Suspended Animation – John Petrucci

As most guitar aficionados will know, John Petrucci is a founding member & the lead guitar maestro of progressive rock gods Dream Theatre. Along with his four friends in DT, Petrucci has rocked the music world and in particular John has been noted for his killer riffs & impecable skills in shredding. The Long Island born Petrucci has been featured in all the leading guitar magazines, been lauded for his playing abilities and he currently makes most peoples top 20 lists as far as guitarists are concerned. Although featured heavily on DT’s albums, it was his his 6 treks with G3 – along with guitar gurus Joe Satriani, Steve Vai & Paul Gilbert – that inspired him to create a solo guitar instrumental album. Touring with G3 exposed him to huge crowds who weren’t DT fans but were wowed by his guitar playing and in the process, earning him even more fans among the guitar worshiping hordes. Suspended Animation was released on March 1, 2005, and made available for order from his web site.

The album starts off sounding a lot like a Dream Theatre one – Jaws Of Life moves from melodic to thumping hard riffs with ease & precision. And who can complain? It’s a lengthy track clocking at 7:29. Next comes crowd favourite, a Celtic sounding Glasgow Kiss, possibly a tribute to time spent in the Scottish city of Glasgow. Tunnel Vision is up next, with some sythesiser loops and electronic percussion – don’t worry, it segues off into riffdom and solo breaks soon enough. But the whole vibe is to make you think of a high speed trip into a tunnel. Then we have the ballad Wishful Thinking, melodic but not too sugary.

Things speed up in Damage Control, with a killer riff that hits you in the abdomen as soon as you hear it coming off your speakers. In some cds there is a mistake that happens – Curve & Interlude is supposed to be just one track. But for some reason or the other, it has been split. For some reason, the begining few seconds of Lost Without You reminds me of one of those private eye movies or tv shows, where you see the p.i. in a trench coat, hat & cigarette pining for the love of a woman he lost, and it’s night & there are puddles which reflect the neon lights of the hoardings of the buildings. I dunno, maybe it’s just my wild imagination.  And at 4:56 it’s the shortest song! It’s back to more progressive leanings for the album closer, as we finish with Animate-Inanimate, at 11:37 the lengthiest track. It also sounds a bit middle Eastern in places.

So does Petrucci does anything to enhance his status as a guitar god? My answer is no – we already knew that he was great at the axe. But it’s a great album to listen to anyways and I totally love it. And please enjoy the live recording of Glasgow Kiss from the 2005 G3 tour.

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