Dave Martone hails from Canada and is described as a guitar virtuoso by his record label, Lion Music. After listening to Dave’s new album “When The Aliens Come” I think one should add “guitar super hero” to that description. Before giving a run down on the album let me say straight away that the album is a drop dead gorgeous slab of killer guitar playing. This album blew my mind on the first listen and on every subsequent play it has enthralled me more each time.
The album features thirteen scorching tracks of crunching and meaty guitars with the song writing emphasis maintaining an element of the future. Dave comments” the main concept of the album is trying to envision what music of the future might be. Trying to imagine that I could hop in some alien space ship 400 years from now and see what was playing on their I-pod equivalent”.
Lucky for all of us we don’t need to wait that long to find out as Dave has given us an album which needs to be heard now and hopefully still be heard in 400 light years.
The opening track “Starz Carz” is a scorcher. Dave’s guitars sound enormous and the track could almost be the soundtrack of an alien invasion. We get brutal riffing, strange effected noises, stunning soloing and amid all the madness a gorgeous classical section reminiscent of the sort of thing Steve Hackett is so good at.
“Flatulation Farm” begins with a glorious spiky synth like motif before launching into what can only be described as space funk. Dave scampers around his fret board like a man possessed. In among the funk we also get a healthy splash of country and banjo style riffs and some of the phrasing is played with a sense of fiendish glee. The track is blessed with some really melodic playing, which sounds modern but really accessible. Dave takes things to the edge sonically but keeps his feet firmly on the ground by making the music listenable and not just a chops extravaganza.
“The Four Horseman” is a truly gorgeous number. There are some great textures to the accompaniment and the melody guitars show what you can tease out of a whammy pedal to great effect. The first time I heard a whammy pedal being used was by Joe Satriani. Since then many players have added it to their arsenal of effects and are using it in more and more melodic ways. Dave’s use on this track is one of the most effective uses I have heard so far. The solo that begins at the three-minute mark is a truly awesome display of control, chops, inventive phrasing and downright crazy playing. It’s sort of Allan Holdsworth tripping out. The solos and effects just get more “out of it” as the track progresses and it has to be said the whole track is just amazing.
“Really Now” is a nice dark and fruity guitar workout. Dave taps and slides his way around his guitar and rhythmically locks in with his band. The guitar sounds as if the strings are loose and floppy giving a cool tonality to the overall sound. It has real movement, and is a very tasty track to drive to. The track takes on a new personality midway through when crunching riffs introduce an almost jazz-fusion like extravaganza. Dave's legato picking goes stratospheric on this track and is just frankly jaw dropping and the unaccompanied play out is worth the price of admission alone.
“Mike Crows Mailbox Of Doom!” is a cool acoustic track which lures one into a false sense of security before getting “crazy and out there”. I can only describe it as a sort of Van Halen's “Spanish Fly” on steroids with a chunk of Ravi Shankar mixed in for good measure. For myself this track is a real highlight and shows acoustic guitars can be set to stun in a very musical way.
“Fumble Fingers” is just fun, pure and simple. Double bass pedal drumming go for the throat and Dave strangles his guitar with his wang bar and makes some truly glorious noises. The playing is fluid and exciting and just pours from the speakers like shooting stars. At times its like Allan Holdsworth having a guitar battle with John Petrucci until Steve Vai steps in as referee and calls it a draw.
“Pung Yao” is another slightly Spanish and Classical guitar hybrid song. It’s plain and delicate and very beautiful. It gets funky in a Stu Hamm way and there are some dazzling tapped sections. It’s a nice breather from the sonic onslaught that has gone before.
“Angel” is a superb cover of the Jimi Hendrix number. Dave explores some wonderful harmony by using very tasty chords. The song is one of Hendrix’s best-loved tunes and Dave takes it to new heights. There are some lovely dynamics to this version and Dave sounds like he’s having a lot of fun with it. Modern techniques and tricks are used to great effect and show a song that one knows so well can have new life breathed into it.
“O My God I’m Swelling” had me thinking that maybe alien Hillbillies might be playing music like this somewhere. Truly thrilling acoustic guitar blends perfectly with jazzed out electric guitar. If you like what Tommy Emmanuel does with an acoustic you will dig this for sure. With clever use of dynamics Dave gives the impression of something swelling until he breathes the words" they're here”.
“Double FF’S” is a rocking fusion workout where Dave plays some licks which sound truly super human. The track is pinned down by some muscular riffing while the solos go off in all directions. The end of the track gets positively almost Metallica like in its brutal riffing whilst an ethereal female vocal purrs away in the background. There’s some cool feedback at the end as well, which gives the impression that the aliens really have landed at least in Dave's world.
