Joe McGurk - Elements

Joe McGurk Elements cover
Joe McGurk
Lion Music
Somebody, should have given Yngwie a donut, back in the day, for maybe if someone had done so, he might have strayed from his calling and opened a bakery instead and thus we’d have avoided the flood of inspired or not so inspired instrumentalists, who fancied themselves a bit of the acclaim, that the Swedish, talented egopath, enjoyed in the 80s and 90s.
Joe McGurk, is a Britton who’s technically adept and rather inspired, has a decent tone and on “Elements” presents songs inspired by the four natural elements, “fire”, “water”, “wind” and “earth”. Well prepare yourself for long arpeggios and a general overflowing neoclassical style. Most of the themes and motifs that McGuck comes up with are rather pleasant and inspired and the recording that was mixed and mastered by Denis Ward, seems to be quite clean if not a little clinical.
The “Wind” and “Fire” are pretty energetic pieces, with intricate leads. “Water” is a soothing acoustic piece, that's quite tender, while the terrestrial “Earth”, realm is characterized by a tremor like intensity, that almost doubles the ante, on the “ethereal” elements. The album is concluded by a 3 part suite called “Elements” with the first and second movements “Elements” and the “Requiem: Lacrymosa”, displaying a very classical, influence, while the third one the “Grand Finale” still maintaining similar bases but being steadfastly tuned into some neoclassical and rock forms as well, which are almost nonexistent in the former two parts.
Overall, “Elements” is an interesting piece of work, that would be a shame to dismiss and would provide guitar aficionados, with more than forty minutes of listening pleasure, but might be a little overbearing for the average rock listener just because of its instrumental and virtuosic nature, that seems to necessitate a certain state of mind and a certain acquired taste, to fully appreciate.