Canadian native Hrant Bedoyan gives a nice display of expertly played rock guitar instrumentals on this Unleashed release. Done in the same spirit as, say, Joe Satriani or Gary Hoey, this CD is chock full of fast licks and complex techniques. The disc as a whole has a very steely, metallic-like sound to it. Yes, the music is set in the hard rock/metal genre, but I’m referring to the production quality when I say “metallic.” Bedoyan likes to live on the high end, and the fuzzy vibration of the power chords makes much of this disc glimmer. I did find myself hoping for a small reprieve though, perhaps by way of a deeper, smoother, more tonal Jeff Beck-like number, but that isn’t really what Bedoyan seems to represent. He likes to tear it up, with plenty of shred and impressive technique; and that’s okay with me too.
The songwriting and arrangements are complex and sometimes hard to casually follow, but this music is anything but casual. This is a disc that you have to sit with and really listen to. I found myself getting more and more analytical as I listened. With keyboard genius Derek Sherinian to accompany Bedoyan’s screaming strings, the addition proves to be a welcomed one. Sherinian never takes the spotlight here, but his keyboard parts add spice to an already tasty meal. I am hoping that Bedoyan does more work with Sherinian in the future. I would love to hear something where they trade licks and play off of each other a bit more.
Unleashed is relentless, in both technique and sound. Through that fuzzy echo, Bedoyan emerges as a talented player with more chops than your local butcher shop.