· TORBEN ENEVOLDSEN - ABOVE AND BEYOND (GYR118) ·
::T R A C K S::
01. SONIC CONFUSION
FORMAT: Audio CD / Wallet
Excellent 4th solo studio disc by this awesome guitarist from Denmark featuring 10 tracks of killer, powerful, hard-hitting, instrumental guitar riffage that kicks sonic metal ass and lands on rock solid ground. Torben Enevoldsen (Fate, Section A, Fatal Force, Acacia Avenue & Decoy) is an accomplished, world-class, axemaster who speaks the same "six string language" as the "guitar greats" on the outstanding "Above And Beyond" disc. An essential, dynamic, melodic, heavy guitar rocker that is Highly recommended to fans of Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Paul Gilbert, George Lynch & Vinnie Moore.
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01. SONIC CONFUSION
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TORBEN ENEVOLDSEN - "Back On Track"
· reviews ·
Torben started playing the guitar at the age of 14 and in 1995 he already recorded his first demo called “Just In Case”. A few years later he recorded his first album “Guitarisma”. After his second solo album and a few collaborations on several tribute albums he played in Section A. The band released their critically acclaimed debut “The Seventh Sign” in 2003. Later on he also appeared as a guitarist for Fatal Force and Acacia Avenue. But in 2010 the guys from Fate asked him to join the band. So he accepted the offer and has now released two wonderful albums with those melodic rockers. And now he felt that the time has come to release his fourth solo album, ABOVE AND BEYOND.
Torben isn’t a shredder per se, but more a guy who loves to put melody and feeling into his playing. When you listen to opener “Sonic Confusion”, you will immediately get the picture. His bass and rhythm guitar set down a fine basis structure for the songs. The lead guitar can be seen as “the voice” of the album. But Torben can shred as well! At several timeframes he injects the tracks with some pure ear candy for the shred fans among us! The main riff from “Cruisin’” sounds like a derivate from “Taught To Kill” from his own band Fate (from their latest album “If Not For The Devil”). Mr. Enevoldsen has developed his own style, but some influences from Joey Tafolla and Joe Satriani (the man who taught his guitar to sing) can be heard. The title track combines a catchy Eddie Van Halen-sounding riff with the pure emotional solo guitar. That guitar takes up speed and holds some short shred bursts. “Horizontal View” kicks off with a strong bass line and a semi-acoustic guitar (like the ones on Satriani’s debut “Not Of This Earth”). Soon the singing, almost weeping guitar drops in. Further on we get the faster paced “Dreaming” and the more rocking “Back On Track”. “Deep” takes the role of the power-ballad on itself. Again you get submerged in a pool of emotions and feelings by the sound of string master Torben. I even detect a short Neal Schon (Journey)-moment in the song. One of my faves from the album is the quite faster paced “Lost In Space”. The song delivers a good mix of melodic and more heavy parts. “Mysterious Karma” is slower, but holds some more experimental playing (reminiscent to that other axe master Mattias Eklundh). “True Blue” is another ballad to put this very relaxing album to its end.
Torben is a versatile guitar player who delivered an all instrumental album that’s very easy to listen to. Expect no incredible complex structures or hundred breaks and style changes in one song. He chose to bring a palette of real emotions and it’s especially that move that I love about this album. Strongly recommended for fans of early Satriani, Joey Tafolla and Vinnie Moore!
4.25 out of 5
Rik Bauters / LiveReviewer Magazine (February 2014)
I freely admit that instrumental records have never been my strong point with the exception of Tony MacAlpine which, over the years, has published some excellent slices. And on this issue here, I also think knowing a little MacAlpine here and there, but Enevoldsen has a completely different sound and thank God for that. He doesn't exaggerate as many others by going totally berserk in scales and just going crazy. From the first track "Sonic Confusion" sit just there wondering how to play as fast and tasteful. Torben also possesses the ability to write some very heavy tracks like "Dreaming", "Back On Track" and "Mysterious Karma" and then to go all the way to the other extreme of the more quiet and sensitive as the "Horizontal" and "In Deep". And the unique thing about this album is that you do not get bored and feel that it is not too large a mouthful to hear an instrumental album entirely at once, but an album that is screwed together well and so does of course show that Mr. Enevoldsen is a great guitarist, which must be taken very seriously.
