Andy Gillion ‘NeverAfter’
Album Review By Adam McCann
Independent Release/Instrumental Metal
Andy Gillion has already proven himself to be a more than capable songwriter and artisan musician within the band Mors Principium Est, easily helping the Finnish melodic death metal band to navigate the pitfalls of genericism within the genre. This year however, sees Gillion stepping forth from behind the curtain of a band to take a bow in the spotlight as a solo artist in his own right with his debut album ‘NeverAfter’.
Alongside an inferno flurry of notes and sleek production, there is always the possibility that once a bands guitarist releases a solo record, there could be a weedy, horrible voice lurking around the corner. Thankfully, that is not the case with ‘NeverAfter’ and the album is almost entirely instrumental; barring the beautifully short interlude ‘Aria’ featuring the soothing voice of Christina Marie who had previously made guest appearances on Mors Principium Est’s ‘Embers of a Dying World’ album. Furthermore, beautiful is exactly the way to describe this album, Gillion has created a wonderful winter soundscape of instrumental metal which floats between a classic heavy metal and neoclassical sound; one that would hugely appeal to fans of Yngwie Malmsteen and Tony MacAlpine, but also one that touches on Joe Satriani. Tracks such as ‘Black Lotus’, ‘Skyless’ and the tour de force closing track are beautifully juxtaposed by shorter tracks which add to the overall majesty of the album. Gillion even brings in his friends to ‘NeverAfter’ with guitar guest spots from technical wizards Paul Wardingham during ‘Hiraeth’ and Jeff Loomis for ‘Skyless’, the latter of which reminds us just how good Loomis is on guitar and why he is wasted in Arch Enemy.
‘tis the season to be jolly or so they say, instead of the mundane bombardment of the usual Christmas tripe, pick up and play ‘NeverAfter’, it’s over-arching winter sounds will certainly not disappoint.
Rating : 79/100
MHF Magazine/Adam McCann