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TONY MACALPINE

Progressive Metal • United States


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Tony MacAlpine biography
TONY MACALPINE is an American virtuoso guitarist and keyboardist.
Before he began to play guitar, TONY MACALPINE had formal music training in playing classical violin and piano.
He cites Romantic era composer and piano virtuoso Chopin as one of his biggest influences and as a tribute TONY MACALPINE played his own interpretations of Chopin pieces on many of his solo albums.
TONY MACALPINE is widely regarded as a big influence to the neo-classical metal genre of the 80s, helping the genre to develop, but often adding in blues and jazz fusion elements in too and the result was some of the earlier known prog metal made.
His first two albums, "Edge Of Insanity" and "Maximum Security" are the two prime examples of his great contribution to the 1980s metal scene.
He also appears on other influential 80s instrumental rock/neo classical metal albums as a keyboardist, such as Vinnie Moore's "Mind's Eye" and Joey Tafolla's "Out of the Sun".
During the 90s, he worked again with Vinnie and also worked with Ukrainian-American composer and piano virtuoso.
Since 2000, he worked with the fusion-metal band Planet X, featuring on their first two studio albums and a live album and played guitar and keyboards in Steve Vai's touring band, The Breed, up until 2006 when he left to pursue other projects.

WHY THIS ARTIST SHOULD BE INCLUDED IN THE ARCHIVES:
TONY MACALPINE has been part of the progressive metal world since the 1980s and has been influential on the genre and it's development.

See also:

- CAB
- Devil's Slingshot
- Planet X

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TONY MACALPINE discography


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TONY MACALPINE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.19 | 26 ratings
Edge Of Insanity
1986
4.06 | 30 ratings
Maximum Security
1987
2.41 | 13 ratings
Eyes of the World
1990
3.26 | 12 ratings
Freedom To Fly
1992
3.74 | 10 ratings
Madness
1993
2.83 | 11 ratings
Premonition
1994
4.07 | 14 ratings
Evolution
1995
3.65 | 11 ratings
Violent Machine
1996
3.00 | 12 ratings
Master Of Paradise
1999
3.88 | 15 ratings
Chromaticity
2001
3.60 | 15 ratings
Tony MacAlpine
2011
3.80 | 10 ratings
Concrete Gardens
2015
3.70 | 10 ratings
Death Of Roses
2017

TONY MACALPINE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.67 | 3 ratings
Live Insanity
1997

TONY MACALPINE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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

5.00 | 1 ratings
Collection - The Shrapnel Years
2006

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

TONY MACALPINE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Chromaticity by MACALPINE, TONY album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.88 | 15 ratings

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Chromaticity
Tony MacAlpine Progressive Metal

Review by sgtpepper

4 stars This album was my first contact with the solo output of Tony MacAlpine and remains my favourite or one of the most favourite ones. My greatest attraction was the fusion and progressive feeling of the record, especially in its first half where the trio pulls it off. Irregular rhythms, virtuoso bass, well thought-out guitar solos and excellent piano/organ arrangements or even virtuoso piano solos are main ingredients. No sung vocals help focus on the instrumental performance. You will notice some similarities to CAB or Planet X but with more focus on guitar on tracks like "Chromaticity" and "Digitalis Destructi" with its crazy chords. "City beneath the sea" may be the most melodic number on the record.

Diverse groups of progressive rock/progressive metal/heavy metal and guitar virtuoso will love this record.

 Master Of Paradise by MACALPINE, TONY album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.00 | 12 ratings

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Master Of Paradise
Tony MacAlpine Progressive Metal

Review by sgtpepper

3 stars The last sung MacAlpine album soldiers off with vocals by the shredder himself - Tony MacAlpine. Surprisingly, the vocal has a distinct color and can reach high notes the way that heavy metal singers can do. Arguably, these singers were the inspiration for MacAlpine. On the other hand, you can identify the lack of practice in singing in comparison to singers that were present on former albums.

Songs are quite well composed, melodic and there are good instrumental moments, both neoclassical, heavy metal and fusion. All tracks are quite accessible, especially those with a vocal. In the end, you get two instrumentals, the tasty "Final hour" and the best MacAlpine piano extravaganza "Au bord d'une source", where he shows many chops - I think this track is not a Chopin's work so hats off!

 Premonition by MACALPINE, TONY album cover Studio Album, 1994
2.83 | 11 ratings

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Premonition
Tony MacAlpine Progressive Metal

Review by sgtpepper

3 stars This the best 90's album by MacAlpine until "Evolution". The reason is is focused playing, better composed instrumentals and equally good drummer with chops. In addition, this transitional album showcases first signs of MacAlpine dabbling in fusion; it's not anymore soloing into a rock rhythm, feeling and sophistication soar this album into a higher floor.

