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Byrd, James - 2001 Flying Beyond The 9


JAMES BYRD - FLYING BEYOND THE 9 (2001, LION MUSIC)
James Byrd - all guitars
Michael James Flatters - all vocals
Brian Hutchinson - multi instrumentation


Background
James Byrd for those discerning punters out there is of course better known for his work with the eighties melodic rockers Fifth Angel, and his other band projects such as Atlantis Rising. A guitar slinger cast in the mould of other neo-classical heroes such as Yngwie Malmsteen and Joey Tafolla, James has spent his time focused on a project which showcases his talents without compromising to the monotony of modern musical styles prevalent on radio. Firmly emdebbed in the traditonal roots of guitar heroism dating back to the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page et al, through to Van Halen and other contemporaries from the eighties.

The Songs
'Flying Beyond The 9' has been best described as 'symphonic metal', which is probably another description for neo classical power metal. To me though, it's all pretty similar, and mostly the comparison could be aimed fairly and squarely at Ygnwie Malmsteen guitar wise, and a progressive metal band like Magellan arrangement wise. If you could imagine him doing a concerto with an orchestra behind him then this an apt description of where we are at! Michael James Flatters does sound like a combination of Ted Pilot and Queensryche's Geoff Tate on some passages.

In Summary
Overall, the album flows well, with the standout cuts for me being 'Paradise Tonight' and the darkened drama of 'Dark Heart'. This album is good for what it is and is a testament to their unfailing commitment to this style of music, though to be honest the Yngwie Malmsteen like solo's got to be a bit annoying after a while. But well done anyway.

URL: www.jamesbyrd.com : www.lionmusic.com

Track Listing:
01 Flying Beyond The 9
02 Dark Heart
03 W.T.O. (We Took Over)
04 Nevermore
05 Everything To Me
06 Unity (While You Were Sleeping)
07 Paradise Tonight
08 All Of Me (an allegory)
09 Avianti Suite Op.1 No.63

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