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| 28 October 2021 | Reply

April 2021
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar

That West Australian guitar maestro’s playing is sublime is not news to any afficionado of this six string magician. On Symphonica Part I he proves that he is equally talented as a composer.

Interestingly, the project started off as an EP, before a hard drive failure lost months of works-in-progress. Devastated, Greene almost gave up completely. But the melodies and riffs and solos and arrangements kept coming – such is the nature of an artist’s madness. To deny that creation would be to deny one’s true self.

Over a slew of instrumental EPs and albums Greene has proven himself no stranger to Middle Eastern (and Middle Earth) rhythms and melodies, nor to classical influences (hello ol’ mates Johann Strauss and Antonio Vivaldi, both thanked in the liner notes here), and on Symphonica Part I he delves far deeper into those exotic worlds.

Shredders may be concerned that these folkish world influences and lush washes of orchestral strings might dampen Greene’s stock in trade, but rest assured, there is more fancy fretwork at play on Symphonica Part I than on the entire National Album Charts right now, combined.

We’ve known that Greene is a wizard for a long time, but to use RPG terminology, he’s upped himself a few levels with this stunning album. Perhaps it’s time to retire the ‘maestro’ tag and label him ‘grand mage’ of the guitar?

As is a tradition for Greene, wife Donna Greene handles the vocals on two tracks here – For The High Crime Of Treason and Dream To Receive – both of which stand out with her sumptuous singing. Danube Blues takes Strauss’s Danube Waltz into an epic dance of soaring guitarwork, and what Graham Greene release would be complete without at least one fantasy-inspired tune? Here the grandiose closer Passage To Midgard flies the banner proudly.

How these two are not far more widely regarded as the incredible national treasures they are is incomprehensible.

Category: CD Reviews

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