Dean Cascione - 'Guitar Chop Shop'

Released in 2007

Dean Cascione - all guitars
Guillaume Sylvain - drums
Jay Menard & Randy Ciak - orchestration
Gabriel Langelier - vocals on track nine.


1.) "Alba"
2.) "Molto Veloce"
3.) "Sunrarzor"
4.) "Guitar Shop Shop"
5.) "Brother"
6.) "The Monk"
7.) "Driven"
8.) "Farewell"
bonus track:
9.) "Brother" - Featuring vocals by Gabriel Langeleir

     Usually I refuse to do reviews on instrumental releases.  You can’t break the track down without coming across as a music teacher, and to be honest there has not be an instrumental release that I have heard were you just about have to be the person that wrote it to understand were the music is going.  However I was asked by Blast’s Asst. Editor to review this release.  It seems ‘Guitar Chop Shop’ has sit on my desk forever.  A big part of that was due to the fact of being behind at the time I received the release.  However I must be honest there was another part of me that was dreading not only reviewing it.  Not listening to this release would have been the biggest mistake I would have made in my tenure as editor of Blast Magazine!!!!    
     ‘Guitar Chop Shop’ contains eight tracks plus one bonus track.  The bonus track is a remake of track five titled ‘Brother.  However, it consists of Gabriel Langelier from the band Icewind on vocals.  Since we are on the subject of ‘Brother’ I will do it first and get it out of the way.  The intro opens with two different classical guitar arrangements one playing lead while the second underling classical guitar is basically strumming chords.  After a couple of measures Dean breaks into an almost carbon copy of Randy Rhoades guitar intro for Ozzy’s “Diary of a Madman” taken from the album with the same name released on November 7, 1981 (this was the last release before Randy’s untimely death on March 19, 1982).  I’m not one to believe in séances, Ouija (correctly pronounced "wee-jah" /wiʤə/ although often pronounced "wee-gee" /wiʤi/ and commonly known as a 'Spirit Board’) Boards or anything of the such, I’m a firm believer that there is a rational explanation for everything.  However, I have to say outside of a very few and I mean very few differences it sounds so much like Randy that if I did not know any better I would swear Dean has channeled the spirit of Rhoades. 
     The other seven tracks include classical guitar songs and passages mixed in with shredding electric guitar solos. Dean is a student of guitar shredder Joe Stump. However, it does not take long after listening to this release that you begin to realize the student has surpassed not only the teacher but several other instrumentalists!!!! 
     As I mentioned earlier, there are specific reasons I do not do instrumentals.  However, if it had not been for our asst. editor I would never had heard of this jaw dropping release.  Yes, that’s right I said jaw dropping.  Which are two words I don’t believe I have ever said in a review?!  There is several criteria a release must meet to get Blast Magazine Diamond status, one is it can’t be the artists first release.  Well, Dean has changed that rule!
If you are an aspiring guitarist no scratch that if you just a music fan that’s into good solid melodic metal then this CD is an absolute must have!!!!!