Roland Bühlmann is a Swiss guitar player, composer and producer. After years of performing with different artists and groups he recorded his first solo album called Aineo. All instruments on the CD are played by Roland himself, except for the drums and percussion; those can be acquired from the internet nowadays, a site like loopmasters.com makes sure you have a genuine drum sound, but still ....
Aineo is an all instrumental album , totally build on stringed instruments, so the albums limits itself to the true guitar devotee in the purest form. During the first composition Breakthrough, you kind of get the wrong impression of what is to come; a solid rock riff takes you to a classical rock style, but when another guitar melody plays over the base, the music takes a turn towards a soundscape style of music with numerous loops and fusion elements. During other compositions elements of classical music find their way to Roland's music, like in the beginning of Ham'nagen, a composition that has (too) obvious computerized drum patterns, but still pleasant sounding guitar melodies and stretched solos. Aineo sees guitar sounds in a lot of varieties, mostly drenched in several effects and played in and over loops. Quite impressive, but it does take away a bit of soul in the music; the outcome sounds a bit cold to me. Roland at some points sounds like a light version of David Torn and even during the smooth acoustical parts like Mike Oldfield on his album Guitars (1999). Even Roland's electrical guitars have Oldfield's specific sound at some points. Listen to the albums finale; Contemplation.
Aineo is a true guitar album and the regular progressive rock fan has to be very open minded to sit through the album. For me as a guitar fanatic, it was quite acceptable, but I am afraid other releases over class this album and will take more time of my PC and CD player than Roland's Aineo.
*** Pedro Bekkers (edited by Astrid de Ronde)
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