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Alex Skolnick Trio - Live Unbound album review

Testament shredder embarks on a jazz-rock odyssey

Cover art for Alex Skolnick Trio - Live Unbound album

As well as his main gig as guitarist of Testament, Alex Skolnick is also a former member of Savatage and, until recently, a touring player with prog-meets-Broadway behemoth Trans-Siberian Orchestra. However, he also has a passion for jazz rock that allows him to express his gifts in an entirely different way. An indescribably skilled group of musicians, AST have made four studio albums. After attaining cult status by stripping down and rebuilding classics from Ozzy Osbourne, Kiss, Sabbath and Judas Priest, each album has phased out the covers to further the group’s own identity. Featuring just seven instrumentals but with a playing time of around an hour, Live Unbound features a pair of brand new tracks, some latterday originals and radical re-workings of Aerosmith’s Dream On and Still Loving You by the Scorpions. The musicianship levels are off the scale, naturally, although the sheer unrelenting noodling may well out-tax all but the most patient and adventurous listeners.

Dave Ling was a co-founder of Classic Rock magazine. His words have appeared in a variety of music publications, including RAW, Kerrang!, Metal Hammer, Prog, Rock Candy, Fireworks and Sounds. Dave’s life was shaped in 1974 through the purchase of a copy of Sweet’s album ‘Sweet Fanny Adams’, along with early gig experiences from Status Quo, Rush, Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Yes and Queen. As a lifelong season ticket holder of Crystal Palace FC, he is completely incapable of uttering the word ‘Br***ton’.