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 oneís 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 Aliceís Nitemare. Both songs are perfectly played creating a fine atmosphere. The metal groove with the distorted guitars in Hear My Train A Cominí makes me play this music with a big smile on my face. I love this song. Canít 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 Patrickís debut album. I still think this is one of the best and catchy melodies Iíve heard recently. When you see him play this piece on YouTube, it all seems so easyÖ
Patrick Vegaís 8 Bullets is a great album. His music is both technical and emotional blending metal, hard rock and blues into a very tasty stew. Iím 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)
Where to buy?
All Rights Reserved Background Magazine 2013