This is the second studio released album from shred guitarist Katrina Johansson, which will hopefully see her being signed to a major record label, I'm not entirely sure why she isn't so far, although she is endorsed by Dean guitars, which is a definite consolation. This CD is even more powerful than her previous release, Guitarsongs Volume 1, mainly because she is perfecting her playing style to really act as her voice, so the CD is much more personal. Katrina uses strong influences from musicians including Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Eddie Van Halen, Vinnie Moore and Yngwie Malmsteen, yet still keeps her own distinctive style and this album has also allowed her to continue to work with influential musicians including Mike Hoffman (who also produced the album), Wolfe, Michael Angelo Battio, Brad Rohrssen and Victor DeLorenzo.
The album is four songs long and begins with the track 'Scar Tissue', which alternates between a lush rhythm guitar melody and powerful heavy riffs with almost tribal sounding drums, this is interwoven with Katrina's impressive guitar work which makes good use of legato and some brilliant picking techniques and finishes with a pretty mental guitar solo! The second track 'Bellydance' has, quite obviously, a very strong eastern feel (in a heavy metal sense anyway!) and is a weaving of slinky rhythm guitars, sexy drumbeats and an unusual use of scales. Track three is 'Love, Surrender, Forgiveness', the title track of the album and seems a very personal, poignant and reflective track which really allows her voice to show through her guitar playing. Track four, the remix of 'K-9 Lullaby' features strong solo-ing and picking techniques and is a powerful and impressive tune, which has obviously drawn influences from some of Steve Vai's more epic guitar work (though minus the song length!).
Love, Surrender, Forgiveness, although very short at just over 16 minutes long, is still one to try and get hold of and Katrina Johansson is an artist worth looking up and hopefully this year will see her signed and on tour!