“Ultimate Guitar Zeus” by Carmine Appice

Artist: Carmine Appice
Title: Ultimate Guitar Zeus
Label: Escapi Music
Release Date: 8/15/2006
Genre: Hard Rock/Metal
Rating: 3

Carmine Appice’s “Guitar Zeus” and “Guitar Zeus 2” have been compiled into “Ultimate Guitar Zeus”. Drumming legend Carmine Appice teams up with old Blue Murder cohorts, Kelly Keeling vocals and guitar and Tony Franklin on bass. Boasting a long list of killer guitar players, Including Slash, Brian May, Zakk Wylde Yngwie Malmsteen, Richie Sambora, Mick Mars, Pat Travers, Steve Morse and more.

Ultimate guitar Zeus kicks off with the motor city madman Ted Nugent soloing his balls off on a rhythmic rocker. Then on to a straight-ahead rock song with Brian May in what is probably the most disappointing performance on the disk. May’s signature tone seems to be absent ant the solo sounds like it could be anybody. Then there is the funky groove of “Stash” with a fuzzed out mayhem solo by Stevie Salas. “Where you belong” is an anthemic piece with a singing Slash solo. Four miles high is an intense riff rocker with a devastating solo by Steve Morse. “Gonna Rain” is probably the most straightforward rocker with a hot solo by Richie Sambora that surprised me. “This Time Around” has Doug Pinnick (Kings X) laying down a powerful vocal with Yngwie throwing down hard, when his solo hits. “Killing Time” with Ty Tabor is okay but the song is nothing special. “Doing Fine” with Vivian Campbell, even though the song is probably my least favorite on the disk. Just a little too ballad sappy for me. Vivian still displays some chops and taste in his solo. “Under The Moon & Sun” with Edgar Winter on vocals and Mick Mars belting out the slide guitar solo, is a darn good dirgy rocker. “Code 19” with Zakk Wylde laying a fierce and angry solo you would expect from him. “Out Of My Mind” features Neal Schon laying down a spacey whammy bar display.

Over all this is a surprising, and really well produced collection of mostly solid rocking songs with some excellent guitar playing, but there are some that end up as just average considering the talent behind the track. The vocals by Kelly Keeling as well as Pinnick (excellent performance), and Winter give the songs life beyond guitar solo vehicles. Carmine’s drumming is tight and precise throughout which kept the whole project solid and driving.

Track Listing:
1. Days Are Nights (Ted Nugent)
2. Nobody Knew (Brian May)
3. Stash (Steve Salas)
4. Where You Belong (Slash)
5. Four Miles High (Steve Morse)
6. Gonna Rain (Richie Sambora)
7. This Time Around (Yngwie Malmsteen, Doug Pinnick)
8. Killin Time (Ty Tabor)
9. Doing Fine (Vivian Campbell)
10. Under The Moon And Sun (Mick Mars, Edgar Winter)
11. Code 19 (Zakk Wylde)
12. Out Of Mind (Neal Schon)
13. Do Ya Think I’m Sexy (Pat Travers)
14. GZ Blues (Seymour Duncan, Steven Seagal)

Official Website: http://www.carmineappice.com

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