By RUBEN MOSQUEDA // So Cal 'guitarcore' act issued 3rd effort 'The Defiant Machine' August 2nd. The album's concept is based around a war theme through the past 100 years.
So Cal act LoNero issued their new album [their 3rd] titled ‘The Defiant Machine’ it’s a 10 track ‘concept’ album of all things. When I read that it was concept album I was intrigued; a concept record with no lyrics, no singer, no hooks? Impossible. It’s been my experience that instrumental albums have a select audience and generally a short shelf life. The critics and fans that praise such records are ‘guitar geeks’ that live for shred records, but those albums don’t appeal to many outside of those circles.
As far as I’m concerned the benchmark for ‘instrumental’ rock records was set by Steve Vai’s ‘Passion and Warfare,’ Marty Friedman’s ‘Dragon’s Kiss,’ and Joe Satriani’s ‘Surfing with the Alien.’ The holy trinity of shred records. Those albums captured such magic; both musically and in the execution that they transcended the core audience which they were intended for. Those albums ‘struck a chord’ [see what I did there?] with the mainstream audience and have become landmark records for each of the respective artists.
LoNero pride themselves on playing their unique brand of ‘metal’ that they call ‘guitarcore.’ I don’t know who coined that--but patent it. LoNero led by founder/lead guitarist Bill Lonero tackled a ‘war’ theme throughout the past 100 years; ‘The Defiant Machine’ incorporates sound bytes from some of the best known presidential speeches to help tie the songs together. In doing so it makes the album a powerful, intense, conceptual masterpiece. The album as a whole is incredible; however I can’t decide on a favorite track. Is it the driving, thrashy “In Pursuit?” Which takes you on a roller coaster ride of highs and lows; like you’re in a dogfight or high speed chase. If you get any tickets for excessive speed forward them to Bill [Lonero]. The other track is “13 Days” it thrusts you into the midst of the ‘Cuban Missile Crisis.’ It’s tense, dramatic and a spectacular piece of music.
I will end with this; THE instrumental record of 2016 wasn’t issued by [Steve] Vai, [Yngiwe] Malmsteen, [Paul] Gilbert or any of the 'marquee names.' That distinction belongs to LoNero for their album ‘The Defiant Machine.’ Who doesn’t love an underdog?
Buy the album: http://billlonero.com/mainindex/store/products/