“Maneemanaw” has a nice bass guitar led opening, which proceeds to wander into funk and slap wonderland. This song is all about rhythm and melody. There are some wonderfully placed harmonics in amongst the melody lines, which really hit the spot.
“Techno Bee’z” is a clever rendition of “Flight Of The Bumble Bee”. Dave picks out the classic melody, which has now become a real test for guitar achievers. The whole piece is played over a real techno rhythm and could be described as the kind of music you might hear in a disco in Mos Eisly (remember the Cantina sequence in Star Wars).
“When The Aliens Come” is the final track on the album and Dave comes out with some startlingly new sounding textures. This track reminded me of the wonderful Kings X in the way the riff rolls along until the guitars go into sonic territory that is rarely heard these days. The riffing is furious and crazy but at no point do you lose track of the song. Modern playing often leads the listener to distraction but Dave tempers all his “out there” playing with grooves and melodic sensibility that any lover of guitar instrumental music or rock/fusion could easily get their heads around.
I have listened to this album many times now and have to say Dave Martone has created a dazzling guitar album. It’s full of inventive playing and new textures and possibly is a sign of where instrumental guitar playing may end up one day. You don’t have to be a “guitar head” to enjoy this album as it is more than just a guitar workout. Compositionally its original and at times truly thrilling. One things for sure “the force is strong” in Dave Martone.
|Martone, Dave - When The Aliens Come (8/10) - Canada - 2007
|Genre: Instrumental Metal
Label: Lion Music
Playing time: 75:25
Band homepage: Martone, Dave
The Four Horsemen
Really Now !
Mike Crow's Mailbox Of Doom !
Oh My God I'm Swelling !
When The Aliens Come
DAVE MARTONE works with everybody (including JENNIFER BATTEN, STEVE MORSE, and MARTY FRIEDMAN to name a few) and attends regular guitar workshops throughout the US and Canada. His experiences enable him to perform in many styles with fluency and he has contributed to a tribute album for JOE SATRIANI. His legacy hints at his ability to deliver a solid fourth release, and “When The Aliens Come” provides fans of Instrumental Metal exactly that.
In terms of structure the songs tend to have two parts: (1) the industrial and atmospheric background noises and drum work that give the songs their structure and (2) the phenomenal guitar riffs and lead work that make each track unique. The atmospheric elements provide a basic framework and often serve as the source of tension within the songs while the guitar work does what every great instrumental release of the 1980s would do: show the artist’s ability to play.
DAVE MARTONE shreds like no one’s business, but let’s refrain from labeling “When The Aliens Come” as shredded cheese. The melodic elements and phrasings that DAVE MARTONE uses prevent his style from conforming to the clichés of shred guitar and his style does not repeat the same series of notes from track to track. He knows when to attack and how to build – which speaks volumes for the material contained on the release.
Songs like “Flatulation Farm” show an innovative approach to using rack-mounted effects and illustrate MARTONE’s careful attention to the tones selected. Importantly, the tones do not make the song by themselves: it is how MARTONE uses effects to enhance his sound that makes each track work. Riffs such as those found on “Really Now !” and “Oh My God I’m Swelling !” hint at the collective technical influence of the above-mentioned artists; however, the assorted hammer-ons, pull-offs, and taps fail to surpass previous works from masters such as CHRIS POLAND and MICHAEL LEE FIRKINS.
The low points of this release include “Mike Crow’s Mailbox of Doom !” where the focus shifts to acoustic tones under an Indian influence and “Maneemaunaw” which begins with an Arnold Schwarzenegger sample and repeats a bass-driven progression for over 9 minutes. The high points are many, with “Fumble Fingers” demonstrating MARTONE’s technical excellence, “Double FF’s” encompassing some rather interesting House elements, and “Angel” showing his ability to take new turns on the artists who influenced him most. All in all, fans of guitar virtuosos and background driving music will find no shortage of praise-worthy material on “When The Aliens Come.” This and any future releases will only elevate public awareness of MARTONE’s musical abilities while allowing him a playground for further development.
(Online April 1, 2007) www.metal-observer.com
|Martone – When the Aliens Come
2007 Lion Music
You could call this a guitar album for the new space age. Centered on metal oriented playing that goes in all directions, axeman, multi-instrumentalist, producer, teacher, & clinician Dave Martone has created a multi-textured record with all types of electronic blips that makes Satriani’s Engine’s of Creation almost meek by comparison, I said almost.
