Arek Religa – WARRIOR

Written by on May 23, 2013 in CD / DVD Releases, May 23, 2013, Music and DVD Reviews, Music Reviews, News To Shout About! - Comments Off on Arek Religa – WARRIOR

Arek Religa

In Memory Of the Greatest was the first Arek Religa release I covered back in 2007. He impressed me so much he was chosen as our Weekly Featured Artist. Now 6 years have flown by and once again we have the opportunity to listen to this guitar virtuoso hailing from Poland. His instrumental tribute to some of the masters of the six-string was compelling and promising so now how would he follow that release up?

Now we have another set of instrumental guitar wizardry before us titled Warrior. I think after working his butt off honing his craft for another 6 years entitles him to own the descriptive term “Guitar Warrior.” All the tracks with the exception of one were composed by Religa and on two he had some guests come in to assist which include Leszek Fil (bass- tracks 6, 7), Wojtek Kozlowski (piano, keyboard-Track 6) and Gabriel Chorabik (drums-track 7).

“Changes” warms things up with some amazing string bending by Religa. It is a fusion filled track with elements of rock and jazz intersecting and showing the guitar players talents in the most complex way possible. When “Highway Traffic” kicks in it immediately reminds you of something Joe Satriani would do in one of his legendary sessions (think “Surfing with the Alien”). It is not a leisurely walk in the park and it really does sound like frenetic highway traffic – high speed madness with four lanes of everyone jockeying for position. It is one the fastest moving high energy tracks on the album. Then to show you even more diversity he takes you on a “Journey” by building soundscapes with stinging leads on top of each other. It is a classic rock ballad cooked to perfection instrumental style. The song builds to a tremendous crescendo then as soon as you think it has hit its apex he switches gears and slows things down and a light keyboard enters the picture making it sound like an entirely different track. Then once that segment is complete it segues right back into a rising mix of sounds then it slows down once again and fades off into the distance. The track covers a lot of ground and the time changes are simply amazing.

So what could one expect after all of this instrumental ecstasy? Next up is a bluesy foray called “PX AR” that once again has your ears climbing a mountain of sounds featuring amazing fret work. This one is supported by a heartbeat like bass and drums and it all comes together and explodes into a volcano of sounds only the true rock fan could appreciate. Religa uses some really good guitar effects as he brings the track to a close. Then this talented six-string aficionado combines the old and the new with “Revolutionary Etude op 10 no 12 (Chopin)” which is perhaps the most interesting and probably was the most difficult number to get down and recorded but again the man tops himself with an amazing display of technical expertise and agility with his axe. Chopin would have been proud. He plays so fast on this track it is mind boggling. If John Petrucci heard this one he would be smiling and nodding in recognition. The title track “Warrior” is fitting for the title a
s the guitar hero takes your over the landscape of rock with pinpoint accuracy using the full power of his instrument while cutting a path to instrumental guitar heaven. The backing instruments on this track are superb as well, helping to drive the music home.

This is the kind of album you could go on about forever. There is so much to appreciate here. It would have been easy to just wail away and shred but this very tasteful and talented artist gives the listener a view into every genre of music you can imagine and plays it all in his own particular style that can be recognized as his own. Arek Religa is a fine guitar player that is a joy to listen to any time. You never become bored or unappreciative of his efforts to entertain.

If you appreciate instrumental rock like Satriani or Vai you will love this guy!

5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Revolutionary Etude op 10 no 12 (Chopin), Changes, Warrior

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck -Founder