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Heavy Prog • United States

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Felix Martin biography
In the world of bass and guitar, the Chapman Stick is often hailed as king. However, FELIX MARTIN, a virtuoso guitarist based dualy in Boston and Venezuela, takes that a step forward with his impressive custom 14-string guitar. A kind of combination of a Chapman Stick's low-action tap-ability and a Warr Guitar's extended range design, MARTIN utilizes the beastly instrument in his power trio to create an eclectic form of heavy progressive rock. Ranging from a jazz-fusion based rock to groovy metal riffing, MARTIN and his trio create a technical and dynamic blend of jazz, prog, and hard rock.

MARTIN was born in Venezuela but moved to Boston to attend the city's prestigious Berklee College of Music to study composition and sound engineering/production. MARTIN quickly embedded himself into the city's vast music scene, arranging and composition and huge variety of musical projects while simultaneously working on his own solo work. MARTIN has used a number of different musicians for his trio, including drummers JP BOUVET and Joao COLACO and bassists Tiago GOMES and Killian DUARTE, among others.

MARTIN's debut full length album was Bizzare Rejections, released in 2010. The heavy jazz fusion made waves in the music community, and soon his trio set off on a supporting tour. After the tour, the trio released a live album, Live in Boston, in mid 2012. He has announced that he is working on a new studio album slanted towards release in early 2013 and has reportedly been working with the likes of drummer Marco MINNEMANN and bassist Nathan NAVARRO. MARTIN's music will appeal to fans of technical, jazz-based heavy prog such as ALBERTO RIGONI and others.

::::Andy Webb::::

FELIX MARTIN Videos (YouTube and more)

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FELIX MARTIN discography

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FELIX MARTIN top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.50 | 6 ratings
Bizarre Rejection
3.95 | 19 ratings
The Scenic Album
3.75 | 4 ratings
Mechanical Nations
3.98 | 35 ratings
3.33 | 3 ratings
The Gathering

FELIX MARTIN Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 6 ratings
Live in Boston

FELIX MARTIN Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

FELIX MARTIN Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

FELIX MARTIN Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Caracas by MARTIN, FELIX album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.98 | 35 ratings

Felix Martin Heavy Prog

Review by TCat
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin

5 stars Felix Martin is a Heavy Prog artist based out of both Boston, MA and Venezuela. He plays a 14 string guitar which is like a combination of a Chapman Stick and a Warr Guitar. He has made 4 studio full-length albums on which he has recruited several musicians to back up his regular core band.

In April of 2019, he released his 4th full length studio album called "Caracas" which consists of songs based on styles or traditions from Venezuela. It is dedicated to Venezuelans and the people's current struggle with the dictatorship. Felix hopes that the music in this album reflects the energy needed to make a change in the country. The core band on this album is made up of Felix Martin on guitar, Victor Carracedo on drums and Javier Sepulveda on bass.

I must admit that I didn't know much about this artist previously, and when I read about him, I thought this would be another one of those guitar-god albums where the artist it talented, yet all of the music sounds the same where each track is just as technically complicated as the last one and there is not variety. So, I was very surprised to find that was not the case with this album. Martin is amazing! His playing is so varied and yes he is a technical wizard on the guitar. And yes, he does show off, but after hearing this album, he has every right to do so.

Of course, since this is based on Venezuelan traditions, you can expect that all of the tracks are very Latin-American sounding, and that is the first refreshing difference. But, that amazing guitar that he uses can produce so many different textures and sounds that it never gets tiring to listen to. Martin allows the music to shine and the melody to show through in his music, the theme and variation style is quite apparent here, but when he goes into one of his rapid fire tirades, which he does several times, you just sit there listening with your mouth hanging open. His playing, technique and interpretation is amazing. On the track "La Vaca Mariposa" he uses a traditional song and turns it into a wild display of notes and technical grace adding in bits of heaviness and beauty and does it all in the songs original meter of 5/8 (a traditional rhythm known in Venezuela as "Merengue Venezolano"). He even breaks out his acoustic version of the 14 string from time to time, like on the fast paced "Grey Zuliana". Then there is the rapid tappity tap playing on "El Alcavaran" that gives that unique sound of the Chapman Stick incorporated into his guitar that works so well in this somewhat gypsy-infused style of that track. Continuing with the incorporation of all Venezuelan styles, there is the Joropo style (with a little Cuban sound mixed in) of "Zumba Que Zumba". The Joropo style also continues into the next track with "Apure en un Viaje", and Martin sounds like a small rock orchestra all incorporated into one instrument. And then there is the beauty of the tornada style in "Tornada de Luna Llena". There is so much packed into this album.

I can't say enough how amazing the playing is on this album. It's fun and exciting, and the music never wears itself out, because of the versatility in the playing while remaining faithful to the main themes, yet adding in so many textures, styles and moods even within individual tracks. I have to say that this is one of the best guitar solo albums I have heard and it's so great to hear a guitar virtuoso in progressive rock that isn't afraid to have variance in his music. Simply amazing!

Thanks to nightfly for the artist addition.

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