But it’s all about the experimental factor when it comes to the riffage provided by this Canadian six-string slinger. Of course the music is accessible; it’s the production diversity that contributes the mostly experimentation. Throughout Aliens..., Martone toys with odd tones (“The Four Horseman”), lightning fast arpeggios and tempos (“Fumble Fingers” & “Techno Beez”), smooth plectonic melodies (“Oh My God, I’m Swelling” & “Angel,” which is a nice ballad), and he even throws in a bass solos (“Pung Yao” & “Maneemanaw,” which the latter features dialog from Napoleon Dynamite ).
When the Aliens Come is an album that sets out to push the envelope on playing, similar to Greg Howe and Ron Thal, with inventive prowess on the six strings to reiterate the melodic stance at a different level.
Added: February 28th 2007
Reviewer: Tommy Hash www.ytsejam.com
When the Aliens Come Lion Music
Comments: Canadian guitarist Dave Martone is here to kick every last one of you card-carrying pansies in the teeth. Great isn't it? In a world rife with retarded worthless "popular" Top 40 rock bands and one neo-classic shred solo album after another, When the Aliens Come emerges from the abyss with the power of an elephant during mating season. Yet unlike the clumsy, violent pachyderm, this effort shows a myriad of different talents including diversity, grace and touch.
Martone is a former professor at the prestigious Berklee College of Music - which includes famous alumni John Petrucci (Dream Theatre), Kevin Eubanks (Tonight Show), Prince and Steve Vai - and you will realize the talent that could be brought to bear on this album.
There are many styles here including progressive, blues rock, jazz rock, hard rock and basic rhythmic rock and roll. You will also hear lots of distortion and sound effects from the guitar simulating outer space themes. For the shred-heads this record is not necessarily up your alley but has enough speed for your sick taste buds. "Fumble Fingers" will appeal to these mach three demons, as Martone more then exceeds the speed limit in this near shred bonanza. Or try out "Techno Bee'z" where David's fingers runs a 4.2 40-yard dash in a classical tone tangent. There are also enough hard and heavy passages' to satisfy the headbangers as well.
Track four "Really Now" satisfies both of the aforementioned taste buds as Martone goes off on several speedy tangents but still manages to stay hard and heavy. The style on this cut is 90% Petrucci/10% Ted Nugent, and manages to really excite the listener. The next cut "Mike Crow's Mailbox of Doom" Dave sounds like a lonely old unappreciated homeless sitar player on the streets of Casablanca, Morrocco. In this dusty dirty environment he plays wonderful Islamic tones in what sounds like his version of the Persian blues. There are even background Islamic chants and prayer moans.
For those that see a slowdown or bleakness to the future of our world, David plays a melancholy cleanly plucked near acoustic number "Pung Yao." Speeding it up into a really pure hard rock fashion, Martone plays the sweet yet heavy "Angel," which includes Schenker-esque licks and sweet plucking too. He even speeds it up showing many styles in the same song, possibly describing the ups and downs of a relationship with an Angel. "Double FF's" is a progressive journey into the future with really well played leads and a nice melody. This album also sees the bass guitar styling's of David Spidel which can be seen especially on "Maneemanaw." "Oh my God I'm Swelling" starts with red-neck like plucking of the song that might show how country music guitars will play in the 22nd Century.
These hypotheses are what make this album so intriguing, as you may hear this song and say "what the heck was he talking about" and come up with a completely different meaning. Just as long as you purchase the album, that's the key folk's.
This man is about as creative as your 6th grade art teacher on six or seven psychedelic 'shrooms. Nice effort for a Canuck. Eh? Ha ha. This item is recommended and is available at http://www.lionmusic.com/ShopSelect.htm .
