Niels Vejlyt - Sthenic
Lion Music
Instrumental/Shred Guitar
8 songs (40:00)
Release year: 2011
Lion Music
Reviewed by Joel
Archive review

Heads Up, is the first song from guitarist Niels Vejlyt of Denmark. It has a song structure (and the high quality) that reminds me of Steve Vai's classic Liberty from Passion and Warfare. A simple melodic lead melody that gets built upon throughout the song. With a more modern sound and tone, Die Today, (see the video HERE) shows that Vejlyt cares about song structure versus showing the world that he has the greatest dexterity and speed. The guy can seriously play, and shows it off throughout most of the disc, but has a knack for holding back and letting those moments flow naturally (listen for the sweep picking just after the three minute mark, that plays behind the layers of instruments in front of it). Rain has a very similar groove, while Samurai has a wall of guitars that hits you in the face (ears) with some blisteringly fast playing before it leads into a more progressive metal direction. This song would be the perfect song to breakdown for the advanced guitarist studying how to play, and to learn the nuisances of it. From sweeping, alternate picking, and picked arpeggios he somehow fits all of these techniques into a song, without it sounding like a four and a half minute solo.

Going back to the modern sounding metal, is Meteor with its stop and go rhythm playing that changes tempo throughout the song. The song has some nice lead harmony guitar playing, along with some more frenzied guitar work, Vejlyt loves to play. The melodic section just after the minute and forty five second mark, is one of my favorite melodies on the entire disc. Harkening back to the days of Jason Becker, comes My Little Rascal, a frenzied arpeggiated masterpiece, with its blend of classically infused lines, melody, and absolute technique. The simple piano that starts off Kajsa finds Vejlyt toning things down, but I just love his guitar tone here. This would be the ballad on the disc, and its quite beautiful, and it is played with a lot of feeling and emotion. The first signs of acoustic guitar on the disc, is on the disc's closer Winter, a mammoth nine minute plus piece of music. The classical guitar segues into a much heavier guitar part (kind of jarring at first, since it goes from really slow and soft to very heavy in no time flat). Like most nine minute songs, the song does offer a few different tempos and melodies, and for an instrumental this song, is it far from boring, and quite moving. This disc is a definitely a highlight, and a great way to close out the disc.

If you're a fan of instrumental/shred guitar music, this is no doubt a disc you would want to pick up. If this is not your cup of tea (or brand of beer, I will let you choose), you should check out two of his other projects, one is the older Infinity Overture, and the other being the neoclassical power metal, Sages Recital(one of my favorite self-released discs of 2013). Sthenic may have come out in 2011, but I had just heard about it last week, and I have enjoyed it. I know this style of music is a niche, but when you have as much feeling, emotion, and overall technique to take the listener on a forty minute musical adventure and they come out wanting to listen to it again, you have definitely succeeded, like Vejlyt's has done here.

Killing Songs :
Heads Up, Die Today, Samurai,Meteor, My Little Rascal, Winter
Joel quoted 84 / 100
Other albums by Niels Vejlyt that we have reviewed:
Niels Vejlyt - The Predator reviewed by Al and quoted 35 / 100
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