Bellas, George - Venemous Fingers

Year of Release: 2003
Label: Lion Music
Catalog Number: LMC 083
Format: CD
Total Time: 55:39:00

In the 80s, there were some outstanding guitarists, that definitely deserved the title "superguitarist". Of course you think of Joe Satriani, Stave Vai and also Yngwie Malmsteen. Fortunately these guys are still active, only adding to this title! But in the past years, there have been lots of excellent guitar players, but personally (correct me if I'm wrong) I haven't seen or heard any guitarists who have the same impact as Satriani or Vai had. However, this might change, as Lion Music recently released the album Venomous Fingers, by George Bellas. Bellas released his first album with Mike Varney's label Shrapnel Records in 1997, and also played on the albums of John West, Magellan, Ring of Fire and Vitalij Kuprij. Venomous Fingers is his third solo album.

That Bellas is inspired by Malmsteen, is very evident, as his music has lots of classical elements in it. Listen for example to songs like "Journey To The Stars," which I find on the verge of plagiarism (Check out the song "Perpetual" on Malmasteen's Fire & Ice album!), or "Shedding Skin" and you know what I mean. But also the fact that he mentions a number of classical composers in the credits, names like Franz Liszt and L.V. Beethoven, shows where he gets part of his inspiration as a composer! Mr. Bellas proves to be an all-round guy, as he plays all instruments himself, although the drums are probably coming "out of a box," but they sound quite good, so no problem there.

Besides the little too obvious Malmsteen riffs, [for] which I forgive him, as Bellas is truly an excellent guitarist, there is one other thing I'd like to note about the album: it is called Venomous Fingers ... I really like Bellas' playing and composing skills, but I do miss the edge in the songs. I expected the riffs to be really crunchy and at least bits of true shredding, like, sorry for the reference again, Malmsteen can do at times, but there not there. In short, I would have liked to hear more venom in the songs or more specifically, in the guitar play.

But despite this, Venomous Fingers, is a great album, which will appeal to all Satriani / Malmsteen lovers, as it is filled with neo-classical guitar virtuosity and George Bellas is a serious candidate for a new "superguitarist," if you ask me. Besides the great songs, the production is also very good and Mr. All Round even mixed and mastered the album as well as created the artwork. He convinced me with this album, although it took a few spins, but I can only admit it...fantastic album!

Similar artists: Yngwie Malmsteen

[This review originally appeared April 2004 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]
Discovery / Journey To The Stars / Shedding Skin / Above And Beyond / Lightspeed / Unearthed / The Son / Adrenalin Rush / Symphonia I / Symphonia II / One Last Wish / Run For Cover / Forever / Timewarp / Mayhem

George Bellas - guitars, bass, keyboards, drums, etc.

Mind Over Matter (1997)
Turn Of The Millenium (1998)
Venemous Fingers (2003)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin UK

Added: December 8th 2004
Reviewer: Marcel Haster
Artist website:
Hits: 1211
Language: english


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