ETHAN BROSH – Out Of Oblivion

ETHAN BROSH - Out Of Oblivion
  • 9/10
    ETHAN BROSH - Out Of Oblivion - 9/10


Magna Carta Records
Release date: March 27, 2009

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

The first thing that comes to mind upon listening to the new Ethan Brosh release is “what an eclectic array of songs, one better than the other.” Then you add several guest musicians, all of whom are world class in their own right and you have one hell of an album. When your colleagues are the likes of George Lynch, Greg Howe, and last but not least Joe Stump, how can you go wrong?

Brosh certainly knows his fretboard, inside and out, as can be attested to by listening to his brilliant play on this debut album containing slightly more than 44 minutes of music in the 11 tracks laid down on disc. Even though he was born in the United States, Brosh learned to play electrical and classical guitar in Israel where he grew up. He must have been good even back then because somehow he caught the attention of the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts who decided to give the young Brosh a scholarship to attend their school. In 2001, soon after receiving his scholarship Brosh moved back to the states and began attending. In 2004 Brosh graduated with honors and received a degree in songwriting. In 2008, Brosh went back to Berklee but this time as a teacher in the guitar sessions program. Berklee certainly doesn’t ask just anybody to teach any of their programs so it was quite obvious the amount of talent this fairly unknown six-stringer possessed.

Soon after, Magna Carta Records signed Brosh to their label and released his debut album titled Out of Oblivion on March 24, 2009. If it must be classified, then it would fall under the Neo-classical Metal/Shred genre. For the most part it is nothing more than another new Instrumental guitar album. Even though it is a risky proposition to label it as such, because face it, it’s the “once you’ve heard one Instrumental album, you’ve heard them all” type attitude that gets you into trouble every time. Yes it’s true that Instrumental albums are a dime a dozen, but how many can you say stand out from the very first listen because this one does.

The band is composed of Brosh on guitars, Mike Mangini (Steve Vai, Extreme, Annihilator) on drums, and Eyal Freeman on bass. Guesting there is George Lynch (Dokken, Lynch Mob), Greg Howe (Vitalij Kuprij, Planet X, James Murphy, Michael Jackson), and Joe Stump (Holy Hell, Shooting Hemlock, The Reign of Terror, MVP, Obsession). Artwork was done by the infamous Derek Riggs (Iron Maiden) while the album was mixed and mastered by none other than Chris Tsangarites (Ozzy, Judas Priest, Yngwie Malmsteen, Thin Lizzy, Anvil).

After several signature Mangini drum rolls to kick things off and some crystal clear yet blazing fast shredding to complement things, Brosh starts out with “The Hit Man.” A very powerful tune that has you wondering if the rest of the album is going to hold up as well as the opener did. The rhythm section is pure bliss as the bass and drums sound like they were meant for each other from day one. From 2:12 on till the end is key evidence as to why this guitarist is so special and the reason that Berklee went after him with such fervor. The overdubs are incredible and seem to be everywhere, some more subtle than others. The way they are layered upon each other, one after another is pure heaven to listen to.

One would think that the entire album is composed of shredding and endless arpeggios. It isn’t, so put that thought right out of your mind and enjoy the remainder. There are two beautiful acoustic pieces titled “Illusion” which by the way is played in its entirety without the aid of a pick, and “Bach Prelude No. 4” from the Lute Suite in E Major. “Night City” tricks you by starting out with acoustic guitar but quickly turns electric in no time. The bass is deep, persistent and more importantly, strategically placed. Originally written in 1999 it is still relevant today as it was back then. By now the songwriting skills of this young, talented musician are becoming quite apparent.

“Downward Spiral” is up next with George Lynch adding some flavor to the pot that is abundantly full already. The notes that fly off the fretboard by both of these axe wielders is just plain sick. The guitars are so hot by the time the song is over that they ooze metal (pun intended). “Blast Off” is a nice little number that is quick and to the point. It allows Brosh to roam while showcasing his playing abilities. For all you musicians who can read sheet-music and/or can play on a higher level than the average guitarist, Brosh gives thanks to Lydian #4 for what it’s worth. “Ancient Land” is another song that was written during Brosh’s Berklee days. This time around however he decides to go with the instrumental version. Joe Stump makes an appearance on this track and lays down some heavy riffs to go along with the tight, rumbling bass line. Eyal’s playing is key on this track since it is what accentuates the tune into making it sound heavier than originally anticipated or planned on in all likelihood.

“Illusion” is a very intricate acoustic number that is performed a’la “fingers only” which after hearing the song will mean more than it does at the present time. This is a definite highlight from the group of eleven. It is somewhat short in length but if you were the one behind the guitar instead of Brosh, it would be a safe bet to say that for some reason it would appear to be much longer. “In a SentiMetal Mood” (gotta love the play on words) was partially written, but never finished, during Brosh’s time in Israel. Years later Ethan and his friend Jessy got together, pulled an all-nighter, and finally finished what they had started.

“Blade Runner” is the last song remaining that is fortunate enough to have a guest appear on the track. The intricate guitar work of just Brosh alone would have sufficed for the average music fan or any lover of good guitar. Greg Howe takes things to another level with his additional guitar play and Brosh is blown away by his playing ability. He has loads of fun on this particular track as the two guitarists try to outdo each other going back and forth with their individual solos, one trying to outperform the other.

“Last Hope” is a song written by Brosh dating back to 1999 that could have possibly been his second or third song ever written. It has a very deep meaning for Brosh and came about during a low point in his life. You can hear the feeling that Brosh puts into it, not just from a writing standpoint but from the way he performs it. This could possibly be one of the best songs on the album. “Bach Prelude No. 4” is the second acoustic song of the bunch. This was Ethan’s best attempt at one of the world’s most beautiful pieces written by the best musician that ever lived, according to Brosh. He goes on to proclaim that it was not a fun day of recording which tells you something about this track and its difficulty in trying to play it correctly and accurately. It isn’t a short piece either coming in at 4:17 minutes.

The closer is “Affliction” which is another piece by Bach but arranged for the electric guitar which Brosh thinks hasn’t been done yet. Whether or not it has or hasn’t been done is moot at this point because you get to hear Brosh’s version which, even though is short in length (1:05 minutes), the technical knowledge, stamina, playing ability, and passion for Classical music must be incredible in order to pull this off.

After listening to this wonderful album, there will be many music fans wanting to know more about this new up-and-coming musician.


  • 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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