Glen Drover
CD review: METALUSION
By: Dan Brisebois

Glen Drover has established himself as one of Canada's premier and heaviest axemen, listing Megadeth, King Diamond, Testament, and Eidolon on his resume that's spanned nearly two decades.

A native of Mississauga, Ont, METALUSION is his debut album, an instrumental work of art. And although you won't hear it on conventional radio, the production, attention to detail, and sheer passion make it a masterpiece.

His influences include the likes of Randy Rhoads, Dokken's George Lynch, Ratt's Warren DeMartini, and Pink Floyd's David Gilmour, and you can hear those artists coming out of the guitar when Glen picks it up. But the album has such a wide array of styles and sounds that run the entire gamut, not just of rock, that it's hard to peg. There's a jazz fusion element to some of the songs, while others have a funky flamenco jive.

The lead-off "Ground Zero" hints of flamenco, before breaking into a full-fledged classically inspired metal assault. "Colours of Infinity" and "Illusions of Starlight" both weave a variety of melodies into slow-moving, yet always progressing numbers. "Frozen Dream," "Ascension," and "Egypitan Danza (written by Al Dimeloa) all create their own unique tantalizing atmospheres.

Drover called on some true heavyweights as the supporting cast, including Paul Yee on bass, drummer Chris Sutherland, and Saga's Jim Gilmour on keyboards. Sitting in as special guests are Vinnie Moore (UFO), Steve Smyth (Forbidden), Chris Poland (Megadeth), Fredrik Akesson (Opeth), and Jeff Loomis (Nevermore). Gilmour and Yee also had a hand in the writing of some of the songs.

There are few overdubs, and the emotions are genuine, and the music is as real as it gets. "The Purple Lagoon" and "Filthy Habits" are a pair of Frank Zappa covers, and two from Jean Luc Ponty - "Don't Let The World Pass You By" and "Mirage," help make METALUSION an easy pick as one of the best all-instrumental albums in years.

Unlike many sans-vocal rock albums that are released, METALUSION wasn't done under the false pretense the listener is going to be a master musician himself to appreciate it. Drover managed to avoid the trap of making the record a showcase for an extreme guitar virtuoso overkill, crucial in appealing to a wide audience. The only credential you'll need is to enjoy something different, and well put together.

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