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Alek Darson - Panopticon CD (album) cover


Alek Darson


Progressive Metal

4.09 | 2 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website


My affinity for shredders began with the Varney cats of old, Shrapnel label artists like Marty Friedman, Tony McAlpine, Paul Gilbert, Vinnie Moore, Joey Taffola, Ritchie Kotzen and Jason Becker. There was something about aggressive, face-melting six-string shred that appealed to me and my bandmates, all still young and wet behind the ears in our sonic education. Their music served as a catalyst for showcasing technique, skill and dexterity. To a new generation of musicians we were inspired. It gave us common ground to critique and led to numerous valuable discussions before sitting down to play and develop our own material. "Check it out, here's Vai's lick from the Attitude Song." "No, wait? check this out, from For The Love God." It harkens back to better times with less responsibilities, where entire weekends were lost to jamming in a basement, or a barn, and drinking oversized 64 ounces of Mountain Dew from the local mini mart. Oh yeah, this brings back fond memories!

Every generation needs people to inspire musicianship, to push boundaries and stun the world as a result of their dedicated focus.

Alek Darson is poised to be this inspiration for the current generation. His release Panopticon (great name for all the Tom Baker Dr. Who fans who remember the main room in the capitol on Gallifrey) showcases a fusion of the old school regime and infuses the sound with the current trends of Djent and Tech/Extreme drumming and syncopation. A Berklee educated guitarist, Alek can skin a cat from 100 yards out with his shred (as we used to say). There may be numerous comparisons to ripping off Steve Vai, especially with the use of some guitar tones and whammy theatrics, but Darson also displays a fresh creativity, no doubt a result of ingesting and deconstructing Guthrie Govan's unique phrasings, which propel's his music to new heights. The compositions are titan strong and just listening doesn't do Alek full justice. Watch his videos. Check out his approach, the unique custom build of the guitar. Impressive is an understatement.

For fans of the above mentioned heroes of old, it is with much aplomb that Alek will inspire musical analysis, dialogue and critique for the next generation as they make their way, in a junked up heap to refill the big piss of Mountain Dew for the weekend jam. Bertoni. Plini. Brewer. Micic. These are the new Blues Saracenos, Mark Woods, the Derek Sherinians, and Randy Covens. The new shredders for the next generation. It is from this point in my maturing life I now clearly recognize, with lump in my throat and an outside-looking-in smile, that I can head (somewhat reluctantly) into the sunset, knowing the future of musicianship is in safe hands. The circle continues unabated. Each generation has it's own, tasked with a responsibility to take up the reigns and continue on, to explore those places where we are not able.

Wishful concert pairing: a G3 regime change sans Vai, Satch and guest? replaced with Darson, Plini and David Maxim Micic.

buddyblueyes | 4/5 |


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