Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Feeding the Machine
Genres: Pop, Rock, Metal
Listen to Samples
Great f**king album
jp (firstname.lastname@example.org) | Cali, USA | 09/16/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Murphy rules, and you know it. Great album...I bought this the day it came out, and it gets better after each listen. At first I preferred Convergence, but I realized this is the work of a true artist who has only just begun to come into his own. Enveloping many styles, such as Jazz, Death Metal, Progressive Rock, Hard Rock, and thrash, this is an amazing acheivement. It even has spanish and blues influences that work to accent his songwriting genius. Best songs-Epoch and Race With the Devil on the Spanish Highway (a cover of an Al DiMeola tune)"
James Murphy expands his musical palette
Murat Batmaz | Istanbul, Turkey | 01/12/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Feeding the Machine is virtuoso guitarist James Murphy's sophomore solo effort. It interlocks his varied musical experiences in both extreme bands like Testament and Death, and his stint with progressive rock bands/musicians. Whilst a solo album, Feeding the Machine is far from a typical 'shred' record where the guitarist sets out to display his profound technique; rather, this record blends all of Murphy's influences in an impressive context without losing focus.
Steve DiGiorgio and Deen Castronovo support Murphy on bass and drums respectively. Obviously, James Murphy plays all guitars and a good amount of keyboards (besides recording, mixing and engineering the whole thing). DiGiorgio and Castronovo aren't the only talented musicians on the album though; Geezer vocalist Clark Brown appears on two tracks ("Feeding the Machine" and "Deconstruct") and former bandmate Chuck Billy, as in Murphy's first solo album, makes an appearance on "No One Can Tell You", which very much feels like a Testament song, especially because of Steve DiGiorgio's subtle playing. It, however, contains a vicious key solo that gives the song its own vibe. Artension and Royal Hunt frontman, John West, lends his voice to the soothing "Visitors". Needless to say, his distinct vocals give the album a much-welcome depth along with Matt Guillory's awesome run-out solo. Last but not the least, Chris Long sings the throaty parts of "Through Your Eyes (Distant Mirrors)" while Explorer's Club mastermind, Trent Gardner, does the ballad-like singing over acoustic guitars and Floydian keyboards. Each singer wrote their own vocal melodies and lyrics (except Chuck Billy) and that gives the album an added character making it more of a band effort, rather than a sad shredfest with mindless noodling.
Both Vitalij Kuprij and Matt Guillory, particularly the latter, play stunning key melodies, riffs, and solos. Sadly, Kuprij only appears on the title track trading a bizarre solo duet with the man himself. Guillory's inclusion, however, is bigger, as he contributes to more than half of the songs. Jeremy Colson also plays drums on a number of tunes and his distinctive style turns out to be another dimension of the album. I, however, like Deen Castronovo's style better, since his tone, phrasing and articulation on this record is mind blowing. The instrumental tracks are very interesting. They sound more developed in Murphy's approach to rhythmic ideas compared to the songs on Convergence, but I guess I still like the debut disc a tad better. The first instrumental, "Contagion", borrows light Middle Eastern melodies, but it's kept to a minimum, amongs Murphy's razor-sharp guitar tone and churning metallic riffage.
There are also two cover songs on the record. Dixie Dregs' "Odyssey" and Al DiMeola's "Race with Devin on Spanish Highway" are arguably the album's most progressive interpretations. Bass god Stu Hamm makes an appearance on the Dregs tune with a fantastic slap bass solo that will blow your mind away. Murphy's playing here oddly reminds me of Joe Satriani as he borders in blues guitar a little but keeps the whole song in a very heavy context at the same time. DiMeola's fusion classic, on the other hand, features killer percussion work and an intense bass figure by Steve DiGiorgio. Murphy delicately runs a powerful guitar theme which is repeated intermittently as Matt Guillory experiments with different keyboard patches. The two maestros begin to duel fiercely laying down technical licks and creating the ultimate killing moment of the album.
This is a great guitar album -- just like the way I dig it. I appreciate Murphy for making room for all these amazing talents here. It must be this mutual understanding for them to create awesome waves of sound never straying too far away from Murphy's musical vision (his Death and Thrash Metal roots in this case), yet somehow also adding new soundscapes. If you haven't heard Convergence, that's even better, in my opinion."
James' sophmore effort rocks!!!
geetarfreak | Utah | 10/27/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"James comes through again. Feeding the Machine rocks. The instrumentals are awesome. His remake on Dixie Dreg's "Odyssey" is my favorite tune on the entire disc. He plays with so much emotion on that one. Contagion is an in-your-face metal instrumental that will have you headbanging for sure. He also does a heavy version of Al Dimeola's classic, "Race with the Devil on a Spanish Highway". I like Al's version better, but James gives the song some serious balls. The vocal numbers are good, but not as good as the ones on Convergence. An exception is "Visitors". John West has some cool pipes on that one. This album is highly recommended to those who love pure metal, with exceptional guitar playing, at it's best! 10 stars!"