"The Force Within" (Pacifica Records; 2007)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

"The Force Within" is a collection of hard rock instrumentals that concentrates on telling stories rather than simply displaying flashy talent. There are too many instrumental CDs out there today that are designed just to show you how fast a guitarist can play ... this one focuses on the song rather than just the solo.

The track titles give you an idea of the content - "Frankenstein's Lullaby," "The Chocolate Factory," "Snake Charmer," "Dream Catcher." But don't think the CD is predictable ... what you might expect from the title might not be what you get. There are a number of nice surprises here.

Despite the lack of a vocalist, "The Force Within" will hold your attention from beginning to end. The focus on musical storytelling rather than fiery shredding makes this a more complete listening experience.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2011 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 11 Jun 2018 20:14:11 -0400.