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MICHAEL ANGELO BATIO More Machine Than Man

By Andrew Depedro, Ottawa Corespondent
Monday, July 6, 2020 @ 1:40 PM


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MICHAEL ANGELO BATIO
More Machine Than Man

Rat Pak Records




Andrew As virtuoso guitarists from the 80’s go outside of the regular norm of Rhoads, Lynch, EVH and countless others, Michael Angelo Batio is certainly one of the more standout musicians of his genre despite not being an immediately familiar name. With that said, with close to four decades of honing his style of fast precise playing throughout the Chicago scene starting in 1984 with local metallers HOLLAND (named after its frontman Tommy Holland, who’d briefly sang with STEPPENWOLF and the B’ZZ) before forming NITRO with Jim Gillette in 1988 for two albums which paved the way to his solo career now entering its third decade, Batio’s been rather instrumental (sorry) in shaping the way and speed limit in which guitar playing is being done. In between developing his ambidextrous “over-under” playing style, founding his own label M.A.C.E. Music (which was the first record label to appear online) and even counting unlikely students such as Tom Morello and Mark Tremonti amongst many of his scholastic shredding success stories, Batio has also released 12 studio albums including his latest opus titled More Machine Than Man.

Opening with the catchy riff frenzy of “Laser Guided”, “The Badlands” and the ambitious “Put All Fear Aside”, the skilled dynamics of Batio’s ambidextrous style of playing is laid well bare throughout this album. Even slower tracks such as the lush acoustic-driven “Dreamin’ Of 1986” and “Rhythm Reprise (I Pray The Lord)” show off Batio’s lesser-acknowledged classical playing skills. For the full-fledged shredder fan, the album boasts its appropriately-named title track, the DREAM THEATER-influenced “The Two Sirens” and the intergalactic-sounding “Beyond The Outer Limits” while blues and even Celtic music enthusiasts will appreciate Batio’s ode to one of the genre’s most influential performers in the form of “21st Century Beck” and the bouncy melodies of “Charlie Went To Chicago” out of the three bonus tracks on the album. In fact, save for the humdrum number “AVTD” which tries a little bit too hard to be a punchy-sounding industrial number, More Machine Than Man otherwise has an array of musical choice for just about every six-string soldier. It may not immediately command favor for everyone, but its different over-under strokes for different folks also reminds us that our individual tastes make us human.

4.5 Out Of 5.0

https://handswithoutshadows.com/
https://www.facebook.com/michaelangelobatioofficial/


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