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Stride - Music Machine CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

3.69 | 12 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars "Music Machine" is STRIDE's first studio album, and an all instrumental release. This is also the album that made me an instant STRIDE fan.

Music machine is appropriately titled, as it is one well oiled machine indeed. The focus of this album is the masterful guitar work of Joel Gregoire, and to a lesser extent, the key shredding of Rick Flores, but neither of these accomplished musicians overwhelms the project. There is highly impressive solo work by both Gregoire and Flores, at intervals appropriate to make up for the lack of vocals in these pieces of music, but there is little, if any grandstanding. These songs are definitely "whole band" efforts. Even on the few tracks where the guitar work is more pronounced; the rest of the band is always a significant presence.

Any fan of John Petrucci's guitar work will be a quick fan of Joel Gregoire's. Even by Gregoire's own admission, his playing is very similar to Petrucci's; a fact that seems to surprise him. Oddly enough Petrucci is not listed among Gregoire's many influences, and STRIDE has actually been playing their brand of music since before Dream Theater was formed.

There are several instances while listening to the various tracks on this CD where I have picked up on a "tip of the hat" to one or another of STRIDE's influences, but those moments are fleeting and appear to be an effort to pay homage to those that helped mold the band's musical minds.

The band is very tight, and the songs well composed. From the hard rocking pace of "Borrowed Time" and "Laboratory", to the low key, emotionally charged tones of "Travesty," to the melodious acoustical presentation of "Elevated;" each track on this album is a feast for the ears.

Some of the bands music may be heard on their web site at

| 4/5 |


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