Broderick Gray (Rick) is not a novice in the U.S. Underground scene. While picking up the guitar as a child, he studied hard to develop an advanced guitar technique and is now considered one of the virtuosos of the Neo-Classical genre in the U.S. scene. While co-operating with many bands including Timejam, Mass of Virtue, Amethyst, Allegiance, Nyxx, Metal in Action and Final Prophecy, among others. Gray was also constantly working on new musical ideas for his solo project entitled “Mythic Force”. Under that name he released several albums including “Realms of Fire”, “Sacred Vision” and “Mythic Force I, II and III”. “Metal Machine” is once again a collection of Gray’s ideas which ended up as instrumentals. Even from a flashy listening, it’s obvious that he is deeply focused on executing powerful Neo-Classical Metal instrumentals with catchy melodies and often extraordinarily fast and extremely skilful playing. Another fact which I quite enjoyed is that Gray flirts with Phrygian scales and there’s a strong “ala turca” feeling in many of his songs. One bright example is “Dawn of the Dragon”, a significantly wonderful track that makes known to people that there’s much hidden quality out there, and also notifies that Virtuoso Guitarists are not an endangered species any more. “Horizons of Glory” is another grand opus with a Phrygian-based riff and a very baroque atmosphere, which reveals also Gray’s ability to compose lengthy tracks without even one dull second. It’s hard to pick a favorite song from “Metal Machine” since it’s an album destined for Neo-Classical Metal fans and people who enjoy music with vision, passion and highly skilled performances.
Dimitris Starakis (Magic Starlight Zine)
Ask any great performer in the business and most would agree, the desire to play music was like a seed planted from the very beginning. Broderick Gray (Rick) is no exception. Developing a fascination with the drums around age five, there was no denying a true gift and ability. Then one day someone would put an old beat up guitar in his hands, the catalyst that would one-day launch his dynamic and successful career.
Rick’s obsession with the instrument became noticeable to friends and family alike. While his peers were playing sports or milling around the favorite hangout, Rick would sequester himself behind closed doors with that guitar, listening, studying, and contemplating the great sounds of 70s Rock (Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Kiss) as well as classical works by great masters such as Bach, Mozart and Paganini, all laying a strong musical foundation that augmented his devoted practice time.
By the mid 80s, Groups such as Iron Maiden and Yngwie Malmsteen became his passion. He totally devoted himself to their style. His flawless lightning fast picking technique and rapid-fire rhythms would soon gain the respect and attention of many of the greats in the field and label him as one of the most dynamic and multifaceted virtuoso guitarists in the neo-classical genre.
Not content to be just another performer, Rick would strive to increase his knowledge of the craft, taking music theory during high school, while at the same time developing his expertise on the keyboard. It was this endeavor that put him on the cutting edge as a composer and writer.
To date Rick has toured with several venues, including his own group for a time, and worked in several studios, composing and producing 100s of works. His virtuosity and superior musicianship continue to draw akalaids from a multitude of fans, young and old alike, from all corners of the globe.
Roger Salls (Timejam)