Theodore Ziras | Trained To Play

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Metal/Punk: Instrumental Metal Metal/Punk: Power Metal Moods: Featuring Guitar
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Trained To Play

by Theodore Ziras

Instrumental neoclassical orchestral metal.
Genre: Metal/Punk: Instrumental Metal
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Future Memories
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4:45 album only
2. Dash
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3:13 album only
3. Common Transition
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4:15 album only
4. The First Attempt
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3:08 album only
5. The Vital Lead
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3:55 album only
6. Confusing Check
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4:15 album only
7. Mysterious Simplicity
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5:03 album only
8. The Gush
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4:48 album only
9. Missing God
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2:53 album only
10. Never Breaking The Rules
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3:33 album only
11. Symphonious Departure
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2:43 album only


Album Notes
Theodore Ziras was born in 1975 (Poros, Greece). His music training started at the age of 13 with Music Theory and Piano lessons. Two years later (1990) he also started studying electric Guitar, which became his main instrument. From the beginning of his music carrier Theodore was fascinated by musicians with high level of Technical ability regardless of style etc. At the age of 18 he moved to Athens and he continued his studies in Music Theory, Jazz Harmony, Rhythm, Counterpoint.

His main influences include F Liszt, J.S Bach, N Pagganini, J Becker, Allan Holdsworth, Y Malmsteen, S Vai, G Bellas,V Kuprij, V Moore, J Petrucci, G Howe and generally anything from Classical Music, Rock, Progressive Metal to Jazz/Fusion.

His first appearance with a band was in 1994 when he joined the progressive power metal Greek band Ice Divine as the lead Guitar player. With Ice Divine he released 2 demos and he appeared in 2 compilation CD's. Ice Divine appeared in many gigs in Athens with more important the shows as a support band with Iced Earth (Athens 10/97) and U.D.O. (Athens 2/98). Ice Divine voted in 1997 Metal Hammer's magazine polls Best Newcoming and Best Live Greek band. In October 97 they signed their first contract with "Noise International" but finally this cancelled 2 months later under strange circumstances. This incident had as a result the split up of Ice Divine.

So, in early '98 Theodore joined the Greek progressive metal band Guardian Angel. Theodore as a member of Guardian Angel didn't release any demo or CD but he played a lot of gigs all over Greece. After all, his cooperation with Guardian Angel was a very important experience and established Theodore as a great soloist and solid performer.

In late '98 Theodore decided to leave Greece and he registered at the Guitar Institute of London for further studies in Music performance and composition. He developed further his Technical and composition skills, also he deal with different styles as Jazz and Fusion. He started working on his first solo instrumental release. He graduated 3 years later getting his degree, Bachelor (Honours) in Music Performance & Composition.

In early 2001 he returned to Greece (Athens) and he signed a record deal with Steel Gallery Records. His first instrumental solo CD called "Trained To Play" released in April 2001. It's a mix of Orchestral Neoclassical & Power Metal with complex harmony/orchestration and mind-blowing lead guitar parts.

Theodore keeps extremely busy dividing his time between studying, composing, teaching guitar, writing instructional material, recording and trying to develop his style and grow as a performer and composer.


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Mikolaj Furmankiewicz

Theodore Ziras - Trained To Play
There are many talented guitarists in the land of Homer: Gus. G (actually Kostas Karamitsoudis), Angelo Perlepes, Overlord and just Theodore Ziras for instance. Theodoros started to play the guitar at the age of 15, and also learned playing the piano and music theory. Mr. Ziras graduated from Northumbria University in Newcastle (Faculty of International Business Administration) and Guitar Institute in London (Faculty of Pop Music and Composition). A Greek guitarist has always been interested in many music genres like classical, guitar-oriented music, progressive rock, pop, jazz and fusion. His interests oscillate around neoclassical tones, jazz harmony, rhythm and counterpoint. Theodore participates in guitar clinics, records instructional stuffs and teaches about forty students a week guitar playing (Guitar School247). His name can be associated with such bands and artists like: Ice Divine (power metal), Guardian Angel (progmetal), Bob Katsionis (keyboard virtuoso), AntenergeiA (metal opera), and neoclassical power metal band Euroforce over all!

When I listened to samples from Ziras' solo debut for the first time, I started to strive for this stuff very actively. Theodore is numbered among those guitarists who can boast about their almost unequalled style. Mr. Ziras is the only one hero on "Trained To Play" and responsible for electric & acoustic guitars, rhythm programming and orchestrations.

Another factor stimulating me to review this CD was its interesting title and a cover at the same time. It is obvious that the title can be regarded as a paranomasia in a case. There is a train on the cover, and the first sound is a reflection of going train. This latter word can be connected with other words: "training" and "to train" with reference to guitar practicing. I hope you get the point. Here are some initial hints concerning tempos we gonna encounter. Great beginning sets my attitude on a right track, haha. "Future Memories" is the most hit composition on this album. Positive emotions inside the track and connected with sad mood and fairylike orchestrations make me think of George Bellas' works (it is similar in "Never Breaking The Rules"). Although "Confusing Check" reminds me of Bellas' solo releases, I must admit that Theodore has enriched neoclassical composition by jazz improvisations. A very fast "Dash" refers to classical music of baroque era. "Common Transition", based on surprising agogical turns, should appeal to the fans of first Borislav Mitic's solo CD and Joe Stump's solo works. "The First Attempt" and "The Vital Lead" are distinguished by dynamism and lofty character. It's something great for buffs of Tony MacAlpine's first two solo albums and "Out Of The Sun" by Joey Tafolla. "Mysterious Simplicity" is a heavy metal track, but in more contemporary meaning, similar to Marty Friedman's music on "Music For Speeding". I have always been interested in dialogues between two guitar voices. Such an instrumental solution is done in "The Gush". I admit that Ziras' manner can remind you of Jason Becker's at some fragments. I don't write that Theodore clones Jason! Firstly, American virtuoso is a typical shredding metal representative closely related to speed metal, secondly Theodore belongs to the second generation of neoclassicists after Yngwie Malmsteen and Joe Stump for instance. Surely, a common factor is the speed of their music. Greek guitarist proves with "Missing God" that instrumental ballads aren't strangers to him. The album crowning "Symphonious Departure" is highly orchestral, so all the associations with Malmsteen's "Concerto Suite" are proper.

I realize that some people can accuse me of pigeonholing Theodore's music, but I cannot help it, since Mr. Ziras derives many influences from other guitarists' works. I don't mind classifying his music as fusion metal. It can seem to be strange, but I think that the titles of individual tracks can help the listener in understanding Theodore's music: "Future Memories", "Common Transition", "The Vital Lead", "Mysterious Simplicity", "Missing God" or "Symphonious Departure". Aforementioned labels to the compositions are significant, since they illustrate the music very well. "Trained To Play", like many guitar-oriented albums, is characterized by a clear production, so it's hard to pick on something. If you like neoclassical metal with complex orchestrations, you should try listening to "Trained To Play", because it is a Greek pearl of neoclassical style.

greg allen

just unreal good
this cd is unreal good,,a modern bach that shreds out of this world,this is a real energetic musical masterpiece,,if you do not want to buy this cd,you don,t really love music,period!!!!