Here I'm going to comment a little about the concept and musical aesthetic I wanted to present on this CD.
Hyperyrexia: why this name?
Hyperpyrexia (=high fever situation) is what I was feeling during composing and recording this CD. It took me almost 2 years to complete this album. This is my first solo album that a real band plays on all the songs. On my first two solo CD’s I did everything myself (Producing, Recording etc). This time I had the chance to cooperate with world-class musicians like Derek Sherinian and Brian Tichy. All the guys that played gave their talent and passion.
Derek Sherinian (Keyboards):
I don’t think that I have to say enough about Derek. He is in the Top 5 of keyboard players worldwide. Derek played with Dream Theater, Billy Idol, Yngwie to name a few and he is the mastermind of Planet X. I saw Derek for first time live back in 1997 (The Forum/London) with Dream Theater. I was shocked by the way he could make the keyboards sound like a guitar with all those bends/vibratos and stuff. His unique playing full of passion and his technical ability makes him a legend. Even in my wildest dream I couldn’t imagine that one day I will be able to make a CD with this legend. Derek helped me a lot during the recording sessions. From simple things as the structure of the songs/line up of the CD’s titles to more complex stuff as production and mixing. With his advices he make me believe in my abilities and most important believe that with hard work everything is possible.
Brian Tichy (Drums):
Brian Tichy is a L.A based world-class drummer. He played with Ozzy, Foreigner, Derek Sherinian, Billy Idol, Zakk Wylde etc. Derek Sherinian proposed me Brian to play on this CD. Brian is a great and easy going guy to work with. I was amazed by his speed and accuracy. Brian hits the Drums hard as hell but also he is very technical guy. With his performances this CD is not the same anymore. Thank you Brian!
Manos is friend of mine, great bass player and member of my band for the last 2 years. Manos have studied at the prestigious “Bass Tech” in London.He is a well-known session player in Athens.
“Hyperpyrexia” is literally 2 years of my life. On this CD you can listen a diversity of styles as Metal/Shred/Rock/Fusion, all mixed together in a unique way. I tried to move a step forward. I have the reputation of the shred guy that only plays fast notes etc. I though that in this CD I have the chance to show another side of my musicality. 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 to give inspiration to all the listeners…
I hope you will enjoy it.
1) Child of Scotland
This is the opening track of the CD. An easy listening song. This is the new “Ziras era”.
On the intro there is a cool “string skipping” theme. The Lydian melody on the verse sounds happy and mysterious. “All the money” on the chorus’s pedal note unison with me Derek on keyboards. The solo is a fantastic “Scottish” type keyboard solo from Derek. That’s the reason why this song called “Child of Scotland”
2) Such and Such
“Such and Such” is a tribute to my all time favorite guitar hero Joe Satriani (Satch). I was blown away with “Surfing with the Alien” many years ago. This album “pushed me” to love instrumental guitar music and starting playing the guitar. “Such and Such” is an aggressive and groovy rock song that makes you “bang” your head. The guitar solo section is an interesting combination of Dorian and Aeolian moods. In the outro there’s a crazy fusion perspective of the intro melody. Brian Tichy hits like hell and Derek performs a crazy fusion solo. Their performances are on the edge.
3) Rapid Eye Movement
“R.E.M” is a fast and furious track and maybe the most technically advanced song of this CD. Even the verse melody is pretty hard to perform. Don’t ask me about the arpeggios on the chorus…scary really. The Guitar is tuned on D. I really like the “Sweep Picking” technique so I wanted to make a song with fast and breathtaking arpeggios. I think that this is a typical Ziras neoclassical song. The solo is maybe the fastest thing I have ever played consisting some insane fast runs @ 280bpm. Also check the insane solos from both Derek and Brian at the outro of the song.
Solitude is a dark mid tempo song. I compose this track during a very intense period of my life. Solitude…very melodic, very elegant. Both verse and chorus melodies are memorable and easy listening. The guitar solo in this song is maybe the best solo I’ve ever played so far.
5) Seven Courses
This is the first odd meter song on a Ziras CD. The time signature is 7/8. Based on Exotic and powerful Phryian Dominant melodies. Great ala “Yngwie” Derek solo and a superb Brian Tichy Drum solo. Also some crazy ask-answer solos from Derek and me on the outro of the song.
This is one of the “hit songs” of the CD. I always wanted to compose a straightforward rock groovy tune with a great unforgettable melody that will be likable to the average listener. Even my mother likes this song
7) Number One
This is the first song that Derek played for me during the recording sessions. That’s why the title “Number One”. Aggressive groovy rock tune with a great Phrygian Dominant melody on the verse and octave based melody on the Chorus. During the first Derek’s solo the Groove based on tradition Greek grooves.
8) Night of the Dead
This is a straightforward Heavy Metal song based on a Heavy ala “Metallica” Riff. Usually I am not a riff guy. I had much compunction if I will put this song on the CD, but when I played this tune live several times I was amazed from the audience’s reactions. Finally this song is the first video clip of this CD. To sum up: “Night of the Dead”=Catchy themes and great shredding.
This is the self-titled tune of the CD. A tremendous tune with a powerful diminished intro, a mystical verse and a “catchy” chorus. Usually at the end of my shows the audience is whispering this Chorus melody. You can identify how much I love John Petrucci, his playing had a deep impact to me especially in my early years. I want to thank him by composing this song. On the solo section there some diminished odd time (12-14/16,) phrases. Brian played this section in just one take!
10) Go East
This is the last song of the CD but usually I am starting all my live shows with this tune. When I am listening to this song my mind “Goes East”. Powerful tune with a cool Exotic “East oriented” melody. Brian Tichy did great job again. Also on the guitar solo in the outro he is doing some amazing chops and he is following rhythmically exactly what I am doing on the guitar, pretty scary!