9 out of 10
Tunge Bach / Metalized (February 2014)
Best known as the leader of Acacia Avenue, Decoy, Fatal Force and Section A, Torben Enevoldsen is now also the latest to take on the six string mantle in the mighty and back on form again Fate; the guitar master having played a strong role on the recently released 'If Not For The Devil' and its predecessor 'Ghosts From The Past'. However before all of those Hard Rockin', melodic talkin' acts, Torben put his name behind two cracking guitar instrumental albums, 'Guitarisma' (1998) and 'Heavy Persuasion' (2000), before an equally impressive third foray, 'Flying Solo', appeared in 2005. Therefore a follow up to this trio of interesting and well constructed albums has long been overdue and with the ever busy songwriter and guitarist teaming up with the impressive Grooveyard Records for solo effort number four, 'Above And Beyond', there's already a fair bet that it won't disappoint.
And so it proves, 'A&B' confirming Enevoldsen as a guitarist of real talent and vision. This guy can play and he isn't afraid to let fly with speed and precision when the mood takes him. However what Enevoldsen has constructed here is a heavier, more in your face take on the sort of attack Joe Satriani has thrived on for years. Great melodies, memorable hooks and riffs aplenty are what greet you; grabbing the attention, keeping it firmly within grasp and refusing to let go right across the ten tracks presented.
The sharp and focused 'Dreaming' is anything but, jabbing through a meaty riff, fret flurries being amongst the fieriest on show, 'True Blue' brings the same intensity but through a much more restrained approach, while opener 'Sonic Confusion' slams Satriani into a full on riff that Friedman era Megadeth would have pulverised with. The results are an album that guitar aficionados need to hear, while cleverly, those with more song based tastes won't be left out in the cold either. Not many guitarists in this field deserve to be mentioned in the same breath as Satriani, Vai or Timmons. Torben Enevoldsen does.
5 out of 5
Steven Reid / Fireworks Mag (February 2014)
Danish Torben Enevoldsen has done something that very few have the skills to do - he has made an instrumental guitar album that is actually worth listening to.
Okay, I have a hard time with many lead guitarists. Not as such, perhaps, but with lead guitarists who - just as unbearable as it is predictable - regularly have to make instrumental albums of a certain character. What character? Yes, too many of them - set yourself names - have nothing at heart than time and again to prove the pleasure of thrashing your own plank - ahem! For reasons best known only to their therapists, these players confuse again and again their "racing" with otherwise illustrious musical qualities such as "dynamic", "melody" and "soul."
Luckily there are a few - with the American virtuoso Joe Satriani at the top - who well know that these three qualities must be addressed before they start caressing their planks, so to speak. Danish Torben Enevoldsen belongs in the Satriani camp which he once again proves with his fourth solo album "Above And Beyond". The album is stylistically also very close with Satriani classics "Surfing With The Alien" and "The Extremist" - but does not reach quite the same level. Less, however, can be more and it is a pleasure to hear Enevoldsen's well-composed instrumental excursions out into the music world, whether we are out in straight heavy rock as "Cruisin'" and "Back On Track" or a dreamy ethereal detour as "In Deep".
It shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone that the Fate guitarist is an absolutely stunning musician, but Torben never lets his enthusiasm for his own abilities run away with him. On the contrary. He manages - as does Satriani - to combine the best heavy rock riffs with an obvious understanding of the aforementioned qualities: melody and dynamics.
When - and only when - those elements are in their place does Enevoldsen start exercising his fast fingers.. And it's damn good.
This kind of music is rarely more than a sermon to the already converted but, having said that, the converted will be all smiles when they listen to "Above And Beyond" while hopeful young guitarists while either rise to the occasion or burn their instruments.
