GEORGE BELLAS – Venomous Fingers

GEORGE BELLAS - Venomous Fingers


Lion Music
Release date: November 18, 2003

Guitars & Bass: B+
Percussion: C-
Recording Quality: B+
Originality: D+
Overall Rating: C-

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0/10 (0 votes)

George Bellas’ name may be new to some, but he has indeed been around the block a few times. Throwing his hat “officially” into the commercial music scene in 1996, Bellas has dabbled with bands such as UFO, Audiodrome, and Ring of Fire, and has had substantial success as a music teacher, releasing several music education software titles and DVDs. Venomous Fingers, Bellas’ solo release, mixes his classic music influences with his Heavy Metal guitarist influences into a very complex, Metal-ish, instrumental album.

Bellas basically plays every instrument on the CD besides the drum kit – guitars, bass guitar, electric/synthesized keyboards and piano. The CD starts out with various stereo-effect guitar scales played at amazing speed and with crystal clear clarity – almost as if Bellas recorded a warm-up session vs. actually writing a song. This first track gives way to “Journey To The Stars”, an 11+ minute gem, which couples strong bass and conventional guitar rhythms with driving drum beats and as many guitar notes as can be crammed in as is humanly possible. Bellas goes balls out on “Journey To The Stars”, and it flat out works – and certainly shows what he is capable of accomplishing as both a musician and a songwriter.

13 tracks follow “Journey To The Stars”, but unfortunately none compare. The production quality of each instrument within each track is right on, but Bellas underutilizes percussion and never lets up on ripping through incessant guitar scales after guitar scales. Don’t get me wrong, Bellas’ speed and ability to fly up and down the fret board (surpassing even Yngwie Malmsteen – unbelievable isn’t it?) is nothing but impressive, however, an integral part of an instrumental work is to create a “song” with full utilization and creative use of one’s instruments. Structure within the ensuing tracks lacks – most notably the percussion appears to not be allowed to consistently drive the pace and create framework within the songs, leading to a hodge-podge of sounds and notes that make devoting sustained full attention by the listener a difficult challenge. Also, an operatic voice haphazardly shows up in several of the tracks that just doesn’t seem to fit in. Bellas possesses a plethora of guitar tricks – the problem is, he uses them all in virtually every song – and when he’s not using effects, he falls back on assaulting the listener with repetitive speed scales and E and B-string squeals that surely have whales in heat searching the oceans for a suitable mate.

If you’re a Heavy Metal fan who enjoys the guitar aspect of the music more than anything else, you likely should give Venomous Fingers a shot – if anything, “Journey To The Stars” will be well worth your plunge. Additionally, if you’re a Malmsteen fan who wants to hear even more speed and even more eclectic playing styles, you should also look into giving this CD a spin. For most others, unfortunately, Venomous Fingers will show how difficult it really is to assemble a truly successful instrumental Heavy Metal album – sometimes too much of a “good thing” is…well, just simply too much of a good thing.


  • Dan Skiba

    Dan is a former partner at Metal Express Radio, and also served as a reviewer, photographer and interviewer on occasions. Based out of Indianapolis, USA he was first turned on to Hard Rock music in the mid-1970s when he purchased Deep Purple's Machine Head as his first album. He was immediately enthralled with the powerful guitar sound and pronounced drumbeat, and had to get more! His collection quickly expanded to include as many of Heavy Rock bands of the time that he could get his hands on, such as Ted Nugent, Judas Priest, and Black Sabbath, to name just a few.

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