Dave Martone - Guitar, Keys and Bass
Daniel Adair - Drums, Percussion and Bass
David Spidel - Bass
Prashant Aswani - Guitar
Gene Hoglan - Drums
Chris Buono - Guitar
James Hogan - Guitar
Terry Syrek - Guitar
Cassius Khan - Tabla's
Nenah Barkley - Vocals
01. Starz Scarz
02. Flatulation Farm
03. The Four Horsemen
04. Really Now!
05. Mike Crow's Mailbox of Doom!
06. Fumble Fingers
07. Pung Yao
09. O My God I'm Swelling!
10. Double FF's
12. Techno Bee'z
13. When the Aliens Come
Hardrock Haven rating: 8/10
|Dave Martone - When The Aliens Come (Lion Music) By: Joe Florez www.live4metal.com
Ok people, I am going to keep tabs as to how many instrumentals I receive from Lion Music. Already for 2007, this will be my second. Dave Martone is as far as I’m concerned an unknown musician from Canada who has appeared on comps and other releases as well and putting out some stuff on his own. In the bio he says that he wants to create some sort of space metal. Well, he succeeds at that because what I have here is some truly bizarre material. “Starz Scarz” is a fascinating blend of outer space vibes, metal and jazz riffs and even some acoustic guitar work manages to find a way into here for something that can’t be compared to. This is some complicated stuff as the drumming on here is pretty tight and the
time changes are complex. I hope he can keep me interested for the next 70 minutes. “Flatulation Farm” is somewhat more commercialized than the opener with some hard rocking riffage and groovy beats to jam to. Also there is what seems to be a rockabilly vibe with a twangy twist. The out-there atmosphere still exists and comes and goes when it pleases. “Really Now!” just put a massive smile on my face because this track just utilizes different type of rhythms and percussions such as the Latin movement which adds a nice touch of class to the jam. Dave still rocks out as if it was about to go out of style, but injecting other style outside the realm of rock is always welcomed as far as I’m concerned. One of the cool surprises on here is a modified version of the classical number “Flight Of The Bumble Bee” entitled “Techno Bee’z.” It’s got a dance beat that may turn off some fans, but others like myself will enjoy. This was something totally unexpected in the end as opposed to most neo-classical/shred fest discs that I’m used to. This is very dynamic and diverse. I think that some of the techniques and approaches to song writing is comparable to Steve Vai without replicating the seven string God. This is definitely something refreshing and enjoyable. No pun intended, but this disc is out of this world. www.lionmusic.com | www.davemartone.com
MARTONE - A DEMONS DREAM (B+) Lion Music, 2002
12 tracks, RT 55:54
[ http://www.lionmusic.com/ ]
On A DEMONS DREAM Dave Martone manages to do better than what most
guitar instrumentalists attempt to do, and that is to write catchy
songs. With no vocals this is often very hard and most of the time the
music that is produced is not for the masses. I have often spoken my
opinion that I believe Joe Satriani writes better guitar orientated
songs than anyone else. Dave does this as well without sounding like a
Satriani clone. Mr. Martone has quite a list of credentials behind
him, including a Recording Engineering degree from Fanshawe College
and B.A. of Music with a minor in Music Education from Berklee College
of Music obtained on scholarship. The recording engineering degree
shines through on A DEMONS DREAM as Dave produced, engineered, and
mixed the entire CD and did a very good job. The production is very
clean with multiple textures. You might think that with a title like A
DEMONS DREAM this would be some heavy shred fest; it is not. This
release offers a dynamic wide range of styles all the while forming a
cohesive flow from start to finish. The one song I keep coming back to
on the CD is "Attack Of The Celery Crunchers." I know... What the hell
kind of name is that? When an artist does not have words for a song
they often generate bizarre names... Why...? Because they are artists
and that's what artists do...create imagery! Anyway this song is just
all over the place yet it still has a good flow to it. The song
transitions nicely from mid-tempo prog/jazz passages to a real catchy
(what I will call the chorus) piece which is real heavy. It is really
hard to adequately describe this song. I have listened to it four
times while writing this and I still am not doing it justice. Dave has
many styles that are displayed on this CD and it is real difficult to
describe them all. He pulls off the creation of a wide variety of
tones and sounds that paint a great landscape for his music. Usually
instrumental CDs take a while to grow on me, but this one hit me
immediately. If you like guitar CDs but think too many of them sound
alike (and believe me, I have listened and reviewed over ten in the
past couple months), do yourself a favor and pick this one up...it's
different and definitely worth a listen. - Sean P. Gahgan
Detritus Rock/Metal e-zine
"Rock Hard With A Purpose"
|Martone: A Demon's Dream
There’s a tune for practically every kind of rock music lover on A Demon’s Dream, an instrumental album from Canadian guitarist and bassist Dave Martone.
For your consideration: The disc opens with the Joe Satriani-inspired, progressive-tinged "Big Church." Later comes the down-home, Southern-fried "Country Maniac," which segues into the Middle Eastern-flavored chanting of the oddly named "Demon Fetal Harvest," which flows into the traditional jazzy blues of "Got Da Blues." From there, Martone progresses to fusion that borders on chugging metal in another bizzare title, "Attack of the Celery Crunchers." "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat" is a shredfest and "Panemenco" melds flamenco guitar and pretty piano before turning hard and heavy.
Martone receives a little help from session players on drums, percussion, keyboards and some bass. And unlike many instrumental records, A Demon’s Dream does not get redundant or boring. That’s perhaps the best thing you can say about an instrumental record these days.
