George Bellas can hardly be called a novice when it comes to recording albums dense with displays of neo-classical virtuosism. This is, after all, the same person who layed down the guitar tracks on that instrumental masterpiece that was Vitalij Kuprij’s “Extreme Measures”.
Sure enough, in “The Dawn of Time” George Bellas offers his latest set of Neo-Classical and Progressive compositions - if one had to make comparisons the latter genre, Liquid Tension Experiment might be a name that’ll crop up. The tracks we have here seem to be united by an ethereal and creationist concept. As a whole the album lasts just under 80 minutes and with the compositions being short and numerous it occasionally does feel long. I also thought that the keyboards tended to be over simplistic in relation to the rest of the music.
With instrumental guitar albums, it’s a common trait that the drum sounds actually come out of a drum machine. Happily in this case Mr Bellas used the services of a ‘carnal’ drummer – not only that, but Marco Minnemann sounds both sharp and agile in his percussive interpretations of Mr Bellas’ compositions.
By and large the music in “The Dawn of Time” is stunning and certainly delivers to its expectations. Possible highlights include ‘Voyage To Triangulum’ due to its excellent balance of technique and bluesy emotion. Apart from the ultra-fast legato picking there are also several quiet, introspective-of-sorts moods sprinkled throughout the album. As mentioned, the music is excellent but ‘Electromagnetic’ in particular should leave Malmsteen fans salivating for more.
In an ideal world almost all guitarists would play like George Bellas in “The Dawn of Time”.