There were loads of instrumental albums that were released this year. Some really guitarded ones, some displayed top notch musicianship and some that didn’t live up to the expectations of the fans. As 2012 wraps up, I write this article presenting my list of top 10 instrumental albums that were released this year. You may notice a few albums with vocals have been included, that is because only a partial number of tracks have vocals, not the whole album.
Farzad is an extremely skilled and talented musician from Iran. He names his albums and songs corresponding to their releases. Like his sixth album is titled “Six”. He is very underrated for the musician he is! The album completely has an Eastern vibe to it with a lot of orchestration\keys. Noodling more around the harmonic minor side. Farzad’s technique is perfect, wish I could learn from him. The album could have been higher on the list if only the songs were a little more different from each other with some diversity. But yes this album does deserve a spot on this list, and also a place in a guitarist’s CD collection.
OK I had a tie for the 9th position between two albums and it was impossible to decide just one among the two.
9 A.) Eloy Oliveria – Burn in Flames :
I found him through a guitar website and man, I was blown away when I heard his album! Pretty much sticking around the neo-classical style. He has some great chops and techniques and the album is a treat for all neo-classical fans, you don’t get to hear much of this today. The album is definitely worth the buy!
9 B.) Mr. Fastfinger(Mika Tyyskä) – In Motion :
This is a very captivating instrumental album in which the ambience is greatly emphasized. This album is musically unique and makes you picture things and concepts as well, puts the listener into the realm of the concept as the character travels unknown lands, battles dark forces etc while displaying some insane licks and balancing the melody at the same time.
A guitarist or musically inclined person should definitely have this album in his collection.
8) Joe Stump – Revenge of the Shredlord :
Yes, the Shredlord definitely got his revenge through this album! This album is as shreddy as it can get! Most of them claim to be reminded of Yngwie while hearing this album. I don’t agree with that. Every guitarist does pick up influences with his signature style as well, includes Joe. Some excellent neo-classical licks and riffs of force dominate the album along with some serious chops that would make you go “hellyeah”. I absolutely loved the album!
7) Paul Gilbert – Vibrato :
6) The Crane and Fabian Project - No Limits :
The Crane & Fabian project started out as a collaboration between bassist/composer/arranger Christian Fabian and award-winning producer/drummer Lance Crane. The album No Limits pumps up the classic percussion and shredding guitar sounds of Return to Forever, the Chick Corea Electric band and Tribal Tech with duelling guitars. You could listen to this album whole day and sip on some wine or jam to it! Quality jazz music!
5) Jeff Loomis - Plains of Oblivion :
4) Marco Sfogli – reMarcoble :
A lot of soft moments in the album with really strong guitar work will leave you wanting for more.This album is on continuous repeat, even as I type!
3) Marty Friedman – Tokyo Jukebox II :
2) Jason Becker – Boy Meets Guitar :
1) The Pitts Minnemann Project – 2 L 8 2 B Normal :
TWENTY SEVEN(yes) tracks ranging from slow jazz melodies to something you’ve never heard to “Violent Wankery” as one of their songs claim. I think this album hasn’t really got the attention it deserves. Some serious Fusion\Prog and really great jams that lift this album to the title of the best instrumental album of 2012!
Cloudkicker - Fade
Kiko Loureiro – Sounds of Innocence
Yngwie Malmsteen – Spellbound(Great album but seriously nothing different from his old stuff AT ALL, could have made the list. Could have.)
OHM – Tsunami Jams
Steve Vai – Story of Light
If you’re wondering where’s Slash and Eddie Van Halen’s albums, those would dominate the solo albums with vocals list!