MILAN POLAK – Guitar Odyssey


Lion Music
Release Date: October 21, 2005

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The name Milan Polak may not be known to some, but to others he might best be described as a bit of a guitar deity. His impressive resume certainly exudes enough highlights that could easily position him on top of such a pedestal. Polak’s accolades include being self-taught, a world traveler (which has provided him with diverse musical influences), bearer of a Guitar Diploma from the American Institute of Music (AIM), and standing as an ex-Teacher/co-Head of the Rock department at AIM.

Guitar Odyssey is a re-release of Milan’s hard to find solo debut release, Guitar 2001, which was originally released in 1995. This new edition contains remastering, revamped packaging (including new artwork … thumbs up to the cover of the Galactic Guitar being served every Rocker’s favorite Black Label …“JD’s Old No. 7”!), and a bonus track, which is a demo version of “Where Were You Tomorrow.”

Musically, it’s an all-instrumental release that runs the gamut from Rock, Fusion, Jazz, Funk and some Latin American. Some of the recorded tracks were actually written during Milan’s mid-teen years, which is a testament to Milan’s song writing maturity. So the question is, can a release that was recorded over 10 years ago still sound fresh and new in present day?

Immediately, the listener is introduced to Milan’s humoristic, Steve Vai-like, approach to instrumental releases, with a high pitched, Mickey Mouse-like vocal send off on “Lights, Camera, Action.” This track is an all out Rock stomp fest, with an almost Country “twang” to it in some sections, before exploding into an high voltage, riff-fueled, mid-section. It’s an entertaining track and Milan plays some accomplished lead segments throughout.

“Where Were You Tomorrow” is up next, and starts with a massive monster guitar riff, and then settles into a mid-tempo Vinnie Moore-ish Rocker replete with a few tempo changes. “More Than I’ve Been” and “Absolutely Positive” are essentially more of the same fine musicianship with slightly different flairs added to them. “Could’ve Been Love” is a tasty little Latin acoustic peace, which is something these types of releases typically never offer. “Witchdance” conjures up less images of “witches dancing” and more of high speed chase scenes, as the rhythm tolls at a furious pace throughout.

The definitive highlight of the release is “Vinka 611,” which is a shredder encompassed by some “out of the ordinary” sections of Funk, which are much akin to the styling of older Mike Stern. The track is also packed with a nice Be-Bop guitar solo, which eventually breaks into a burst of riffing accompanied by a solo filled with a flurry of licks. The bonus track, which is a clean demo version of “Where Were You Tomorrow,” offers very little in contrast to the released version.

When all is said and done, this release probably had made its strongest impact in 1995 when it was originally released. In present day, with so many other guitar instrumental releases on the market, it still stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the majority of them. With all tracks being solid efforts, there’s enough diversity amongst the individual songs to keep listeners from getting bored. Some of the song sections might imbue the “I’ve heard that somewhere before” feeling, but when Polak unleashes a solo, all those feelings are left by the wayside. Even as a re-release, this is a worthwhile purchase, especially for those Guitar maniacs out there.


Milan Polak – All Electric & Acoustic Guitars, Production
Bernd Fuxa – 4 String & Fretless Bass
Thomas Fend – Drums

To find out more about Milan Polak, visit his label’s Web site at


  • Scott Jeslis

    Scott is one of the partners at Metal Express Radio. He handles a lot of Metal Express Radio's public relations, screening of new music and radio scheduling. On occasion, he also does reviews and interviews. He has been a proud member of the Metal Express Radio crew since 2004.

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