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16.8.14

Patrick Vega


Patrick Vega - 8 Bullets - 2009 - FFF Music

Guitar shredders are ten a penny really, most of them having a unique signature/sound, hell some don’t even bother to try and hide their influences, but that’s a whole other story. I, as you, could spend the next five minutes naming umpteen awesome guitarists, which I/you will try and draw comparison to/against, which is the down fall of guitar shredders. For them to standout in a crowd, they have to have that joie de vivre that le facteur X otherwise they become dull, uninspiring, their albums are listened to once and then gather dust. The secret is to keep it short and succinct adding a few wow factors along the route, maintaining good melody and memorable tones. This is something that Patrick Vega has achieved, making it a most likeable album. 8 Bullets is not a pretentious album by any stretch of the imagination, it holds your attention throughout. What we have here is a guitarist who can ply his trade and entertain at the same time. This is not a prog rock album per se, but what we have here is a good mix in style and presentation, which if I am to be honest, in the way the tracks have been approached, I honestly don’t believe adding a vocalist to the mix would make them any better. The right balance for me has been struck, featuring short passages, good melody, good pedal technique and some fantastic leads. The production and mix of the album is very impressive indeed, guitar, bass and drums levels having perfect balance. It was commented in the review of his first album, “The synthetic drums here aren’t that bad but when you know they’re there you can’t get away from it and they do sound clunky at times. The feel that would be added by the use of a good drummer is missing and, as all the best bands know, a band is only as good as its drummer”. Mr. Vega has addressed this comment and what a difference it has made. The approach of the tracks presented here are modern, powerful and confident. Vega has no intention of slouching and to be quite honest there aren’t any filler’ on the album, which I tip my hat to. Bullets the opening track defines the tone for the rest of the album, having a slight Joe Satriani feel to it, without being plagiarist. As an opening track Vega has chosen well, allowing his guitar techniques to come to the front without being over facing, being fully supported by some rather excellent drum work. Words Of Power sees Vega building lead breaks over some very powerful chord work but never becoming over imposing. The increase in metre part way through was kind of interesting, not necessarily required, not really adding anything. Can’t Make Up My Mind has a really nice bass line, featuring a beautiful melody, with the guitar work somewhat slower than say Words Of Power. I really do like the feel of this track, the tone, metre and feeling; you can just imagine Vega's face on some of the lead breaks. Hear My Train’ A Comin’ uses an opening effect to emulate a train running the rails, featuring a somewhat harder guitar sound and firm drum beats, you can almost imagine the thousands of tons barrelling down the tracks trying to reach its destination. This is a track that has been very cleverly built. Alice’s Nitemare is another powerhouse track displaying Vega's dexterity and technique as does the opening track Bullets. It features a very strong rhythm propped by some fantastic lead and pedal effects. Oceans In Between Us is where Vega has really developed his melodic passages to perfection, using them to great effect, creating some really driving crescendo work, oozing absolute quality. The solos are just note perfect for my taste. Wow. Washed Away opens with some rain effects that pave the way for some sad emotional guitar lead work featuring some very interesting underlying guitar passages that direct the whole piece. This is a multi-layered track with some stunning pedal effects contributing to another storming track. Novocaine displays some great pedal work, sounding vaguely like Satriani including an awesome sounding bass line holding the piece together. I love the way the track builds, the power and magnitude of each note. No Surrender is built around a really funky bouncy bass and guitar passage, which hits all the right passionate tones throughout, a more than fitting closing track. All the instrumentation is really allowed develop and grow with maturity. I am not going to perform the usual reference points here as I honestly believe that this would do a disservice to Patrick Vega as an artist and what he has created here. I will add this though, if you like talented, passionate and classy guitarists that aren’t pretentious, believing that structure and melody is as important as the lead breaks, then this is your man and an album for you. Patrick Vega has produced something special here, with its rather eclectic but approachable rhythms, rather tasty lead work and unusual tunings, which all in all has created a stunning album. This time round Vegas has utilised all his strengths maximizing them to great effect, never once outstaying his welcome, sticking to what had to be done without be distracted or self indulgent. This is a highly recommended album for guitar album lovers, which I can assure, you won’t be disappointed. Patrick Vega is going to be a name to be reckoned with if he gets the correct exposure and continues to produce work of this quality. Conclusion: 8 out of 10 © JOHN O'BOYLE © 1995 - 2014 : Dutch Progressive Rock Page http://www.dprp.net/reviews/201032.php

