By Allyson Kingsley
Joe Stump has been a mainstay to the instrumental rock and metal guitar gods scene for quite some time now. A dig through his vast discography reveals a unique talent that has been honed since the age of 10. He lists various influences that range from Jimi Hendrix to Uli Roth as well as classical mentions Bach, Vivaldi, and Mozart that spans quite a vast gamut. He has been voted one of the top 20 shredders of all time by Guitar One Magazine. His recent release is Diabolical Ferocity and it delivers as the title promises.
“Ignition” introduces the album wonderfully with such mystical guitar wizardry to whet your palate. It leads into “Burn It Down” which is an energized devastating piece with trying riffs hell-bent on doing exactly what the song says.
Stump’s talent, technique, and in this particular track, the dark theme is readily apparent in “King of the Underworld”. Also noteworthy is the symbiotic flow along with the drumming. This is a nice sinister number.
“The Snake Charmers Fate”, although mainly a heavy theme, has wonderful Middle Eastern styled melodies that simply skew the listener.
We move on to “Nacht J.S. Bach” which introduces “Sneak Attack”. Perhaps my favorite song on the album, it is maniacal. His style and technique is relentlessly high paced but it does not detract from the fluid movements of the song.
“Die By the Sword” seems to slide into power metal territory and again is a proud display of his majestic sweeps along the fretboard. “Viking Pillage” gives me the feeling of a Steve Vai kind of style along the vein of his infamous “Passion and Warfare” album. It’s catchy and not what I expected from a “Viking” song.
“Maximum Damage” switches back to the utmost heaviness and revs with a palpable beat that continues to be grandiose and splendid in his technique display.
The finale is “Forever Moore”, an honorable tribute to Gary Moore, capturing the blues, jazz and hard rock fusion medley that he was known for.
I have to honestly say that Diabolical Ferocity takes the new Joe Stump number one spot for me. It is simply amazing as well as enriching.