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Andy James - Exodus album review

British instrumental shredder delivers the goods

There are numerous guitar shredders but few whose talent has been acknowledged by such heavyweights as Dream Theater’s John Petrucci, Mark Tremonti of Alter Bridge and Padge from Bullet For My Valentine. This is relevant, as along with All That Remains, Disturbed, Hatebreed and Machine Head, those are the acts that Andy James hails as influences. Until their break-up in 2013, James was a member of the British group Sacred Mother Tongue, so unlike many of the guitarists he’s bundled in with, he lacks that annoying lone wolf attitude, desperate to show off his chops at all cost. Although devoid of vocals, James’s songs offer discernible melodies that, thankfully, refrain from forcing their musical proficiency down your throat. Made Of Stone and Hurricane are chunky, forceful lumps of hard rock, while Days Gone By navigates the Joe Satriani route: light, wistful and ethereal. Exodus offers variety, tone and lots of power, and if you miss the sound of a human voice, well… another hundred of those will be along in a minute.