Added: December 9th 2002
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Dave Martone – “A Demon's Dream”
There are alot of good guitarists in today's market. I remember the day when a guitarist could stand out with his flashy techniques. Not in this day and age. Something else has to stand out. Canada's Dave Martone has just the thing. Excellent composition skills. You really need to be able to keep the listeners attention. Martone does a masterful job of this. There isn't no need to wear out your fast forward button on your player. What this release delivers is an entertaining listen from start to finish. It is also important to note that Dave Martone is an excellent guitarist. One of the best I have heard in a long time. He displays one element I find necessary.... discipline. There is nothing more boring than listening to some guy burn up his fretboard for 45 minutes. Martone is very capable of doing this but really strikes a balance which really enhances the listen. Another important thing to mention about this album is the atmosphere. Wow, there is a bunch of it and it's all different. Take for instance 'Big Church' or 'Demon Fetal Harvest'. There are some serious different elements thrown together and it all comes out excellent. I really can't say enough about this release. Bravo to Lion Music for getting it out and Martone for writing it. Some of my other favorites include 'Do Da', 'Code Red' and 'Panamenco'. The music has a fresh sound to it and at times displays some similarities to some of the work you have heard Joe Satriani do.
This album is big. If you shy from instrumental albums, now is not the time. There is quite a variety of sounds going on here and they are all done well. This album should rank up there with albums such as 'Flying in the Blue Dream' by Satriani or 'Ah Via Musicom' by Eric Johnson. Martone gets one helluva nasty guitar sound here and there which really gives the music a multi-layered feel. Very highly recommended release!
Dave Martone – “A Demon's Dream”
The world has a new Guitar Hero – his name is Dave Martone!!
The new CD "Demons Dream" is packed with some of the finest and widely diverse guitar playing to come out of 2002, any year for that matter. Martone is Canada’s finest export into the instrumental guitar genre. His jaw dropping technical abilities are nothing short of mind-boggling. Martone packs a solid guitar punch utilizing influences that run the gamut from over the top shred to intricate jazz fusion, to blues, to spacey weird sonic bombast!! He covers it all with the ease and fluidity of a man totally in control of his instrument and music. One can hear solid influential nods throughout the compositions to other great guitar masters such as Vai, Beck, Satriani, and Malmsteen.All the compositions are written with uniqueness in mind. Martone is keen on keeping the listener on their toes with plenty of twists and turns. The CD kicks off with the mind numbing Big Church, blasting out an ultra heavy rhythm that could knock down mountains. Other highlights include the very cool “What The Hell” with its acoustic flatpicking sequences combined with insane heavy riffage – not for the timid listener; and his cover of Charles Mingus’s – “Goodbye Pork Pie Hat”, a fusion lovers smorgasbord. Martone has a whammy pedal and he’s not afraid to use it.This entire CD will slay the masses in progressive rock/metal, jazz-fusion circles, and power shredders worldwide. Martone delves into all styles on “Demons Dream” and comes up with a masterpiece of sonic creativity.
Martone, a name given to this band, serves also as the last name of two of it's members. In particular David Martone, who is the bands central figure as guitarist and songwriter. This is the fourth cd by Dave Martone, and the third as an electric heavy instrumental band.
Each successive cd by him seems to elevate his music to a new level, with this A Demon's Dream, being as good as a recording in guitar instrumental fusion that these ears have ever heard. Now those are bold words, when one considers the vast amount of talent in this genre over the years. Yet listening to this cd has made me a huge Martone fan, and I was sincerely impressed with his Zone cd quite a bit.
Martone writes music that is both complex and melodic, with a ton of different tones that he draws from on his guitar, giving a literal candy store full of sounds. His technique seems to have an infinite amount of influences to draw from, and you will be treated to many peculiar effects, and techniques through the course of every song.
When you listen to this cd you are quickly reminded of the very best players around, echoes of Vai, Greg Howe, Yngwie, Satriani, Petrucci, Morse are all here in abundance, and while Martone may give hints of these luminaries, he has no reason to play second fiddle to any of them (no pun intended), his unique compositional style is filled with progressive, technical, and aural delight. With the exception of Howe, this music has more to do with progressive music than any of the guitarist listed. It hould be noted that he is also a professional in the studio, as a musicians and engineer, and a good one at that, the sound of this cd is as good as I have heard all year, spectacular sound!
If you are still reading this, you have gotten the impression that this is a glowing review. I hear a lot of music, and most is of the heavy instrumental varieties, and seldom do artists achieve music with the perfect balance of song quality, pristine sound, performance, and originality, and here is an artist that has come along with all the ingredients in one package. A must have for anyone that can appreciate the fine art of music, in the most complete sense of the word.
www.silverdb.com MJ Brady