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Album Review

Although it is not uninteresting by itself, Symphonic Slam's eponymous LP became a collectors curiosity for its historical value: it appears to be the first album to make extensive use of the guitar synthesizer. Leader Timo Laine pioneered the technology when it was still in its infancy stage, so this effort from 1976 may not entirely convince fans of Alan Holdsworth — not because Laine is not a talented (although not exceptional) guitarist, but because of the limitations of the instrument. The guitarist is backed by drummer John Lowery and keyboardist David Stone. Symphonic Slam is full of the spirit of the '70s: bombastic arrangements, crosses between rock and fusion, lyrics about becoming better persons, etc. Laine's voice is close to Brian Auger's — it delivers the goods, but has nothing distinctive — while his music stands somewhere between Mahogany Rush, Santana, and Stanley Clarke. Highlights include the prog rock-ish "Universe" and the rock song "I Won't Cry." The French label Musea reissued Symphonic Slam in 2001. The master tapes show their age, unless the problem resides in the bass register of the synthesizer, but some basslines sound distorted. Aficionados of the guitar synth will want this album as a reference, but the music and attitude followed mainstream FM standards too closely to deserve any more attention. ~ François Couture, Rovi

Symphonic Slam, Symphonic Slam
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  • 69,00 kr
  • Genres: Rock, Music
  • Released: 1976

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