Power of Metal.dk Review

Parasites of Paradise
Style: Guitar Instrumental
Release date: 7 June, 2013
Playing time: 44:36

The legendary guitar wizard and pioneer of Finnish band Tarot, Zachary Hietala teamed up with Ari Hentunen (guitar), Mika Rintanen (bass) and Pekka Rinne (drums) from AJH custom guitars to unleash an instrumental album which they call ”A2Z - Parasite of Paradise”. In 2007, Hietala took part in the instrumental compilation ”Guitar Heroes” which included other guitar weilders such as Timo Tolkki (ex-Stratovarius), Matias Kupiainen (Stratovarius) Alexi Laiho (Children Of Bodom), Roope Latvala (Children Of Bodom), Emppu Vuorinen (Nightwish), Esa Holopainen (Amorphis), Sakari Hietala (Tarot), Tuomio (ex-Impaled Nazarene), Euge Valovirta (Godsplague, Suburban Tribe), Mikko Salovaara (Kiuas), Nino Laurenne (Thunderstone) and Mr. Crab (Bleak). After that release, many had suggested that Hietala continue to make such guitar albums on his own. The idea did not completely surface until he heard the AJH-album, was convinced, then had a talk with Hentunen to make an instrumental album.

”Parasites of Paradise” shows that Hietala and Hentunen make a good combination. Their styles compliment each other making some songs sound strongly melodic. Other times their guitars intertwine in such a way that you can hear the divergence of each individual's playing which can be distinguished as authentic from slow heavy riffs to fast ascending arpeggios (whenever the songs call for them I mean). One might be unaccustomed to hearing an album like this because of the ”guitar instrumental” tag, but it's not the usual progressive shredding that you would typically hear from George Bellas for instance. This album does not focus and rely on lead guitars to mindlessly shred as fast as possible - instead, the album offers a variety of themes and solid rhythms where the songs are carefully composed as part of a whole.

This might be a little off the subject but when I was speaking about great guitarists up there, I was reminded of another guitar virtuoso, ”Mr. Fastfinger” Mika Tyyskä. I'm now left wondering how ”Guitar Heroes” would have sounded like had he contributed to the project. Hm...

01. Cockroach
02. Nightcrawler
03. Isopod
04. Beetle
05. Centipede
06. Caterpillar
07. Mosquito
08. Praying Mantis
09. Strider
10. Leech
Label: Playground Music Oy
Distribution: Playground Music (Scandinavia)
Artwork rating: 93/100
Reviewed by: Haydee G.
Date: 8 September, 2013
Website: A2Z @ Facebook