DAVID T. CHASTAIN – Heavy Excursions

DAVID T. CHASTAIN - Heavy Excursions
  • 8.5/10
    DAVID T. CHASTAIN - Heavy Excursions - 8.5/10


Leviathan Records
Release date: March 10, 2009

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For all who don’t know David T. Chastain, check out if you have any Chastain records in your collection and you will find out the connection soon enough.

Chastain is not only the heart of that Heavy Metal band, he was also associated with the late Metal band Spike, who he first started out with back in the beginning of the 1970s. In the early 80s, he began playing with another Heavy Metal group, CJSS, which also disbanded. Zanister is another band, which runs under Chastain’s fingers – a more Neo-Classical Metal kind of group. When you hear the record, you will notice that Chastain also masters the bass like hell, in past days he worked with two guitarists as a bass player, Michael Harris and Corbin King. Moreover, these two guys have been a part of his label for some time now. Today, Chastain is still a major brick in Leviathan Records that keeps bringing in new bands.

Heavy Excursions is yet another milestone for Chastain, who has been, for 20 years, making his own thing with his own instrumental project. This album is a compilation of the best of the heaviest tracks made by Chastain ever since he recorded Instrumental Variations in 1987 till 2007’s Countdown To Infinity.

While hearing this compilation, you can see that there is an amazing consistency in Chastain’s material and style of Metal / Fusion and Hard Rock. What amazingly seems like years gone by, the guy got older, but his material stayed almost as it was when he was a young guitarist in the late 80s. Here is an example: “Attack Of The Mechonrites”, from 2007’s Countdown To Infinity, sounds almost identical, to material that dates to 1987.

Chastain does his Shred Metal with many influences of Classic Metal, Classic Rock, some Fusion and Blues. He takes high-speed chases along with maniacal solos and crazy licks. On the way, you will stop to enjoy various slow tempo-enchanting solos with tons of feel and emotions. All the routes through this compilation are enhanced by great drumming and blasting bass work by three major bass players such as David Harbour, who also played for King Diamond and Leather Leone, Mike Skimmerhorn that played with Chastain in Spike and Steven Taylor that is currently only under Chastain’s helm. These guys pose huge talents in making fast rhythm tunes and incredible solos. Do not forget that Chastain also managed his own bass work in his first solo release and his ability is no less than the other bass player’s abilities.

Not many Shred guitarists like Chastain preserve their original forms, that factor is one of the man’s top qualities as an artist, he just won’t give in to modernized trends. As bonuses Chastain provides some history lessons with two excellent instrumentals from two of his classic bands: the ultra arpeggio, melodic and kicking Heavy Metal killer “827” is from Chastain’s 1987 album The 7th Of Never. “Thunder And Lightning” is another amazing work that went under CJSS back in 1986’s album, Praise The Loud. If you do not know these two bands, you can start searching for their stuff – they are highly recommended.

Highlights from this Shred fest of a compilation: “Capriccio In E Minor” – you just can’t get enough of these great solos. “18th Century Inamorata” starts magically with an atmospheric solo right before it bangs you on the head. “Now Or Never” – sounds like a continuance of the previous tracks mentioned, yet another classic. “The Oracle Within” – A slow tempo track with great rhythmic riff and well performed solos. “Excursions Into Reality” – It’s like nothing changed and 12 years after Chastain’s first release he sounds even richer and exciting. In this one the bass line is energetic and powerful. “Schizophrenia” – generally it’s a Bluesy track, but there are surprises. “Blitzkrieg” – Its like a Thrash / Speed Metal attacking riff mixed with crazy solos. “Pompus Rompous” – A totally insane track, very complex and interesting. “Countdown To Infinity” – A Heavy Metal filler with great riffs with another full load of well done solos.

If Chastain appeals to you check out more of his works with Spike, CJSS, Chastain and Zanister. Don’t worry, they won’t let you down for a second.


  • Lior Stein

    Lior was a reviewer, DJ and host for our Thrash Metal segment called Terror Zone, based out of Haifa, Israel. He attributes his love of Metal to his father, who got him into bands like Deep Purple, Rainbow, Boston, and Queen. When he was in junior high he got his first Iron Maiden CD, The Number Of The Beast. That's how he started his own collection of albums. Also, he's the guitarist, vocalist and founder of the Thrash Metal band Switchblade. Most of his musical influences come from Metal Church, Vicious Rumors, Overkill, and Annihilator.

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