It’s no secret I am a fan of instrumental rock/prog/fusion. I’ve done reviews for Sean Ashe, Jonas Tamas, Andy Timmons and other established artists. When contacted by Swedish guitarist, Fredrik Pihl, about his second album, Static Alteration, I looked forward to skillful shredding, catchy chords and rockin’ riffs to use as inspiration in my work writing hard rock fiction. What a bonus to find the addition of featured player, Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal as well as that of Australian shredder, Brett Garsed.
The short intro, “AHT (Prelude)” promises an interesting story with a silky start including only a taste of the conflict to come. From there, a ribbon of dissonance dances its way around and through the remaining tracks, like peace and suspense take a reader through a good novel.
“The Road Home” is probably my favorite track. Its underlying beat brings to mind the decision–or the opportunity–to return to the comfort of one’s safe place and the effort to get there, perhaps not aware of what may await them. What does await them is the discordance of the fifth track, “Holly Hatten,” featuring Bumblefoot. Like a serious argument to which there is no good answer, “Holly Hatten” seemingly screams and cries in clamorous outbursts, possibly causing children to hide in their rooms. A question at the end is marked by a riff of Jimi Hendrix’s “Voodoo Child (Slight Return).”
“Voice of Reason” eases the senses and brings hope of resolution until smaller disagreements emerge in the title track “Static Alteration,” which features Garsed. The final track, “Where the Waters Flow,” brings the listener back to the diplomatic beginning.
Static Alteration is aptly named. Like moody waters, emotions can be frenzied or raw, only to be eased and calmed with the right words, the right actions, the right music. The album is available on Spotify, Amazon, and Bandcamp. Find more news and music at http://www.fredrikpihl.com