"Fret-Essential: The Quintessence Webzine Compilation CD" (Wretched Productions; 2004) 

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton


"Fret-Essential" is a stunning collection of instrumental guitar tracks by artists you've probably never heard of. And, after listening to this CD, you'll wonder why.

Comprised of fifteen tracks by as many different but mind-bogglingly talented musicians, "Fret-Essential" is over an hour of music that will bring to mind the masters (i.e., Satriani, Malmsteen, Morse, Vai). What's perhaps most surprising about "Fret-Essential" is that it never lags. Despite the fact that you may be unfamiliar with the players hereon, you can't help but be impressed with their fiery shredding, their blistering leads and their progressive stretching.

It'd be pointless, if impossible, to point out the best tracks here. That depends more on what style of music you prefer than the talents of the individuals. Know this: All of it is heavy and all of it kicks ass. There's not a slow moment or anything leaning toward a "ballad" anywhere on the disc.

Kudos to Wayne Klinger of the Quintessence Webzine for compiling such an impressive collection of unsung hard rock / heavy metal axe wielders (a complete list of whom follows below). 

1. "Kara Kum" - Dave Beegle / Fourth Estate
2. "Twisted Metal" - Michael Knight 
3. "The Journey Begins" - Ray DeTone 
4. "Black Inside" - Tom Kopyto 
5. "Lexical Gap" - The Rob Sbar Noesis 
6. "Submarine Limousine" - GasHead 
7. "Rebel Hot" - Nicola Fassi 
8. "Carpe Diem Part 1" - Dave Villano 
9. "Inside Out" - John Sullivan 
10. "Fallout At 2114" - Rare Blend 
11. "Fire Storm" - Art Faccio 
12. "Alien Fetus" - David Neil Cline Band 
13. "Celibate Funk" - Chaz DePaola 
14. "Opus 2" - Sean Mercer 
15. "Distant Bliss" - Jim Morris

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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 2004 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 04 Oct 2018 19:54:50 -0400.