Michael Angelo Batio is one great guitarist. Known to have created the double guitar, the quadruple guitar, a super-fast technique for soloing and be an internationally famous guitar teacher, the album cover says it all. This was his first solo album, and it looks like Michael Angelo Batio was totally confident with his abilities as a guitarist.
Is the music here any good though? Let’s find out.
We begin with the Intro: This CD is dedicated to you. It starts off with rushing sounds, sounding like waves in the sonic realm. Some dark foreboding sounds begin before our main man here begins shredding in an incredible way. He is really fantastic at what he does here, sounding as though he is making music for a Sonic The Hedgehog video game. It’s really fantastic to hear at the start of this album.
Next is Rain Forest which has some slower, yet equally awesome guitar sounds. Michael Angelo Batio plays a lot like fellow guitar hero Yngwie Malmsteen. But despite that, he really does play well. The whole piece is memorable, catchy and moving as a whole. The melodies here are really great, and spot on. Who needs singing when the guitar does this itself? It is a great tune. Some fantastic shredding in the solo and the use of harmonics is awesome. Not bad for an ambidextrous guitarist, the only one of a kind who has a good level of fame of himself/herself. It never is dull, not for one moment. It fades out with a repeated riff.
Science Fiction is the next track, a well structured and interesting instrumental. It’s slower, but the playing is so original and fantastic that it need not be Thrash Metal. It’s definitely unique. The whole mix sounds great and is worth your time. Plenty of ascending pick runs are here to keep you enjoying this musical journey and to be pleasantly surprised. It changes structure and tempo halfway through, adding to the great musical journey that this is. A lot is owed to Progressive Rock on this particular track. It goes into a cool breakdown towards the end of the piece. It fades out majestically.
Peace is next. Sounds completely different than you’d expect. Some piezo guitar sounds are here before a slow guitar melody takes this to emotional heights. Then after some time, some excellent slow drumming comes in, backed up with synth strings. It’s so beautiful for fast shred guitar music that it is an experience unlike any other. A tempo change occurs in the middle of the song, with more extremely fast played melodies. This misnomer track is full of interesting surprises. It is almost a tearjerker in terms of emotion but in a positive way of course.
The next track is cool, I Do For You. It has some almost Metallica like riffs and just sounds super awesome. It demands you to put on your shades and rock out like a rockstar. The guitar playing is smooth and awesome. The many multitracked guitars are an ode to what can be done with such a great approach to playing. The best thing about this? Michael Angelo Batio is unbeatable for shredding. Next to nobody can play like him, a true prodigy and virtuoso. The repeated pinch harmonics in this are really great. Although it is nearly six minutes long, it never gets boring whatsoever. The wah-wah guitar here is also very amazing.
After that, we arrive at The Jam Game. It has some great riffs, sounding as though it would be perfect for the Doom video game series. In any case, it’s a quirky and excellent way to express oneself musically. The guitars here vary accordingly in tempo and timing. The beefy sounding midsection is really awesome too. It’s jam-packed full of surprises. Most listeners will no doubt be impressed with the music here on this album so far, it’s amazing. A variety of guitar tones are here as well. A nice tune, any day. It ends in a soothing sort of way.
2X Again is a more pop-sounding piece, although there are no elements of singing here whatsoever. It’s a slower and more brooding sort of piece. Even so, the music here is really fantastic. Never a dull moment on this album, it is easy to enjoy it completely from start to finish. Some great string bending and other guitar tricks drive this forward. There is a more progressive rock sort of feel to this song. A call-and-response guitar solo piece in this is here as well. It has a mix of slow and fast soloing to it as well.
No Boundaries is the title track. It’s a well structured and melodic piece. Beginning with tom-tom drums we then go into another amazing and just really excellent listening piece. It changes completely in the middle of the song in terms of tempo. Fans of Slayer and Nirvana will rejoice at that. It’s another awesome track by Michael Angelo Batio. There are many layers of instrumentation to explore here. Good stuff.
Next is The Finish Line. True to the title, Michael Angelo Batio plays as though his life depends on it. It has a semi-blues feel to it as well. It’s fast, furious and factually brilliant. The lightning-fast solos will blow your mind. It has a bit of a classical feel to it as well.
Outsideinside starts off with a very Jimi Hendrix guitar part, before going into a funky shred piece. It’s really fantastic listening. Being the last song on this album, it does not fail to disappoint. The shredding once again will blow your mind. This album ends on a high note with this song. The funk guitar melodies here are really just great.
If you want to hear the fastest shredding that you have ever heard in your life which also doubles as good instrumental music, look no further. This takes the traditional element of shredding to the max and places all the wannabe shredders in their place. Michael Angelo Batio? A true legend.