Get this crazy baby off my head!


Devils Slingshot

Devils Slingshot - Clinophobia - 2007 - Mascot Records

What happens when you have three of the most successful and technique-based musicians in the same studio? Just like that, they can create wonderful music from nothing. Tony McAlpine (Steve Vai, PLANET X, RING OF FIRE, Vinnie Moore), Bill Sheehan (MR. BIG, RING OF FIRE, David Lee Roth, TALAS) and Virgil Donati (PLANET X, RING OF FIRE, SOUL SIRKUS) joined forces and DEVIL'S SLINGSHOT came to existence. Maybe Clinophobia is SLINGSHOT's first instrumental album but this 'trio' worked together again in a number of deferent projects, mostly on stage. Maybe to some ears instrumental rock music is boring, but these guys really know how to attract the listener's interest. From the first song Nederlands the guitar intro and the alternate rhythm changes it seems like we have a progressive album to our hands. But as the music flows McAlpine drops in a melodic guitar riff, just like the ones that JOE SATRIANI creates. Then the 80's clean, delayed guitar gives him the chance to star a shredding solo and this is were the song passes to jazz fusion for a little while so that it can return on the melodic riff to close. This is the way DEVIL'S SLINGSHOT produced this album. With no particular style: because of their unbelievable skills they can pass from progressive metal to melodic hard rock and then to jazz improvisations. Ballade De Bastille has again the main melodic guitar line with an excellent bass solo in the middle from virtuoso Bill Sheehan. Def Bitch Blues steps in with a thunderous drum break, Virgil Donati produces a great steady rhythm for McAlpine and Sheehan and sets the solid foundation for each song to build on. In this song Bill Sheehan has a great tapping bass moment (that is why they call him the 4-string Eddie Van Halen). Every song has the melodic riff that characterizes SLINGSHOT's music direction. JOE SATRIANI with Surfing With The Alien opened the doors for a bigger audience on instrumental hard rock music and McAlpine produces some very similar melodies and sound. But DEVIL'S SLINGSHOT use a variety of ingredients to make their music more palatable. On the song Hourglass that McAlpine and Donati co-wrote, Bunny Brunel (C.A.B., Chick Corea) comes in for a special guest appearance to give an even more that jazz/fusion style with his incredible improvisation solo in the middle of the song. I must say, the first time I heard Clinophobia didn't realized how soon time passed by, because the music flows smoothly. I know it is hard to hear great musicians soloing one after the other throughout an album but there is a great deal of ideas musically unique. DEVIL'S SLINGSHOT just finished touring Europe. Let us hope that after their individual projects these three amigos will join forces again for a second DEVIL'S SLINGSHOT album. I know that I'll be waiting. - By & © Yiannis Zervos at 20 November 2007, 2:58 PM 8/10 excellent © Metal Temple © 2000-2014 Yiannis Mitsakos http://www.metal-temple.com/site/catalogues/entry/reviews/cd_3/d_2/devils_slingshot.htm

Devil's Slingshot are truly a supergroup, featuring renowned instrumentalists Tony MacAlpine (guitar), Billy Sheehan (bass), and Virgil Donati (drums). MacAlpine made his name in the '80s as a neo-classical shredder. In recent years, he's explored jazz fusion, particularly in Planet X alongside Donati. Sheehan's cameo on Planet X's MoonBabies probably helped spawn this trio. For all its firepower, it's surprisingly restrained. Most songs feature a perfunctory rock intro that leads to more limber fusion workouts. The rock riffs are heavy and bland, but the fusion parts are tasty. MacAlpine soars up and down the fretboard with ease, evoking a less flashy Steve Vai. Sheehan provides a supple, supportive low end, though he uncorks a blinding two-handed tapping break in "Def Bitch Blues." Donati contributes his trademark tasty, precise grooves. The lack of ego here is admirable, but the players could stand to let loose more. When they try to rock, they sound leaden. Funk and fusion, however, fit them quite naturally. MacAlpine, in particular, excels at laying lyrical lines over glistening, abstract chords. This debut feels like stretching before a workout. Hopefully the next outing will run with the devil, so to speak. © Cosmo Lee © 2014 AllMusic, a division of All Media Network, LLC. | All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/album/clinophobia-mw0000795414

