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Allan Holdsworth - Metal Fatigue CD (album) cover


Allan Holdsworth


Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.10 | 142 ratings

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Symphonic Team
3 stars I previously knew Allan Holdsworth from Tempest, UK, Bruford and I now also have some other of his solo albums. While UK is very hard to match, Metal Fatigue is definitely one of the best albums I've heard featuring Holdsworth's unique guitar sound.

The best track on Metal Fatigue is the title track, which is great! It has a quite Metal-ish riff, but the vocal melody is more Pop oriented making for an interesting crossover between Pop, Hard Rock and Jazz-Rock. The second track, Home, is a mellow and relaxing affair with beautiful electric and acoustic guitar solos. Holdsworth understands (at least on this album) what I feel that many artists in the Jazz- Rock/Fusion field fails to understand - you don't have to be loaded and complex all the time, it is ok to be subtle too! Indeed, it is often the more subtle and restrained moments that make the complex parts shine. However, I sometimes feel that this album is maybe too subtle at times.

Several moments on Metal Fatigue actually remind me of the Alan Parsons Project! This is both because of the excellent production and particularly on the two tracks Panic Station and In The Mystery, which are shorter Pop/Soft Rock songs in true Alan Parsons style. They fit in very well here, making the album varied.

About half the material on this album is instrumental and half features vocals. There are two different vocalists but they are similar enough to each other to avoid making the album disjointed which is often the case with albums featuring several vocalists (Alan Parsons Project albums are a perfect example of that mistake).

One problem with this album is that it is front loaded. The best tracks are at the beginning and towards the end the least good tracks appear. The 14 minutes plus The-Un-Merry-Go-Round is slightly too long and even features a drum solo, something that I think almost never works on a studio album. Thankfully, the drum solo is reasonably short.

Metal Fatigue is essential for Holdsworth followers, but for the rest of us it is worthy of three (and a half) stars, I think. One of the better albums of the Jazz-Rock/Fusion sub-genre.

SouthSideoftheSky | 3/5 |


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