Xander Demos – Guitarcadia
Opening with ‘Right Angles’, Guitarcadia is an unrelenting barrage of guitar rock, bringing in influences from metal, shred, and a wide range of metal subgenres.
The opening track is perhaps best described as simply a whole lot of fun, with its hair metal pinch harmonics and wild riffs, while ‘Nothing Major’ gets a little darker while introducing some swirling synths that lean oh so slightly towards Van Halen. ‘Under A Darkened Sky’ starts off with the same kind of insistent hits that make ‘The Final Countdown’ so distinctive, and when the track gets fully underway it works as a fierce piece of breakneck pace rock, all the more emphasised by the track ‘White Knuckle Riding’, which couldn’t be more aptly named. Title track ‘Guitarcadia’ wanders into Satriani territory, with its wildly spiralling riffs and squealing harmonics, while ‘Woodshed Sonata’ throws down the gauntlet with its ferociously heavy chugs, underpinned with the electrifying and glacial riffs that at points could be mistaken for chiptune music. ‘Boys of Summer’ is possible the warmest moment on the album, broader in its sonic palette as well as being hopeful and uplifting, while ‘Chase the Sun’ and ‘Metagalactic’ draw on influences more from Bon Jovi. Closing track ‘Lady In Red’ – yes, it’s a cover of that song – brings Guitarcadia to its conclusion in the same way an expert airline pilot brings their plane in to land, having given the passengers a thoroughly enjoyable journey.