Exposé Online banner

Michael Angelo Batio — Hands without Shadows
(M.A.C.E. 1-11-11-11, 2005, CD)

by Paul Hightower, Published 2007-03-01

Hands without Shadows Cover artChicago's Michael Angelo Batio is a big name in heavy metal guitar, though he's never risen to the level of a Steve Vai or Joe Satriani. His claims to fame include patents and awards, though the distinguishing feature about him is his speed — I've never heard a faster player — plus the ability to play two guitar necks simultaneously. For this he's had a special instrument built and in the past he even demonstrated his abilities on a four-necked guitar! Hands without Shadows (the title comes from fans commenting on the speed of Batio's over and under the neck hand moves) is like Steve Morse's recent Major Impacts in that it largely pays homage to Batio's influences (Jimmy Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Randy Rhodes, Metallica, etc.) while providing vehicles to display his guitar prowess. Most tracks feature Batio, usually multi-tracked, supported by William Kopecky on bass and Bobby Rock on drums with guest guitarists sitting in on a few songs. Both originals on the disk will appeal to prog metal heads with enough complexity in the arranging and variety of stylings to keep things interesting, though I preferred "Pray on, Prey" where guitar leads are more coherently wedded to the rhythmic foundations. For the majority of Exposé readers, the incessant wailing, shredding, and general circus-freak displays of finger speed on this CD won't take long to get under the skin so I'd not recommend it. While Batio is certainly a badass player, only metal guitar-heads need apply for this one.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 34, 2005 releases

Related artist(s): Michael Angelo Batio

Latest news

2017-02-20
Larry Coryell RIP – One of the greats of jazz guitar has left us at the age of 73. Larry Coryell was one of the founding figures of jazz fusion, but produced a significant body of work the bridged many styles. His group Eleventh House provided a unique take on the combination of jazz and rock that was distinct from contemporaries such as Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever, and Weather Report. » Read more

2017-01-31
John Wetton RIP – After a long battle with colon cancer, singer and bassist John Wetton has died at the age of 67. As an integral member of such bands as King Crimson, UK, and Asia, his was one of the distinctive voices in progressive rock, lending a human touch to often difficult music. » Read more

2017-01-30
Seaprog Announces First Artists for 2017 – The organizers of the Seaprog Festival in Seattle have announced the first set of confirmed performers for the 2017 festival. The best known names are Cabezas de Cera and Jack o' the Clock, but a host of other bands are featured, mostly from the Northwest. The festival will take place June 2-4, 2017. » Read more

2017-01-27
Acoustic Festival of Britain 2017 Announces Eclectic Lineup – The Acoustic Festival of Britain has been going since 2006, and this year's event sees a number of outstanding artists on the bill. Fairport Convention, Tir na nOg, and Martin Turner are some of the artists we've covered, and there are many more, including The Men They Couldn't Hang, Howard Jones, Chantel McGregor, and many more. The festival runs June 2-4, 2017 at Uttoxeter Racecourse in Staffordshire. » Read more

2017-01-26
Butch Trucks RIP – Butch Trucks was one of two drummers in the first incarnation of the Allman Brothers Band in 1969, helping the band achieve its legendary status as an American original. He died on January 24, 2017 of a self-inflicted gunshot would. He was 69. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Sangiuliano - Take Off – An amazing album from 1978. Tony Sangiuliano was a one man keyboard show, assisted only by a drummer and female soprano; he could well be thought of as Italy's answer to Heaven and Hell period...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues