George Bellas has stretched his artistic and compositional skills to the limit (and then some!) and cranked out a 75 minute long track Ė the only track, in fact, on his new album Step Into the Future, which, not very surprisingly, is also the name of this single track.
If this hadnít been a CD that I had to review, I wouldnít have made it to the end even once. After having willed myself through this ordeal a number of times to be absolutely sure that I was right the first time, I can conclude with some certainty that George Bellas is not the Jean Michel Jarre or Mike Oldfield of instrumental guitar extravaganza. Even when this album is considered as a prog metal effort (rather than a guitar album), there are few redeeming traits. It's just too damn repetitive and dull to take me anywhere or move me into anything beyond a yawn.
Sure enough, there are passages with nice guitar work and atmospheric whateverness, but for the most part I found myself desperately wanting to skip to the next track to put an end to tiresome synthesizer bleeping and odd, traipsing time signatures that continue Ė seemingly Ė ad infinitum. The problem is, however, that there is no next track, so you just have to wait for the good parts, and believe me they are few and far between.
Iím sure Mr Bellas is a very skilled guitar player and that he has put a lot of work and thought into this magnum opus, but Iím afraid that the limit of his compositional skills is reached somewhere in the vicinity of five minute cuts. Either that or Iím just not ready to step into the future.