Territory 4: why this name?
This is my 4th instrumental solo album. Also I felt that this is the time for me to move into some new territories, starting using new Scales/Modes, experiment with new grooves and time signatures…generally to move on. So... welcome to my “Territory 4”.
“Territory 4” is literally and directly what the title says.
I tried to create a piece of art that blends various styles, grooves and sounds. On this CD you can listen Modern Metal, Shred and Fusion all mixed together in a “unique” way. I am very happy and proud that did music with 3 of the most talented and gifted musicians of this planet. I hope this CD will worth all the money you spend to buy it and most important all the time that you will spend listening to it. My main ambition is entertain and inspire YOU…
I hope you will enjoy it.
Marco Minnemann (Drums):
Marco Minnemann is one of the most extreme drummers of this planet. I feel privileged and honored that a musician of this caliber is a part of my music.
He released instructional Books and DVD’s including the award winning and in many magazines as #1 voted "Extreme Independence". Also one of his DVDs "Extreme Drumming" won polls and achieved Marco a “Telly Award”. I “met” Marco from his work with the great Paul Gilbert and Necrophagist. Marco is a great guy and a superb professional. He completed the recordings of the whole CD in “no time”. Marco is the “dream come true” drummer for any guitarist/musician for one simple reason: He can play everything, any sick groove, even the most extreme and complex rhythm patterns. There are no limitations with Marco behind the drum kit. On this CD you can listen to a wide variety of styles and tempos. Marco executed everything with precision and musicality.
Thank you Marco.
Alex Argento (Keyboards):
Alex Argento is a great and ultra talented Keyboardist/musician from Palermo/Italy.
When I listened to his debut album “Ego” (2007) I was amazed from his excellent musicality and superb technique. My first reaction was like “God, one day I will do a CD with this guy”. Almost 14 months later I send him an email asking him to play all the keyboards parts for “Territory 4”.
I wanted someone that will be able to be versatile, perform over various styles and grooves and also be able to experiment with various sounds.
He accepted my invitation immediately and few weeks later he did all the recordings. The final result was more than I expected. Alex is not just the guy who plays the keyboards on this CD. Actually all the solos and themes/melodies are 50/50 between him and me. Alex has this great talent to keep a balance between melody and virtuosity. Actually he helped a lot by inspiring me with his great ideas and phrases that he did all over the songs of this CD.
Alex can be groovy but also he can shred as hell. I believe that in few years this guy will be one of the top keyboardists worldwide. I feel very lucky that Alex is a part of “Territory 4”
Thank you Alex
Kyle Honea (Bass):
Kyle is a Bass Guitar monster from Texas. I am calling him the “new” Billy Sheehan. This guy can play everything you could ask him. From simple groovy lines to the most fast and amazing tapping runs. Kyle is a great guy, he always says YES to every request. He is always complaining that his Bass Guitar parts are not loud enough on the mix, but I think that all the bass players are complaining about that (just joking my friend)!
I am very proud that Kyle played on this CD.
Thank you Kyle.
1. LOUD AND PROUD
A catchy song with a powerful scary “whole tone” intro and a memorable Chorus.
In the solo section me and Alex are playing this Question-Answer game by using Lydian scale and few outside notes. Also, there is a Marco’s scary drum solo before the main solos “Lydian” section. This song blends various times signatures and gives you the overall impression of how this CD will sound.
2. JORDAN'S TRAP
Jordan Rudess is one of my all time favorite keyboardists. This track is inspired by him.
This is an experimental song. I am using many scales and many time signatures. Very strange but also very adventurous. Don’t ask me what scales I am using on this song…there to many to tell! In the solo section you can listen a “devilish conversation” between the 4 of us be using many notes, many scales, many grooves, many arpeggios, many…many… many stuff.
“Blasphemy” is the continuation of a song that I did on “Hyperpyrexia” CD (2007) called the “Seven Curses”. So it is like the “Seven Curses Part2”. This track is in 7/8 and it’s inspired by oriental music. On the verse I am using a Phrygian Dominant Scale and in the chorus I am doing a modulation to a typical a happy Major melody. I like very much to connect Scales that sounds different. In the middle section of the song we are doing a Diminished scary sounding ala “Dream Theater-Metropolis Part1” part. Maybe this is the most extreme thing I have composed so far. In the outro part of the song me and Alex are trying to go faster and faster and faster!
This track commences a new era for me. I always was a fan of 90’s A.O.R bands. This song is an easy listening rocky memorable groovy song. Lots of minor pentatonic, lots of soulful playing. I really like that. Maybe this is the hit of this CD. Time will Tell…
5. THE SHEEN
“The Sheen” is an “up tempo” powerful Rock song. Straight forward melodies, straight forward grooves. I wanted to make a 70’s inspired song but with a “touch” of a modern feel. In the bridge before the solos section I and Kyle we are playing an ultra 150bpm fast sextuplets tapping run. It reminds me a lot of what Billy Sheehan and Paul Gilbert did in the past in “Mr Big”. Very few Bass players can play that fast, Kyle Honea is one of them. Also in the solo section you can listen to me playing something more fusion and “outside” stuff.
6. STRONG DESIRE
This song talks about a never ending love story between a Man and a Woman??
No I am joking. This is not a love song. Cool melodies and some great fret work here.
Definition: “Irredenta is a region that is related ethnically or historically to one country but is controlled politically by another”.
“Irredenta” is an oriental inspired heavy song. When I am listening to this music “Konstantinoúpolis” the capital of the Byzantine Empire is coming in my mind.
Alex is playing all the melodies and themes on this track. The highlight of this track is the eastern-Turkish inspired violin solo (from Dogan Berakoglou) and the “Alex is no fire” shredding in the outro. W.T.F this guy can really shred!
8. OVER THE SKY
“Over the Sky” is a powerful mid tempo “optimistic” song. My target was to make an “easy going” track that will make the listener feel happier. No tricks and chops here bu. beautiful melodies and a strong chorus. Maybe I did it (make you feel better). YOU will decide.
9. A NEW SUNRISE
Heavy riffs, great melodies, lots of lead work and a Funky Groovy solo from Alex like a “new Sunrise” is coming. There is not much to say. Enjoy
10. WOLFGANG'S MARCH
Neoclassical Rock/Metal is the style of music that I did in my 2 releases (Trained to Play and Virtual Virtuosity) So I wanted to make a tune that will remind me those days. “Wolfgang’s March” is a “paraphrase” of W.A Mozart’s “Rondo alla Turca”. I always like this Etude so I decided to do it in my way. Ultra fast double bass drumming from Marco and insane chops from me and Alex, Enjoy!