NIELS VEJLYT – The Predator

NIELS VEJLYT - The Predator
  • 5/10
    NIELS VEJLYT - The Predator - 5/10


Ronin Records
Release date: March 1, 2006

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

It was 1981 when Mike Varney founded his label, Shrapnel Records, and with the release of the famous USA Metal sampler series, he began sharing his vision of Metal with the world, which roughly goes something like this: Metal needs a guitarist, everything else is expendable. 25 years later, and an army of Friedmans, Kotzens, Malmsteens, and Chastains have unleashed more albums on the Metalheads than the Chinese Emperor Qin Shi Huang had terracotta warriors … and still, they keep them coming!

Next up is Niels Vejlyt, a Danish Varney disciple in the sense that he seems to think vocals are unnecessary for a Metal band as long as there is enough six string noise, and so he does without. Luckily for the listener, he kept a bass player and a drummer in his compositions.

So, where does Niels stand among those guitar heroes that fans all like, but whose instrumental albums often are quite difficult to digest? This CD called The Predator is a good basis for judgement, as Niels Vejlyt wrote all the songs himself, except for the inevitable Classical part, where this time Paganini and Strauss have to be brave. But, especially on “Moto Perpetuo,” a piece by Paganini, and on “Paganini vs. Strauss” one can hear that he is absolutely on top of things technically.

That alone is not enough to make an album worthwhile listening material. What counts almost as much is the ability to write songs that catch the ear of the listener. It is here where he shares a bit of the deficiency that most of his fellow guitar artists also face. Often tracks demonstrate great solos and excellent riffs, but now and then one wishes that he had taken a more traditional road and had written some vocals into some of the songs. That was what made mighty Yngwie’s first album so outstanding, and here it would probably have made a difference too.

Tracks like the “Enchanted Mountain,” which sounds like Yngwie met Michael Schenker in front of a Jazz Club, or “Fire,” a nice tune that sounds like it ends somewhat accidentally instead of planned, and “Ronin,” which has a feeling of a Tiles composition, are all great. Others like the title track, “Misque,” and “Thunder Warrior” are good but would gain from being transformed into normal Metal or Rock songs with a good singer.

On the downside, one has to acknowledge that he plays with a teacher’s attitude, somewhere along the lines of “Look what I can do” to “I can teach you to do this as well.” The opening track “Shredder” and “Forces Of Nature” sound like good practicing tunes for a guitar student, after mastering those, they’ll definitely know their scales. This impression is increased by the fact that he offers private guitar lessons in the booklet. Well, if Yngwie is unavailable, why not …

Bottom line is that this is an album for guitar students, or Mike Varney. Most tracks are good, but it fails to be a great album due to the songwriting, which is just the same as on so many other instrumental albums. There is only one Satriani, after all, and Niels is incredibly fast, but he lacks feelings for the song. For this genre, however, this is still an okay release that can provide a level of fun.

One warning has to be given regarding the sound quality, though. Sure, it is a self-produced and recorded album, and apart from the drum sound, which is similar to banging on a tin of Danish butter cookies, it is okay, but two tracks are so dull and mulled that it sounds as if they had put a blanket over the recording machine. It is even worse that those are tracks 2 and 4, “The Predator” and “Misque.” It’s a shame one has to suffer a change of sound quality that early on, which spoils the fun considerably.

The Predator is probably not easy to get, but Niels offers links on his Web page to sources where one can order it. Also, .mp3 samples are available there of the first six tracks.


  • Frank Jaeger

    Frank was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio, based out of Bavaria, Germany. He has worked in the games industry for more than 20 years, now on the manufacturing side, before on the publishing end. Before this, he edited and handled the layout for a city mag in northern Germany ... maybe that is why he love being part of anything published. Frank got hooked on Metal at the age of 14 when a friend introduced him to AC/DC. They were listening to The Beatles, Madness, and The Police, and he decided they should move on. Well, they did, Back in Black became Frank's first Metal album, and since Germany is reasonably close to England, they had some small New Waves Of British Heavy Metal washing up on their shores: Tygers Of Pan Tang, Samson, Gillan, Iron Maiden, Saxon, Sweet Savage, Diamond Head, etc. If he had to pick his favorite styles, Prog and Power Metal would be at the top of the list.

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