When I checked YouTube a while ago, I saw a guitarist performing a wonderful guitar piece with lots of expression. He immediately attracted my attention. The man involved was the Austrian-born American guitarist Patrick Vega and the song was No Surrender. I gave him my compliments for his guitar playing and he spontaneously offered to send me his album. After a week or so, I received a huge envelope in my mailbox. I only expected the new album, but on opening the package, I was happily surprised that beside his new album 8 Bullets he had also sent his previous album Freefall, Faith, Firestorm, together with some guitar picks and information cards including his business card. In short: his complete promotion package! The least I could do in return is writing a review and giving this guy some credits. Concerning guitar playing, there are roughly two ways of playing for me. The first is using all the technical skills just to impress people; the second is using one’s instincts and playing with expression, with feeling. Well, I do like both ways and on this album Patrick Vega impressed me with a fantastic guitar technique, as you can experience from the likes of Steve Vai or John Petrucci, combined with the sensibility and the touch of musicians like Jose DeCastro or even Stevie Ray Vaughan. On this instrumental album, Patrick Vega plays the guitar and the bass. On his previous album he used a drum machine, but now he had the chance to work with two very talented drummers. Real drummers always sound more natural, I think. So the drum parts on this album are done by Oren Halmut and Glen Sobel. The latter toured with Tony MacAlpine and Jennifer Batten and more well-known musicians. In his songs, Patrick Vega transcribed his influences into metal riffs that still have a bluesy feeling, especially in the opening song Bullets, or perhaps the groove in Alice’s Nitemare. Both songs are perfectly played creating a fine atmosphere. The metal groove with the distorted guitars in Hear My Train A Comin’ makes me play this music with a big smile on my face. I love this song. Can’t Make Up My Mind is a more relaxed piece that reminds me a bit of Gary Hoey. I think he comes closest to the music of Patrick Vega. The clear and ambient sounds in the opening of Washed Away lead to one of the finest guitar parts of the album: very relaxed and performed with great feeling. The structure of Novocaine also has been perfectly built up with an outstanding technique. The album ends with a remix of the song I watched on YouTube originally recorded for Patrick’s debut album. I still think this is one of the best and catchy melodies I’ve heard recently. When you see him play this piece on YouTube, it all seems so easy… Patrick Vega’s 8 Bullets is a great album. His music is both technical and emotional blending metal, hard rock and blues into a very tasty stew. I’m sure that people, who love true and honest guitar playing with the aforementioned elements, will discover this album and love it immediately, just like I did. **** © Pedro Bekkers (edited by Peter Willemsen)© All Rights Reserved Background Magazine 2013 http://www.backgroundmagazine.nl/CDreviews/Vega8Bullets.html

"Structured rock songs, heavy riffs, melodic lines and a lot of taste and skilled production." - (Guitar 9 Records, SEPT'09)

IF YOU DIG ROCK GUITARS BUT DON'T WANT TO BE GUNNED DOWN WITH 1,000,000 NOTES, THIS IS FOR YOU! - http://www.cdunsigned.com/artist/patrick-vega.html

