Saturday, December 6, 2014


Label: Indie
Rating: RRRR
Review by Martien Koolen

If you love/like guitar pickers like Steve Vai, Marty Friedman, Joe Satriani and Yngwie Malmsteen, then this debut album from Toomas Vanem will be to your liking as I is an absolute must for guitar lovers. Vanem is from Estonia and he plays his guitar brilliantly and his debut instrumental album called I is a mix of jazz rock, fusion, prog rock and prog metal.

All the 11 tracks are composed like a song with a strong and sometimes addictive hook riff/line and do not really need any vocals. Some of the songs on this album I would already call melodic instrumental guitar anthems; take for example the amazing Operation S.S.E.S. or the opening track Tomorrow's Child. Tracks like Butterfly Effect and Orbital Man even could be called catchy guitar songs and Flower Power is a breathtaking ballad in the veins of classic guitar ballads as For The Love Of God (Vai) or Always  (Satch). Vanem is assisted by the skilfull drummer Andrus Lillepea and Henno Kelp on bass guitar and no one less than Stuart Hamm handles the bass in Gravity Of Eiffel Tower.

"I" is a must have album for guitar afficianados as it is pure guitar brilliance you hear. Toomas plays with power and sheer passion making this album to one of the best instrumental guitar albums I have heard in a very long time. So, Vai and Satch eat your hearts out with this one; play at maximum volume!! My favourite tracks: Butterfly Effect and Tomorrow's Child; sheer magic and I wish I could handle and play the guitar like Toomas...

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