Two Chopin opuses and one rondeau confirm MacAlpine's advanced piano playing. Most tracks have a melodic guitar line. "The violin song" is a complex fusion composition with incredible guitar/synth solos full of energy and motivation. It's a great combination, complex soloing married with attractive lead motive. "Ghost of Versailles" has a more traditional structure but complex is pretty diverse, still. "Tower of London" has thundering rhythm and neoclassical feeling from the 80's. "Rusalka" is another highlight on the album, slow but tasty guitar harmonies. "Gila monster" is the only typical heavy metal track here and it's good to take it plainly. "Maestro di Capella" has a nice accessible guitar chords with solo guitar in the background. "Inflectio" is the second great fusion track with bass out of this space - its atmosphere is so much different from anything else here. "Animation" is close to progressive metal/rock and the drummer is well aware of it.

A nice album but better ones are still to come!

 Eyes of the World by MACALPINE, TONY album cover Studio Album, 1990
2.41 | 13 ratings

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Eyes of the World
Tony MacAlpine Progressive Metal

Review by sgtpepper

2 stars Perhaps the most radio friendly album by MacAlpine, although the M.A.R.S. album is quite close. Despite having unknown musicians in the line-up, this sounds like an album of seasoned professionals, with very competent vocals, great guitar arrangements and contemporary drums.

Most of tracks have a decent melody and MacAlpine also knows how to write rock ballads. Compositionally, it's not a challenging album with the traditional verse-chorus-solo structure and there isn't much to discover for progressive or fusion fans of MacAlpine apart from pretty good or jaw-dropping solos. Rock and hair-metal fans will be more pleased even though this effort does not stand out of the genre average shelf of albums.

 Premonition by MACALPINE, TONY album cover Studio Album, 1994
2.83 | 11 ratings

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Premonition
Tony MacAlpine Progressive Metal

Review by kluseba

2 stars The music of Tony MacAlpine seemed intriguing enough to me to be tried out at least once as I read a few interesting reviews about it recently. I decided to go for "Premonition" for the simple reason that the song titles seemed promising and diversified to me. I'm really interested in exotic cultures, world history and classic music and titles like "Winter In Osaka", "The Czar" or "The Violin Song" woke a glimmer of hope and interest in me.

Well, you see me pretty much disappointed as the album doesn't hold what it seems to promise. There are no violin parts, no exotic folk sounds, and no historical elements. This album is just a random happy metal shred record filled with overwhelming riff masturbation. MacAlpine is surely a gifted player but he has no vision, no concept and not quite a diversity of emotions to share with us. After a few songs, he repeats himself and the album gets quite boring and only convinces as solid background music or for the guitar players out in the world that want to learn something from this gifted musician. Technically, this album is interesting but practically, it's forgettable. Anybody else won't be attracted by this album. A few memorable melodies and well made solos can't save much in here as the same patterns are repeated in an exhaustive way.

Even the solo albums of Timo Tolkki are more entertaining as they are at least more experimental. Another reviewer said that this album has fewer experiments and goes back to the basics. Well, it goes too much back to basic boredom and I should have probably checked out a different album from Tony MacAlpine first but let me tell you that my first experience didn't charm me enough to waste more time and attention on this. A good regular album of progressive, neoclassical or power metal will do a better job than this mediocre effort.

Originally published on www.metal-archives.com on October 5th of the year 2011.

 Violent Machine by MACALPINE, TONY album cover Studio Album, 1996
3.65 | 11 ratings

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Violent Machine
Tony MacAlpine Progressive Metal

Review by Ovidiu

4 stars Another great album of one of the most important guitar players of today!Seconded by 2 excellent instrumentists-the drum machine Mike Terrana and the very efficient bass player Kevin Chown,Mr Macalpine delivered another excellent instrumental pearl!Nothing new under the sun-the same inspired compositions and diversity in music,combined with the alchemy formed between all 3 aces on their instruments-VIOLENT MACHINE is an album that marks the progression of MACALPINE under all aspects-especially composition-tchnical abilities and manner of approach for the instrument,because he started to be more open minded towards other musical styles!Shortl time after this album Tony started his collaboration with PLANET X and CAB which are 2 very different musical styles-atomic fusion and jazz rock,but both at the same stellar level!!So,very,very good instrumental music-guitar orientated,with some touch of fusion and funk sometimes,plus the classic CHOPIN etude-a wonderful offering for the great piano player-performed by this musical genius called TONY MACALPINE!Absolutelly enjoyable from the first to the last track-an important album in the career of this sensational musician! 4.5 stars for a very,very good album for one of the kings of shred and an essential guitar player!
 Madness by MACALPINE, TONY album cover Studio Album, 1993
3.74 | 10 ratings

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Madness
Tony MacAlpine Progressive Metal

