MATTIAS IA EKLUNDH – Freak Guitar: The Road Less Traveled

MATTIAS IA EKLUNDH - Freak Guitar: The Road Less Traveled


Favored Nations
Release date: June 2, 2004

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From Favored Nations comes Freak Guitar – The Road Less Traveled, Mattias “IA” Eklundh’s latest solo outing. If you recognize Eklundh’s name, you may be familiar with his permanent day gig as the lead guitarist/vocalist for Freak Kitchen, the rocking Swedish trio that has released their sixth album Organic in 2005. Where Freak Kitchen is primarily a Metal band that explores many layers of music, Eklundh’s solo recordings are boundless in their musical diversity.

As vocalist for Freak Kitchen, Eklundh sets himself apart from other vocalists with his very straightforward, matter-of-fact kind of storytelling, ignoring the rules of melody and rhyme scheme. But as guitarist, Eklundh, better known as “IA,” is setting the world on its ear with his exploratory guitar voicing. More than just flashy, mile-a-minute notes played with ultimate precision and a flare of dynamic melody, IA is taking the guitar where no Axe has gone before. The noises, the squawks, the shrieks … they become alive and manifest themselves into tunes of substance and groove. During IA’s cover of Deep Purple’s “Smoke on the Water,” the listener will be floored by the maniacal take of this well-worn Rock standard.

There is a little something for everyone on this disc. Daring to go far beyond his Rock roots, IA embraces a cross pollination of Electronica with a dose of Fusion and some modern Pop accents. The beautiful “Father” is touching and profound with its haunting melody, and could easily fit within the confines of today’s AOR play lists. The quirky “Fletch Theme,” yes from the movie Fletch, starring Chevy Chase, feels right at home amongst this eclectic setting of musical genius.

Who is this album for? Obviously it is for the guitar crowd, Metallers, Prog-Rockers, and Jazz hounds alike. But it is also for those who love music for the sake of music. Music from the soul; played with a fervor and zest that embraces the enigmatic sounds the dwell deep within the artist’s being. Quirky and confident, Freak Guitar – The Road Less Traveled is a soundtrack for those who have grown tired of the mundane. Steve Vai and the folks at Favored Nations can take great pride in fulfilling their promise to serve the musicians of our time with a place for their unique voices and visions to be heard.


  • Jeremy Juliano

    Jeremy was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio. He's been involved with and has been following the Metal scene since the early 1980’s. He started out his Metal journey with heavy doses of Maiden, Accept, and Saxon. And in recent years, he has enjoyed the new age of Metal with bands like Hammerfall, Edguy, and Nightwish, to name a few.

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