Rick Renstrom - Until the Bitter End (Thrashcorner Records) 2003
of Impact" [instrumental] (3:35)
"Until the Bitter End" is Rick Renstrom's first solo CD. Who the heck is Rick Renstrom? I know him best as Rob Rock's guitarist. However, Rick has played in a bunch of other bands as well. Rick's musical influences are Yngwie J. Malmsteen, Ritchie Blackmore, Uli Jon Roth, Al DiMeola, Andy LaRocque, Ronni Le Tekro, Bach and Mozart. All of those influences come into play here. "Until the Bitter End" is half vocal and half instrumental, six of the 11 tracks are without vocals. The vocalists on this CD are all well know and linclude the likes of Rob Rock (Warrior/Impellitteri), Mat Sinner (Primal Fear/Sinner) & Wade Black (Seven Witches/Crimson Glory). Personally, I much prefer the vocals tracks to the instrumentals, however, the instrumentals are good as well. For the most part I would describe the music here as neoclassical heavy metal with classical influences as well as a foundation of traditional heavy metal. One interesting this about Rick is that he had been born with malformed arms and hands, but he plays as good, if not better, than the best of 'em. Favorite tracks are the driving "Calling On Vengeance" with Mat Sinner on vocals and "Kingdom For Ransom" with the spectacular Rob Rock on vocals. Of the instrumentals, the Ynqwie-like title track will rip a whole through your walls as well. Other well known guests on the album include drummer Richard Christy (Iced Earth/Death) and bassist Mat Sinner.