• 6.5/10
    THE SEAN BAKER ORCHESTRA - Baker's Dozen - 6.5/10


Lion Music
Release date: June 19, 2009

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

One can only imagine how challenging it is to create an album that’s entirely instrumental. To do so without seeming repetitive is an even more daunting task. With Baker’s Dozen, The Sean Baker Orchestra succeeds in accomplishing the former, not the latter. This is the second release from the band. As you might’ve guessed, Sean Baker is the main man behind the SBO. He’s had experience teaching guitar lessons and has been playing for some twenty-five years. In addition, he’s been featured in Guitar Player magazine on more than one occasion.

Baker is joined by the following bandmates: Cmak Ashtiani (guitars), David Donigian (Bass), and Lawrence Wilson (drums). The guys have been playing together for over four years and it‘s definitely audible on disc. What’s more, there are some big names that are featured on some of the tracks. Joe Stump plays on “Neo-Classical Gas” and Rusty Cooley shreds on “Verbal Skillz”.

For all the shred-heads, there’s plenty to be fond of on Baker‘s Dozen. Baker set out to record “the loudest, most aggressive, melodic, shredding, head-banging album on the planet”. This release is all of those things, but it’s a bit redundant, too. There are lighter, more classically influenced tracks like “7/24/04” and “2 Part Invention in C Major“, but it seems as if less effort was put into them than the heavy songs.

Baker is quoted as saying, “I really wanted this CD to be our ‘Master of Puppets‘. I think we accomplished that.” Err, unfortunately, in no way can this album really be compared to one of the all-time Metal greats. For what it is, it’s not bad, but the effort needs to be more universal.

There’s a lack of balance here that keeps this from being a great release. It’s not that it’s too heavy, it’s just that there’s little here that’ll appeal to a broad audience. Guitarists will surely revel in this nearly hour long clinic, but everyone else will get bored with this stuff fairly quickly.

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