• 9.5/10
    VINNIE MOORE - To The Core - 9.5/10


Mascot Records
Release date: May 26, 2009

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

From the very first note one hears it is unequivocally transparent that this Vinnie Moore release, To the Core, has a very powerful, dynamic, and flawless production behind it. Scrupulous detail has been placed upon every nuance in the making of this album. The final product demonstrates this quite nicely especially through an equally nice pair of headphones. It is almost night and day the difference it makes in listening to this album through normal speakers or even PC speakers for that matter and then hearing it via headphones. You will be blown away at the vivid, precise, and textural sound.

Well, well, well…what should we expect from a new Vinnie Moore album, that is the question of the day? It could be extremely difficult to answer or it could be a breeze in a manner of speaking. Which road one decides to take depends on the answer in a sense. One can be sure however, that the music will contain virtuosic guitar playing at its best. There will be a certain amount of riffage and shredding going on but it will be done so with an ever so tasteful amount of decorum? Vinnie’s entire career has been nothing short of excellence so why change what works. When the time comes he will hang up his six-string with pride and gratification with a certain amount of humility behind it.

The thirty-three years that Moore has been playing guitar is certainly evident by his latest creation… enough said. Giving this album a once over is definitely not enough. Having listened to it numerous times by now, it is still amazing how at every listen new sounds come to life that haven’t been so obvious previously. With each listen is guaranteed a new experience. Each track off of the latest release is a true testament to that statement. If proof is what you are looking for, then put this CD into your player, sit back and be prepared to have your socks knocked off. When the 59 plus minutes (11 tracks) are over and you come back down to Earth, you will get a better appreciation for this musician’s true talents – Mr. Vinnie Moore does not disappoint.

Some of the finer moments of the album need to be looked at a bit more closely. The “Fly” is an incredibly strong opener that makes a statement right from the start and cannot be overlooked even if one tried to ignore it. Get ready to be blown away from start to finish. Vinnie’s guitar playing is better than ever if that is possible. It’s true that once you reach a certain level of play it’s hard to top that and get better. In this case you can throw that right out the window. You’ll see better yet hear for yourself.

“Panic Attack” is a pretty neat tune. It comes out guns ablaze as if almost with an attitude. Then you begin to hear some martian/alien sounds throughout that bring Jeff Beck to mind for some reason and the wizardry he performs with his Strat. “Soul Caravan” is more of a Jazzy/Bluesy/Rock tune that incorporates the sax into the mix of things. It works very well here just like some of those classic Pink Floyd tunes that used to have it as well.

The keyboard sound in the opening of “Remorse” is something that should be heard. There is something about it that one can really sink his/her teeth into. The slower parts of this track are actually slightly better sounding than when the band seems to be working harder. Vinnie seems to know just how much he has to add and when to lay off. This seems to take this track to a higher level. The keyboards and bass are the key to this tune.

“Tailspin” has Vinnie playing some of the finest shredding on the album. He adds a little Bluesy spin to his style which makes this tune shine. The bass line is deep and powerful with a cool riff that brings it to life more. Vinnie does a short solo during this track that is on the money. This is one of the better tunes on here without a doubt. “Over My Head” sounds like something that you’ve heard before, you would swear, but isn’t obvious. There is something about it however that draws you in and you can’t help but to listen to it all the way to the end. This is the first acoustical number by Vinnie on the album.

“Into the Open Highway” is a strong song and definitely in the top three. The bass, even though not extremely difficult to play, is so tight and sounds so damn good, it is a dominating factor throughout. Even the drums have a certain amount of command to them throughout. One can pick up on some Harleys heading off into the sunset at a few locations in the song… hence the title. One can hear a slight variation of the Peter Gunn theme but on an almost subliminal level if you listen hard enough near the end. This is one of the stronger tunes on here.

The closer “Into the Sunset” is truly a gem. There are instrumentals and then there are instrumentals. This is one of the better ones by far. The orchestration of this song is phenomenal. The sound just takes control of your auditory senses and takes you to another place. A lot of Vinnie’s 6-string work can be found around fret 30 thru 34 on this track. His guitar work is some of the best you are going to hear. Vinnie plays with such raw passion and emotion on this song that it is hard to beat, so don’t dare to bother.

The ensemble that Vinnie used in the making of this release is as follows: Van Romaine (drums), Tim Lehner (keyboards), John “JD” Deservio (bass) and of course the master himself on guitar. All songs written and produced by Vinnie Moore. Guitars, bass, and keyboards recorded at The Core. Drums recorded at Spin Studios, Long Island City, NY. Mixed by Paul Northfield and mastered by Ryan Smith at Sterling Sound, NYC. And as luck would have it, the North American release date for this bad boy has been slated as May 26, 2009, so for those crazy fans of Vinnie the wait is over.

For those with inquisitive minds about their favorite 6-stringer try Googling his name or for those with less patience click on the links that follow and it will take you directly to his websites.


  • 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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