Almost 10 years after his third album “Machine Elves” (2012) was released, American guitarist Terry Syrek is finally sharing his fourth full-length album, Syrek, which contrary to its predecessor, will feature only instrumental compositions. Rich Mouser, on mixing and mastering duties, leaned on his considerable experience and expertise in the prog world (Liquid Tension Experiment, Transatlantic, Dream Theater, Spock’s Beard…) to turn an absolute hurricane of notes and textures into a precisely balanced, clear, powerful, and musical mix that lets each of the consummate masters present on the album and their respective instruments shine.
Syrek was meticulous and thorough in inviting the musicians he thought would be the best suited to carry out his vision, and he was successful in assembling what is in his mind the perfect all-star cast to record the music: German drummer Marco Minnemann, arguably the best drummer in the prog world today, American powerhouse bass player Bryan Beller (The Aristocrats, Joe Satriani, Steve Vai…), Indian bass prodigy Mohini Dey (Steve Vai, Tony McAlpine…), Swedish keyboard/piano phenomenon Lalle Larsson (Karmakanic, Electrocution 250, Agents of Mercy…) and with an apparition from Romanian virtuoso violin player Florian Cristea (Sao Paulo State Symphony Orchestra, Brazil).
The album, which is a concept about two little creatures going on a grand adventure, is narrated by prolific Hollywood actor and voice actor Keith Szarabajka (movies: “The Dark Knight”, “Transformers: Dark of the Moon”, TV: “The Equalizer”, “The X-files”, “Star Trek”…, video games: “Call of Duty”, “World of Warcraft”…). The music is intense and complex and, as per their own statements about the recording experience, has definitely tested the technical limits of all musicians involved. Said Marco Minnemann in an interview with Ultimate Guitar in 2020: “Holy Cow, that is such elaborate stuff! It is really complex, very long songs, very fast, and if it’s not fast it’s still brutal. And literally, it was like doing a workout and doing math at the same time, like, going to the gym and doing math! That was hard.”
However, the focus is definitely on the compositions, which are not sacrificed for the sake of technique, keeping the listening experience both rewarding and highly enjoyable throughout. That sentiment is echoed by Lalle Larsson’s perspective: “This recording contains over an hour of almost non-stop virtuosity. High-speed guitar and keyboard unison themes in odd-time signatures, blazing solos… (but also) passionate lyrical melodies that will give you goosebumps.” “ …(Terry) is a lot more than just another fast guitarist… What makes him stand out is his musicality, sense of melody, and musicianship… Terry IS a composer, so I feel that he has a big advantage there.”
For more information, visit online at terrysyrek.com