Review by Ovidiu

4 stars Madness is an excellent album of TONY MACALPINE,and no need to mention that this time ,he's surrounded by some excellent musicians again-Larry Dennison on bass and monster drummer Glen Sobel!The final result is at the height of our expectations-nothing breathtaking or sensational-just good quality TONY MACALPINE stuff!One of the high qualities of this album is it's great diversity and richness in musical expression -from pure fusion to neoclassical shred-from crunchy metal riffs to more world orientated music! Maybee,MADNESS is -from this pont of view-the most diverse MACALPINE material!There's no boring song on Madness,all tracks are excellent ,the album has rhythm,the balance between the tracks are perfectly well thinked and in the end we have the satisfaction of a good audition made!It's not at all an album only for musicians,it's a very good album undoubtedly with excellent compositions,and any MACALPINE fan and guitar shred fan will apprciate this album at 100 %!Of course,Tony's solos are mindblowing and spectacular-the CHOPIN piano song is present ,as usual,and it';s impressive again this album is a major step ahead compared to the mediocre FREEDOM TO FLY,the alchemy between all 3 musicians is perfect!I repeat-the perfect word to describe this album is DIVERSITY!A solid release for one of the best guitar players in the world!4 STARS !
 Freedom To Fly by MACALPINE, TONY album cover Studio Album, 1992
3.26 | 12 ratings

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Freedom To Fly
Tony MacAlpine Progressive Metal

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars His forth studio album under his name from 1992 named Freedom to fly is another worthy album, but this time the album sounds to me a little more orientated to hard rock then to that excellent neo classical fusion metal from Maximum security, no less a good work. Tony Mac Alpine besides the fact that he has a great contribution in many albums from bands and artist across the years both on guitar or keybords, like on Joey Tafolla - Out of the sun where he done some excellent keybords arrangements, and as fusion guitarist in CAB, Planet X, etc, always he is top notch in technque and in special arrangenents, he is a very good and trained pianist , just check out Chopin Etude #2, Opus #25, just great cover of master Chopin. So, this album is another worthy one, more towards rock then on metal side but keeping the elements from before, that neo classical signature from first 2 albums, he is instantly recognizable in style. He is helped with famous Terrana on drums, puting vein in the album on every pieces. The best track is for sure first one Ice princes and Stream Dream showing he is one of the ebst in his field for sure. No much to add, if you want to search for some MacAlpine albums stars with first 2 and then this one, the best from his catalogue, at least for me. 3 stars for Fredom to fly , good but not realy outstanding.
 Maximum Security by MACALPINE, TONY album cover Studio Album, 1987
4.06 | 30 ratings

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Maximum Security
Tony MacAlpine Progressive Metal

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Tony MacAlpine is one of the most influencial guitarist and keybordist from metal zone and music in general. His career lasting for more then 25 years is somthing to sudy by guitarists , mostly the younger ones, his contribution to music is essential in my opinion. Maxim security his second studio album from solo career, appear under his name in 1987 and is a killer one for sure. This album togert with his first shown how talented and versatile this musicin is. I think in comparation with other names from progressive metal, metal and neo classical metal Tony Mac Alpine is quite underrated. This album is first class, the songwriting and arrangements are some of the best neoclassical instrumental parts ever created by a guitarist, smooth, elegant, inventive and very well performed. The progressive elements are all over the place with nice keybords interluded with guitar.Excellent chops and very intristing arrangenets, I like a lot his guitar tone. Is no wonder because the musicians involved here are top notch Deen Castronovo on drums from Ozzy Osbourne fame, the famous guitarist George Lynch on couple of pieces, becaus the restof the guitar parts, keybords and bass lines are made by Tony himself. So, top album top musicinsm. All pieces stands out for sure, just check out Hundreds Of Thousands , Tears of sahara or The King's Cup, very technical album, the intensity of the guitar is superb and yet very powerfull here showing a true master of the 6 strings. Recommended album who desearve for my side no less then 4 stars, my fav Tony MacAlpine album for sure, maybe together with first one, excellent work who needs a better view, or a far more recognition.
 Edge Of Insanity by MACALPINE, TONY album cover Studio Album, 1986
4.19 | 26 ratings

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Edge Of Insanity
Tony MacAlpine Progressive Metal

Review by horticulture52

5 stars This album is unbelievable. If you thought the shred world was bland and made cliche by artists like Yngwie and Joe Stump, think again. This album is tasteful and wealth thought out, with melodies that with knock your socks off. Tony Macalpine is passionate about writing and his inspiration is genuine. His sense of phrasing and melody comes from his background in classical piano training, mainly Chopin.

The best tracks are 01: Wheel Of Fortune , 02: The Stranger , 05: Empire In The Sky 06: The Witch And The Priest , and 10: The Raven . I have never heard the Japanese bonus track. Plus, Billy Sheehan is on this record, and he's the best rock bass player in the biz. Additionally, Macalpine plays all the keys on the album and he sounds divine. Personally, I think he's a better guitar player than piano player, but his ownership of both instruments is pretty stellar. He's one of the best melody writers in the biz. Buy this CD.

Thanks to HughesJB4 for the artist addition. and to CCVP for the last updates

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