Rusty Cooley - s/t
Rusty got his first guitar when he was fifteen. He took guitar lessons, but wasn't pleased with them, so decided to learn on his own using Doug Mark's method. He attended music theory classes at high school. Apart from such inspirations like Van Halen and Randy Rhoads, an American has been interested in classical music, jazz, funk, blues, and even country. Then he started music theory and history studies, and moreover - playing the piano.
He has played in three bands so far: Revolution (1989-1993), Dominion (1993-1995) and Outworld (1997-at present). A bassist Brent Marches played together with him in Dominion and appeared on the first solo release as well. Rusty bought seven-string guitar in 1996, and started playing eight-string instrument in 2002. But paltry eight strings weren't enough for Mr. Cooley! You do know that the guys from Meshuggah play the same guitar "giants", haha. Nowadays, it isn't surprising that aside from 6-, 7- and 8-string guitars, he also playes 9-string axe! Rusty, as many guitar virtuosi, recorded some materials for future guitar adepts: "Shred Guitar Manifesto", "Extreme Pentatonics" and "The Art of Picking". He has been repeatedly present on TV and participated in guitar workshops. He also teaches many students worldwide and edits his column "Metal Guru" in "Guitar Player" magazine. In 2000 "Guitar One Magazine" rated Rusty among seven fastest guitarists playing shredding metal. Rusty is also an author of guitar solo parts on the first Book Of Reflections' album (2004).
The debut solo release was prepared just in 2002, but a search for suitable label took the next year to finalize a deal and all formal matters. I must honestly grant that Rusty is one of the fastest guitar in the world. Mr. Malmsteen hasn't a monopoly on speed currently. Don't be afraid that you won't hear any riff. There are masses of them on the album. The leading composition - "Under The Influence" is beyond all doubt. It consists of progression, powerful accelerations, and - what most important - of beautiful melody. The whole trick is not to fingering to one point on the guitar neck. The trick is to know the code "saved" on that neck. Its knowledge is given to sparse group of musicians. Reading encoded language is a real achievement. Rusty Cooley is believed to be a "guitar safes buster", haha. I do know that my associations are sometimes really cosmic, but the music of virtuosos is the same, haha. I haven't listened to such a CD for a long while on which a guitarist could so adroitly join the influences from professional colleagues' works. I am getting down to business: "The Butcher" (similarities to Michael Angelo and Rob Johnson), "Dark Matter" (to Jason Becker and Greg Howe), "E.B.E" (to Steve Vai), "Hillbilly Militia" (to John5) and "Dominion" (vocal version) (to magnificent Symphony X).
Rusty's style can be described as a progressive virtuosity. Its genre's elements predominate on the album, even though there come up a heavy metal riffs as well ("Dark Matter"). It is also interesting to hear Rusty's playing at full gallop. I have used such a word, because his performance in "Hillbilly Militia" is a faithful illustration of galloping stallion. Some listeners can miss much more distinct keys' parts ("War Of The Angels") as well as "blows exchanges" between a guitarist and a keyboard player ("The Duel"). The last two tracks - "Dominion" and "The Butcher" (as "The Machine") - were recorded again in vocal versions with Kelly Carpenter behind the mike. His manner can make you think of Roy Khan now and then. Both Kelly and Bobby Williamson play in Outworld, but the first one is also famous for his participation in Beyond Twilight. Summing up my consideration, I wish to inform that in almost each track the dominant melody appears which you can marvel, marvel and marvel at again. I am under the great impression of Mr. Cooley's ingenuity and waiting for the next opening of his talent. Hope it will not last eternity, haha!