Austrian-born American guitarist Patrick Vega is not only heavily influenced by artists like Gambale, Hendrix, Page Satriani, Vai, Malmsteen, & Eddie Van Halen but also the classic blues players of yesteryear like BB King, Albert King,and Robert Johnson. Read an interview with Patrick @ http://www.silbermedia.com/qrd/archives/42PatrickVega.html and http://www.guitar9.com/interview156.html Patrick is totally against the “illegal” downloading of his music, but this blog is trying to promote musicians like him! Check out CDBaby for more of his work and check out his "Essay in Light" album [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 78.8 Mb]

TRACKS

1 Bullets [3:04]
2 Words Of Power [3:33]
3 Can't Make Up My Mind [3:52]
4 Hear My Train A Comin' [3:07]
5 Alice's Nitemare [4:02]
6 Oceans In Between Us [4:16]
7 Washed Away [4:47]
8 Novocaine [3:54]
9 No Surrender (Remix) [4:17]

All tracks composed by Patrick Vega

MUSICIANS

Patrick Vega - Guitars, Bass
Glen Sobel - Drums on Tracks 1,3,5,6
Oren Halmut - Drums on Tracks 2,4,5,8,9

BIO

Rock guitarist Patrick Vega was born in Austria/Europe. Already as a little kid he wanted nothing more than to become a professional rock guitar player. Being amazed by music as diverse as: Prince, Scorpions, Santana, Dire Straits, a Chris Rea Album Cover featuring a beat up red strat on a piano and various Jazz music his older brother listened to (Miles Davis, Brecker Brothers, Chet Baker, etc). Patrick's first record ever owned was 'Blackout' by The Scorpions (a christmas gift from his brother). Finally at the age of 14 (after being "harassed with classical music education") Vega was "allowed" to learn how to play the guitar. His dad bought him the long promised electric guitar as a birthday gift, showed him his first chords and so Patrick started to play like a maniac. Where classical instruments (recorder and clarinet) were tossed around the room and Vega NEVER practiced, the guitar immediately was Patrick's most prized posession and instantly became the biggest love of his life. Even during highschool, Vega used to practice up to the famous 8 hours a day and beyond (during the day instead of homework and whatever normal kids did and at night he sneaked into the kitchen of his parents house to not wake anyone while practicing away). He took some private lessons, but mostly participated at music seminars and workshops in his native Austria where he could perform live with other people. Patrick discovered players such as Joe Satriani, Eddie Van Halen, Steve Vai, Yngwie Malmsteen and Frank Gambale who were big influences back then and motivation for unlimited dedication and practice of technique (especially Vega's use of economy picking) and the use of phrasing, melody and effects. Right away the young guitarist wrote original music and self-released a few 3-song demos over the years before getting into the writing and production of full blown albums. His ultimate goal as a young Ninja guitar freak: "Move to LA and play the guitar". Simple enough:) After graduating from school, Patrick was awarded private and public scholarships for advanced music education (due to participations at music workshops, seminars, concerts and festivals). In 2000, Vega enrolled in GIT (Guitar Institute of Technology) in Hollywood, CA. Taking advantage of 24/7 practice and playing possibilities (24hr facility), he practiced and played and learned more than ever. The scholar surroundings of GIT though turned out to be a turn off in a certain way: The "Overanalyzing and name calling everything" attitude didn't quite sit right 100% with Patrick since at the time he really started to get into feel based players like Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page, Eddie Van Halen, Jake E Lee, Slash and Classic Blues guitar players (BB King, Albert King, Robert Johnson), etc. Right after music school, Patrick started doing auditions in the LA area and subsequently performed at major national tours including the Vans Warped Tour (playing alongside The Used, SUM41, AFI, Rancid and Pennywise), recorded at major recording studios such as Henson (former A&M), Elementree/KoRn, Paramount, Matrix studios and gained massive live and studio/recording experience. Press features include major US & EU publications such as Guitar Player Magazine, Guitar9 Records' 'The Undiscovered', All Access Magazine, Mean Street Magazine, etc © 2009 AirPlay Direct. All rights reserved http://www.airplaydirect.com/music/patrickvega/

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