JULY 29th 2016

Review by Ruben Mosqueda

So Cal act LoNero issue their new album [their 3rd] on August 2nd, 2016. The new album titled ‘The Defiant Machine’ is a 10 track ‘conceptual’ piece of all things. In reading through the press kit that it is a concept album I was intrigued; a concept record with no lyrics, no singer, and no hooks? Could it be any ‘good?’ That’s almost impossible. It’s been my experience with instrumental albums; that they have a definite target audience and generally a short shelf life with the average rock and metal fan. Critics and fans that praise such records are typically ‘guitar geeks’ that live breathe shred records.

The standard for ‘instrumental’ rock records was set by Steve Vai’s ‘Passion and Warfare,’ Marty Friedman’s ‘Dragon’s Kiss,’ and Joe Satriani’s ‘Surfing with the Alien.’ The ‘holy trinity’ of shred records as far as I’m concerned. Those albums captured ‘the’ magic; both musically and in performance. The aforementioned albums transcended their intended core audience. Those records ‘struck a chord’ [see what I did there?] with the mainstream audience and have become milestone records for each of the respective artists.

LoNero pride themselves on playing their unique brand of ‘metal’ that they call ‘guitarcore.’ I don’t know who coined that--but patent it. LoNero led by founder/lead guitarist Bill Lonero tackled the theme of ‘war’ through the last 100 years; ‘The Defiant Machine’ incorporates sound bites from familiar presidential speeches to help tie the songs together. In doing so it makes the album a powerful, intense, conceptual tour de force. The album as a whole is incredible; however, I can’t decide on a standout track. Is it the driving, thrashy “In Pursuit?” Which takes you on a roller coaster ride of highs and lows; like you’re in a dogfight or high speed chase. If you get any tickets for excessive speed forward them to [lead guitarist] Bill [Lonero]. The other is “13 Days” which thrusts you into the midst of the ‘Cuban Missile Crisis.’ It’s tense, dramatic and a spectacular piece of music.

I will end with this; THE instrumental record of 2016 wasn’t issued by [Steve] Vai, [Yngiwe] Malmsteen, [Paul] Gilbert or any of the 'marquee names.' That distinction belongs to LoNero for their album ‘The Defiant Machine.’ Who doesn’t love an underdog?

Buy the album: http://billlonero.com/mainindex/store/products/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LoNero

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LoNeroMusic