Review VICTOR SMOLSKI ‘Guitar Force’

The name Victor Smolski should be familiar to most of you. The multi-instrumentalist started his solo career in 1996 when he released with ‘Destiny’ a first EP. With ‘The Heretic’ followed an acclaimed debut album and Smolski became really popular as guitarist of Germany’s metal icons Rage. Smolski was part of their line-up from 1999 to 2013 and even after his departure, things didn’t get quiet concerning the musician. Almanac was founded and three albums are available to date.

In 2023 it is his solo career which Smolski revives with ‘Guitar Force’. The guitarist has played all the instruments (except the bass) himself, one can truly speak of a solo project. However, Smolski has brought guests into the studio. For example, his old companion Peavy Wagner who provides the bass on ‘Unity’ and also otherwise Smolski has brought well-known bassists on board.

Photo: Uwe Godau

‘Guitar Force’ is a title that leaves little room for interpretation. Of course, it’s all about the hard chords and riffs. However, Smolski also shows how diverse the sound of a guitar can be. Partly comparable to the shred guitarists of the late 80s, but also in parts comparable to the musical diversity of bands like Dream Theater, the musician surfs through the ten songs on ‘Guitar Force’. Thereby also some Rage-like parts are applied like on ‘Bought and Sold’.

Victor Smolski manages to combine hard riffs, filigree solo parts, melody and steel. He does this very cleverly, as the album does not only appeal to guitar nerds. Even as a non-musician one can enjoy ‘Guitar Force’. The part of the vocals is taken over by the guitar and this is the great merit of Smolski. It can be said that on this longplayer ideas from the time with Rage, the sound of Almanac and classical music a la Johan Sebastian Bach (‘Chapter 3’) are united.

Fans of sophisticated heavy metal should definitely listen to ‘Guitar Force’. Here musicians and non-musicians are equally pleased.

Rating: 8 out of 10.

Tracklist:

  1. Guitar Force
  2. Bought And Sold (Instrumental Version)
  3. World Of Inspiration
  4. Darkness
  5. Self-Blinded Eyes (Instrumental Version)
  6. Satisfied (Instrumental Version)
  7. Chapter 3 (Concert for Violin & Oboe With Orchestra)
  8. Bourree (Suite 2)
  9. Menuet (Suite 2)
  10. Unity

Label: Massacre Records

Genre: Instrumental

Release Date EU: February 3rd, 2023

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