, Williams is helping the listener get behind the meaning of each track, adding a musical depth and audience connection that goes beyond blistering
As a guitarist, Williams possesses incredible chops and flawless technique, which he showcases throughout the record on tracks such as “Blackened,”
where his wah-laced guitar solo screams as he build it to the song’s eventual climax. Williams also brings his chops to the forefront during his
reinterpretation of Vivaldi’s “Summer” from his eternal classic The Four Seasons. Here, Williams lays down intense rhythm guitar work that sets up the
single note melodic lines that weave in and out of the forefront of the song. His use of mixed open and fretted strings is not only an interesting timbre that
adds to the texture of the melody line, but it allows the guitarist to build energy by alternating between the different tonal qualities that each offers. Though
the neo-classical guitar genre has been done, most notably by shredmaster Yngwie Malsmteen, Williams’ interpretation of Vivaldi’s classic is a welcomed
addition to the genre.
While the album features a large amount of chops and flash, Williams also has a softer side to his playing that he brings to light in songs such as
“Misunderstood.” Here, the guitarist leaves his electric guitar aside for a moment as he switches to multiple tracks of acoustic guitar to lay down the rhythm
and lead parts of the song. Not only does this track showcase Williams’ versatility as a guitarist, but the softer, acoustic sound is a welcome diversion from
the electric tracks, helping to prevent the album from becoming predictable in nature. Though Williams is a highly accomplished electric player, it is tracks
such as this that leave the listener wanting more from his acoustic work, and perhaps an all-acoustic record would be an interesting follow up to this album
in the near future.
Overall, Musica Demetia is a strong release for the Toronto-based guitarist. The tracks are well-written, creatively arranged and the playing is absolutely
stellar. Everything that brought the instrumental rock genre to its previous heights and that are helping return the genre to its previous glory.
Rating: 4.5 Stars (out of 5)
Review by Bill Coshworth
MUSICA DEMENTIA is an incredible collection of guitar driven songs. From Rock to
classical, symphonic to simple acoustic, this disk has something for everyone.
"...His cover of METALLICA's "Nothing Else Matters" pays homage to this songs spectacular
composition. Instead of embellishing the song with layers of guitar work, Williams performs
the track to near original perfection.
BACH's' "Air on a G Stirng" is a fantastic version of this masterpiece...a great example of
Williams' diversity and love for the guitar.
The hard rockin "Fight The Good Fight" is without a doubt a highlight! This track Rocks!!!
Lots of guitar pyrotechnics and flash! FTGF is an adrenaline rush!
"Across The Badlands" is a HIT! This track has everything. and may go down as one of
Williams coolest rock compositions. It also marks the first time Williams called in help from a
fellow musician, drummer extrodinair LOU CALDAROLA from New York. Caldarola's
playing is absolutely fantastic. Williams and Caldarola make one hell of a team...we can only
hope hear more from this duo!!!!
Hall of the Viking Kings and Misunderstood are acoustic tracks that you'll play again and
again. Spectacular song writing and performance!
MUSICA DEMENTIA is a must have! ..."
Bill Coshworth Radio Personality
Reviews from Reverb Nation fans and internet radio:
"...FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT is Insane!!!"
"....Musica Dementia is Unbelievably Good! ... Outstanding! "
"...ACROSS THE BADLANDS......DAMN I LOVE THIS TUNE!!!"
"...You are truly a gifted artist and your music is ear candy for everyone!!"
"...Amazing sound and tracks!!Can’t help but come back for more."
"...Flawless production- Bad Ass musican-hell to the yes - Dennis you rock the RED..."
"...Such a cool sound…. Terrific performance on these tracks!"
"...Great sound, awesome tracks!"
"...Just simply the best and freshest guitarist, composer I have come across in
my 30 YEARS of playing and singing music!!! God said, Let there be rock, and
created Dennis Williams!!!"
"Thanks to everyone for their kind words and for enjoying the music...
Keep spreading the word, there's more to come and it keeps getting better!"
Dennis 'GTRMAN' Williams