IOANNIS ANASTASSAKIS – Suspension Of Disbelief

IOANNIS ANASTASSAKIS - Suspension Of Disbelief
  • 10/10
    IOANNIS ANASTASSAKIS - Suspension Of Disbelief - 10/10


Wild Rose Angel Productions
Release date: April 1, 2007

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

The word “virtuoso” doesn’t even do justice when using it as a reference in talking about this particular musician. His name is Ioannis Anastassakis… don’t forget it because guitarists of such magnitude are hard to come by.

His latest release is titled Suspension Of Disbelief, and has 11 tracks coming in at 72:57. By Ioannis’ account, it is strictly a Rock/Fusion type CD. This artist, who was born on the Greek island of Crete, is like a walking encyclopedia of music. He is a definite part of the who’s who of great guitar virtuoso’s out there for the world to appreciate and enjoy. Do yourself a favor and grab his latest release before it runs out.

A nice variety of genres are covered in this release. Ioannis touches on Rock/Hard Rock, throws in a bit of Metal (with all of its Thrash and Shredding) very sparingly along with a smooth Jazz/Funk bridge, plays traditional Flamenco guitar, and plays Guitar Fusion as much as possible; even various forms of Jazz influences are utilized continuously throughout. This does not complete his repertoire by any means, since he also has a place in his heart for Salsa, Country, and Texas Blues. With one flick of the switch, Ioannis can change from one genre to another without missing a beat.

His passion for Flamenco shines through in two beautiful songs, “Variations on Malaguena” and “Dos Hermanos,” both solo Flamenco guitar, the second being a Live setting without any overdubs. The first song and title track, “Suspension Of Disbelief” takes you on an unimaginable ride right from the start. The change at 1:17-1:33 alone is reminiscent of a Joe Satriani axe attack. The Jazz/Funk bridge that starts at around 2:45 into the track really takes the song into another direction, but in such a pleasant way as not to take away from the heaviness of the tune in its early stages. Ioannis goes back and forth so many times it’s hard to believe that he doesn’t get lost in his own creation. It’s somewhat difficult to put in words, but one listen is all that it will take to have you saying to yourself, ”This is F…’n incredible,” the whole time thinking, “Can the rest of this CD be as good?”

The answer is quite simply yes, and just when you thought the title track was heavy, you get bombarded with tracks like “The Final Jam,” which sounds like it comes from a popular Metal album. This track is different in so many ways, the most important one being that Ioannis has several of his guitar playing friends performing individual solos throughout the track. There are seven guitarists, not to mention Ioannis, on this track. Basically, it is all one big solo fest and heavy as hell.

“Caravan of Despair Suite” is the longest tune on the CD. It has a strange opening, almost sounding as if you were somewhere in the Middle East. Then all of a sudden Ioannis’s guitar takes over. He mentions the track having a strong song structure based on Phrygian dominant and harmonic minor melodies and harmonies. About midway through, Ioannis decides to put a piano solo into the song, and it melds itself into the track, giving you the feel that it truly belongs there. Coming in at over 11 minutes you would never know that much time has elapsed.

“Altered State of Consciousness” is a nice little tune that incorporates guitar Fusion mixed in with some Jazzy Funk. It gets you moving to the beat without even knowing it. “The Forgotten Quest” is another beautiful-sounding piece by Ioannis that showcases more of his playing style and ability. There is a repeated solo in there that builds its way up into a climax the more it is played. The keyboards are cleverly used to sound like Ioannis is playing guitar instead. It’s the first song where keys are a strong part of the track, not to mention the intensive percussive performance that complements the tune.

“Resonance Factor 12” is a song written specifically to prove a point with Ioannis’s students and turns into a pretty heavy tune when all was said and done. The focus is based around the Lydian dominant (Lydian b7) scale, showing it can be used to create some form of Rock music. You be the judge. This track also includes one of Ioannis’s favorite pet licks, 8-finger cross-string tapping with open strings.

That about sums it up for the CD, except for a bonus Ioannis decides to throw in since “no one seemed to be doing it, so I decided to give it a go!” What is this you might ask? He includes three backing tracks from one or more tunes included on the CD, in this case two tracks, those being “The Final Jam” and the title track “Suspension Of Disbelief.” This way the listener could try to recreate the original tune (yeah, good luck) and learn many things about the way the artist writes and records his/her own music.

There is not much on this new release that sounded as if something was musically wrong or if it needed improvement in any specific area. Perhaps someone with a Masters or a PhD in music could pinpoint certain faults, reviewing it for this type of flaw would certainly be a futile attempt at best.


  • George Fustos

    George was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio. He has engineering degrees in Chemical and Electrical Engineering. He favors Metal, Rock, Hard Rock, Classic Rock, Blues, and even some Jazz and Motown (depending on the tune). He used to dabble with the bass quite some time ago. His most influential bassists are Jaco, Billy Sheehan, Stu Hamm, Geddy Lee, and John Entwistle (RIP Ox). Band-wise he's really into Rush, Tool, early Metallica, Pink Floyd (including Waters and Gilmour as solo artists), The Who, Iced Earth, Iron Maiden, Halford, Joe Satriani, certain Judas Priest, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Albert Collins (Blues guitarist), Motörhead, and a German band called Skew Siskin that Lemmy says in an interview as being "the best band out there today."

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