Von Horn, Achim - Nice To Meet Ya

Year of Release: 2002
Label: Red Art
Catalog Number: 002-2001
Format: CD
Total Time: 45:48:00

Instrumental prog fusion fans should make note of Achim Von Horn. The guitarist has teamed up with bassist Athanasios Carathanassis and keyboardist/drum programmer Christian Neubert and released the delightful Nice To Meet Ya. Delightful? Nah, that makes this sound a little prissy. Scorching would be more accurate, as the trio blaze their way through 9 slices of sizzling fusion (and 2 simmering ballads). Though the sound is guitar oriented, I kept thinking of Planet X due to the big bold sound being created here on some of the tracks. Or Cosmosquad, come to think of it. Inevitably, and it's unavoidable, names like Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, etc. come to mind. Though the drums are programmed, it was really until I read the credits that I realized it, as they have a natural sound to them. Sure, zoom in real close and you can pick out their inorganic origin, but they fit right into the mix so perfectly, so snuggly, you'd expect that there was a fellow on a stool keeping time. Because I think these guys are so good, it makes me doubly regretful that it's taken more than a year for this CD to reach my player.

The album is mainly punchy, power fusion workouts with a few more subtle intricate statements. It's the first of these styles that opens the album with "Marakesh," a track that features massively fat bass lines from Carathanassis and screaming acidic guitar from Von Horn. It's a track that asserts itself and the trio's raison d'?tre. "Muffle's Shuffle" brings in a bluesy swagger to the proceedings, Von Horn's guitar speaking in confidently seductive tones. The fiery hot "Devil's Meeting" brings in a more metal edge, reminding me a bit of Deep Purple's "Highway Star." Von Horn shreds all over the place, the steady drums and percussion keeping everything moving along and right on track. The title track is a groovy little ditty with a bit of a ZZ Top attitude in its Southern boogie vibe. Carathanassis's bass is throaty and deep, humming along beneath the snickering percussion, and crisp drums (and you forget it's programmed).

On the other side, the trio offer the warm and sentimental "Touch My Soul," the sweetly romantic "Sunset." Each of these off set the spicier numbers nicely, each being interesting show cases for Von Horn's guitar. But this trio sounds like a trio, not a soloist with a backing band. Keys don't play a big part overall, so Neubert's contribution is mainly in the drum programming, and it's those drums that keep things grooving along.

In between, there's "Cosmical" which combines the two elements, putting Neubert's keyboards firmly in the mix for the first time (with a twinkly, Mark Kelly-like sound) ? but then it's only the fourth track. It contains some interesting elements, but I don't think they're developed fully? sort of a piece of music trying to find a direction, and, failing to, returning to the initial arrangement. That initial arrangement ? guitar centered ? is good. "Eternal Dance," with it's chiming, jangly guitar rhythm, and sinewy guitar leads, seems constantly on the verge of something? and just when you think it might not get there, the track takes a jazzy turn, leading into some smooth keyboard phrases from Neubert, and a moment later, slinky guitar from Von Horn.

"Universe" is a bit spacey, as the title suggests; but that's just a bit of keyboard stuff at the beginning -- this is not atmospheric rock. This is a universe in the midst of creation, evolving and expanding and doing so at quick and sometimes frenetic space. Imagine, if you will, beginning with a vast nothingness, then the big bang happens, and suddenly you witness stars being born and dying; planets spinning into formation; interstellar debris tumbling through space on a headlong collision with destiny.

Whew! All this leaves you exhausted and wanting more. Whether your taste is for instrumental rock in general or tangy guitar rock, this German trio serves it up steaming and spicy hot.

Marakesh (3:50) / Touch My Soul (3:41) / Heavy Tools (3:48) / Cosmical (6:08) / Muffle's Shuffle (3:52) / Devil's Meeting (3:29) / Eternal Dance (6:26) / Sunset (4:39) / Nice To Meet Ya (3:14) / Happy Metal (3:33) / Universe (5:08)

Achim Von Horn ? guitars, balalaika; voice (6); sing-sang (1); drum programming
Christian Neubert ? keyboards, drum programming and special effects
Athanasios Carathanassis ? bass

Nice To Meet Ya (2002)

Genre: Fusion-Jazz Fusion

Origin DE

Added: January 11th 2004
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website: www.achim-von-horn.de/
Hits: 892
Language: english


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