Steffen Jungersen / It Is Only Rock "N" Roll (January 2014)
The Danish guitar virtuoso Torben Enevoldsen is living up to the challenge of being Europe's answer to Joe Satriani with a successful instrumental guitar album that you can easily listen to for long periods of time.
If you like metal, you like guitar. But too much guitar can easily be too much, too boring and too strange. Just take all the virtuosos who cannot keep their hands to themselves: Vai, Satriani, Malmsteen, Petrucci - you name them - over-exaggerated guitar masturbation. This is fortunately not the case with Danish Torben Enevoldsen, as we know from bands like Section A, Fatal Force and most recently with the successful Fate. Enevoldsen has, however, also a name brand in his own right as an excellent instrumentalist. He has now committed his fourth instrumental album entirely in his own name - and what a revelation this gem is!
When Satriani is at his best, he's pounding rhythmic and melodic at the same time. So he has taken the time to compose and then he makes it into a successful album. Just listen to "Surfing With The Alien" (1987), "Flying In A Blue Dream" (1989) and, not least, this reviewer's favorite "Crystal Planet" (1998). Similarly with Torben Enevoldsen and especially his latest album, "Above And Beyond", which is 10 tracks of nothing but sheer brilliance, sheer melody and harmony. And also metallic steel balls. There's a lot to come by. Torben Enevoldsen is an exponent of some great speed on the axe, for some extremely melodic and harmonic lead guitars. Technically, he is unsurpassed. And then he uses energy and effort on something so rare as to put heart into his rhythm guitars. Torben Enevoldsen takes rhythm guitar seriously, no matter where he plays. And even when he publishes instrumental albums in his own name. And we're not just talking hard riffs, but the rhythm guitars playing chords, creating harmony and rhythmically getting the excellent "Above And Beyond" to swing enormously. It does not matter that there are no vocals on the album, Enevoldsen's guitar ties everything together neatly. And yes, we actually have something as rare as a must-have instrumental album.
It's music, it is here. In all ends and edges. An album steeped in musicality and love of the same.
5 out of 5
Lars Schmidt / DEVILUTION.DK (January 2014)
Torben Enevoldsen, the Danish guitarist we know from Section A, Fatal Force or Decoy, and most recently, Fate. It seems that hard rock is now his refuge but apparently he "pulls the wolf into the forest" because we have known for some time that Torben was working on another instrumental album. Since the release of his previous solo album a few good years have passed ("Flying Solo" was released in 2005) and I have to admit that those platters appealed to me.
"Above and Beyond" is not your average instrumental album. Each composition is shocking with its enthusiasm and melody. Changes of pace and tone are interwoven (already once I compared these patents to Annihilator). Once again, however, I come to the conclusion that Enevoldsen is not only a virtuoso of the guitar. He is a composer who, in his characteristic style can build songs. Sometimes, perhaps predictably, but with the orientation of both the melody and in the riff. Both are his domain in the case of his solo albums as well as projects he has been associated with. Interestingly, similar sounds can be found in the music of hard rock, prog metal, or just in playing an instrumental.
On the new album we find themes that after only a few seconds, you can assign a style as Enevoldsen. As an instrumental album "Above and Beyond" is more than a backdrop. Sometimes with instrumentals we start to miss the vocals. Here the guitars fill the space. I do not mean this in a bad way. It's not packed in here in a multitude of paths. The compositions on the album contain good, memorable melodies and riffs. My favorite upon first listen is "Crusin'", but also look favorably on perhaps the most prog-oriented - "Lost in Space". I also like some of the quieter and more charming pieces and themes.
In my view, the instrumental album should be more affected by the feelings of the recipient than a regular album. And this album satisfies these criteria. For fans of the guitarist this album can be unpredictable. But in a positive sense. Anyone who knows the music of the Danish virtuoso knows his sense of balance and restraint in doling out solos that never rise above the melody. For me it's a great album, and even because of the much better sound, Torben's best solo album, one that I can gladly listen to a few times in a row. Melodic, climatic, but I'm starting to repeat myself.. so I'll put it on once again.. "Repeat all".
8.5 out of 10
Piotr Spyra / rockarea.eu (January 2014)
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