This album has received many more negative than positive reviews. Many critics have used the terms “weak, unimaginative”, “run of the mill”, “mundane”, “nothing new”, “going through the motions”, “not letting go”, “not realising their true potential”. All music says, “This debut feels like stretching before a workout. Hopefully the next outing will run with the devil, so to speak”. The facts are that this album was recorded by four legends of fusion/jazz fusion and rock, guitarist Tony MacAlpine, bassists Billy Sheehan and Bunny Brunel, and drummer extraordinaire Virgil Donati. These guys don’t go out of their way to deliberately record a weak or bad album. It is rare that a band can record a “Revolver” followed by a “Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band”. This is not a great album, but it most definitely is a very good album recorded by four giants of the music world. Check out any of the work that these four musicians have been involved in. You will find many music gems. Never let critics put you off listening to an album. Who said that “Those who can...do. Those who can’t...criticise”.? And this snippet of wisdom does not exclusively relate to this album. I’m not setting myself up as a great musicologist or expert on music, but I do know the kind of music I like and what many followers of this blog like. To reiterate, not a classic rock or fusion album, but one that I have listened to again and again, and admired the brilliant musicianship and skill of world class musicians.There is no rubbish posted on this blog! LOL. Give it a spin! [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 95 Mb]


1 Nederland - Virgil Donati 6:13
2 Ballade De Bastille - Tony MacAlpine 4:05
3 Def Bitch Blues - Tony MacAlpine 4:27
4 Lay Off - Virgil Donati 4:24
5 Injustice Line - Virgil Donati 4:24
6 Ocean - Tony MacAlpine 3:24
7 Flamed - Virgil Donati 4:11
8 Hourglass - MacAlpine, Donati 4:46
9 Aerial Perspective - Tony MacAlpine 4:13


Tony MacAlpine - Guitar
Billy Sheehan - Bass
Bunny Brunel - Bass on "Hourglass"
Virgil Donati - Drums


DEVIL'S SLINGSHOT is a progressive-instrumental metal band from the United States. The band is formed by three legendary musicians: Tony Macalpine (guitar, keys), Billy Sheehan (bass), and Virgil Donati (drums). Tony MacAlpine is an outstanding musical virtuoso. "Whether performing as a solo artist, band member, session player, touring hired-gun, or as a producer, he continues to prove that he truly is one of rock's most amazing and versatile musicians." His style incorporates classical and jazz influences within the hard rock forum on both guitar and keyboards. In addition to his brilliant solo career which spans 20 years, from which these selections have been culled, MacAlpine is also known for his collaborations with progressive artists CAB, Planet X and Steve Vai. Billy Sheehan is one of the most respected bass players. "Rising to cult status in the 80's with his Buffalo, NY based band Talas, Billy was recruited by David Lee Roth when Roth left Van Halen in '85. He recorded two platinum selling albums with the former Van Halen front man before setting out on his own. Forming Mr. Big in 1989, the band achieved a Billboard 1 single in the US and 14 other countries with "To Be With You". While developing his trademark style of playing he has performed over 4000 live gigs on every continent except Africa and Antarctica. Voted the "Best Rock Bass Player" 5 times in Guitar Player magazines Readers Poll, an honor which placed him in their "Gallery of Greats" (alongside Jimi Hendrix, Paul McCartney, Geddy Lee and Eddie Van Halen to name but a few), he has also won readers polls in Germany, Japan, Korea, Italy, and many other countries. Virgil Donati has raised the bar in drum playing with his faster chops, innovative use of the instrument, more complex rhythms, more creative phrasing, and in general, his influence on a new generation of drummers. Recording and touring with the likes of Planet X, Steve Vai, CAB, Scott Henderson, Steve Walsh, Tribal Tech, Frank Gambale, Derek Sherinian, Mark Boals, Dave Stewart, Mick Jagger, Josh Stone, and many others, he continues to push the limits of the instrument to astonishing new levels. - (Partially taken from the band's website) © Prog Archives, All rights reserved http://www.progarchives.com/artist.asp?id=3683

1 comment:

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