Yngwie Malmsteen’s first album brought a different air to the scene of heavy metal back in the 80s and absolved the use of long instrumental parts in the songs, leading subsequently many guitar players to create their own full-instrumental albums. The albums of Vinnie Moore, Joe Satriani, Jason Becker that followed “Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force” helped to built a cult status for those musicians and the so-called “guitar hero heavy metal”.
Nowadays, we can’t say there is a school that is still active in this kind of music, but every now and then some bands or artists present a new work that is addressed to those who loved the 80s instrumental albums and are still thirsty for endless melodic guitar solos. SOUND THE SIRENS is exactly this case; their second album “The Shape of Sound” brings back, not only the sound, but also the quality that some of the best instrumental albums had in the 80s.
Peter Karapatsas, the man behind SOUND THE SIRENS, seems to have studied thoroughly the old school of instrumental heavy metal, as he preserves the original 80s feeling, but he also adds – in some tracks – some more modern touches. The album is full of dreamy instrumental heavy metal tracks such as “Exist to Exit”, “Follow those Ghosts”, “Sink or Swim”, “March with the Tide”. Very beautiful, 80s classic material, that justifies the purpose that such albums always had; to make the listeners close their eyes, and help them travel wherever they wish, only with a guitar on their side.
“The Shape of Sound” is close to the sound of the first album of the band, even though the albums opener is quite speedy and heavy – of course the melodic solos still exist. There are some similar parts in other songs, but the album is in general very melodic, keeping the essence of the 80s, but with a contemporary point of view. Also, those who liked the rock/new age experiments in Marty Friedman’s albums, will also like “Reconnect”, a track that brings out a similar vibe.
SOUND THE SIRENS is a very good choice for those who miss the 80s instrumental metal albums. The band is heavier and more modern than the Mike Varney school for example, but the classic “guitar hero feeling” is here. Those who travel to unknown worlds whenever they hear the sound of a guitar, will find a great companion with this album.