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Mattias IA Eklundh

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

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Mattias IA Eklundh Freak Guitar - The Road Less Travelled album cover
4.32 | 9 ratings | 2 reviews | 25% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2004

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The Road Less Traveled (2:48)
2. There's No Money in Jazz (2:00)
3. Print This (2:09)
4. Father (3:34)
5. No Strings Attached (1:28)
6. Caffeine (2:11)
7. Fletch Theme (3:47)
8. The Battle of Bob (1:34)
9. Chopstick Boggie (2:45)
10. Toxic Donald (0:43)
11. Happy Hour (4:16)
12. Smoke on the Water (3:44)
13. Insert Coin (1:31)
14. The Woman in Seat 27A (9:25)
15. Ketchup Is a Vegetable (1:29)
16. Samba Caramba (2:25)
17. White Trash Hyper Blues (3:13)
18. Toxic Mickey (0:42)
19. Minor Swing (3:05)
20. One-String Improvisation (0:15)
21. Asteroid 3834 (2:13)
22. Little Bastard (2:39)
23. Difficult Person Music (0:38)

Line-up / Musicians

- Mattias IA Eklundh / guitars and programming

Releases information

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MATTIAS IA EKLUNDH Freak Guitar - The Road Less Travelled ratings distribution

(9 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(25%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(38%)
Good, but non-essential (38%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

MATTIAS IA EKLUNDH Freak Guitar - The Road Less Travelled reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Tapfret
4 stars The Name says it all

Sub-genre: Extreme/Technical Metal (loose fit)
For Fans of: Steve Vai, Zappa, Spastic Ink, New and unusual ways to abuse a guitar
Vocal Style: Instrumental except one song
Guitar Style: Primarily very warm Hard Rock to Metal tube distortion. Clean breaks with no effects beyond wah pedal. Eklundh uses tons of whammy and slides in conjunction with harmonics for solos. He also does some rather unique percussive things with his guitar.
Keyboard Style: Few and far between, 80's mono sound used in Fletch theme cover and occasional bass.
Percussion Style: Straight forward rock set, occasional programming, guitar beating, and..beatboxing (mouth drumming)
Bass Style: Picked, occasional synthed
Other Instruments: Horns in one song, Epson Printer, "Gorf" video game, weather, crowd noise

Summary: Guitarists, especially those considered metal guitarists have been doing solo album ad nauseum for years. Very few set themselves apart, the usual is to span 40-45 minutes with 9 or 10 songs of very basic verse chorus verse chorus bridge/solo verse chorus structure. Mattias IA Eklundh is not one of those guys. 23 pieces in nearly one hour of music. Here and there we hear the familiar structure, but Eklundh strays from the conventional early and often. Even the seemingly simple becomes exciting. Everything in life is musical to him. Even the tedious start up sequence of a desktop printer has a rhythm that fits Mr. Eklundh's twisted designs. He keeps few secrets either. The liner notes explain in detail the method and madness to each of his compositions on "The Road Less traveled". Odes to other musicians, family, video games and perhaps the must technically insane cover of "Smoke on the Water" grace the album. The motif is usually light hearted and comical with occasional spurts of seriousness. There seems to be considerable effort to maintain flow and not let his technical genius become overbearing.

Final Score: Brilliant work, a worthy addition to any progressive collection. Short of being a masterpiece though, 4 stars.

Review by siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
5 stars Finding the time between his main gig of frontman for Freak Kitchen, MATTIAS IA EKLUNDH saved his best ideas for himself and the journey continues five years after his first bizarre concoction of musical madness with his second release under his own name - FREAK GUITAR: THE ROAD LESS TRAVELED. Right from the start this album sounds better in every way than the last and that's saying a lot because the first was utterly brilliant. The music is better written, better produced, the cast contains guest musicians playing the real thing instead of merely synthesized versions and best of all - the experimental factor has been turned up to 11!

The leading title track sets the stage for EKLUNDH's unique blend and tug-of-war between jazz, gypsy swing, metal, Zappa-esque humor and avant-garde weirdness. Slave to the melody, rarely does dissonance rule the roost and saved only for contrasting effects. The tracks are generally short and to the point but contained in each one of them is a wealth of musicality and influences with a healthy dose of highly innovated imaginative embellishments. Contained on this near hour experience is a totally ingenious way of melding progressive ideas into digestible packages. Even in the less than two minute songs you will encounter a gazillion influences and original ideas packed in together so tightly you might mistake them for a twinkie addicted prostitute stuffed into a dress several sizes too small.

The most creative ways of writing a song are EKLUNDH's specialty. On 'Print This' the entire tune is written around a printing machine which serves as the main instrument. On 'Insert Coin' it is the video game that dictates which notes are placed where. There are two excellent covers as well. An all instrumental version (mostly instrumental album) of 'Smoke On The Water' is' well, smokin! Enough to light that lake on fire under its own power. The guitars take the place of the vocals and probably the best cover of the track i've ever heard. Likewise, the cover of Django Rheinhardt's 'Minor Swing' is not only true to the original but off the charts in creative embellishments. Also is a brilliant cover of the 'Fletch' theme that is one of the rare examples of virtuoso guitar abilities mixing with a catchy groove that could get your booty in action on the dance floor.

This album packs in so much creative energy it should be prohibited by law! I have been listening to this album for over ten years now and it still blows me away on every listen. It stands out from absolutely anything else that has ever been recorded and blends the most extreme technicalities without removing the ferocious fun that music is supposed to evoke, at least in my book! This is a true masterpiece of epic proportions and although it has been known in the guitar nerd world for a decade, it is so ridiculously accessible and catchy that even my totally non-musical friends really dig this one. I could go on and on and on with this one but you really must just listen to some tracks and decide for yourself. EKLUNDH is a musical genius who graciously spends more time as a guitar teacher doing workshops than releasing albums like this, which i selfishly say waaaah!

Favorite tracks: The Road Less Traveled, There's No Money In Jazz, Print This!, Caffeine, Fletch Theme, Chopstick Boogie, Smoke On The Water, Insert Coin, Minor Swing, One-String Improv, Asteroid 3834 and the rest :)

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