Andy James - Exodus album review

British instrumental shredder delivers the goods

Cover art for Andy James - Exodus album

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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.

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’.