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I N  T H E  M A C H I N E - R E V I E W S


The phrase ‘progressive instrumental rock’ really doesn’t do justice to the 2002 CD from VA.-based guitarist Ballurio. As good as his 2000 record, Spider Dance was, in retrospect it was really the stepping stone on the road to the brilliantly conceived In The Machine. Tastefully described as ‘an instrumental exploration of guitar rock from the perspective of melody and orchestrated guitar’, the 2002 release of In The Machine takes Ballurio’s one of a kind approach to progressive, hard rock, instrumental music soaring to new heights. While the guitarist wrote, arranged, performed, programmed, produced, engineered and mixed the nine track In The Machine himself, there’s no shortage of stunning musical ideas and studio craft on hand. Although in the past he’s been compared to greats like Steve Morse, Steve Vai and even Edgar Froese of Tangerine Dream, Ballurio delivers the breakthrough CD he promised with the superbly crafted In The Machine. 

- Robert Silverstein - Twentieth Century Guitar

 

Fuzzy guitars, modulated vocals and dancing particles of electronic converge of Keith Ballurio's second CD, In the Machine. This is an edgy, primarily instrumental record that explores one man's musical perspective on modern life and sonically conveys the emotions of everyday existence. Augmenting the music is a captivating CD booklet that includes quotes from the likes of Englishmen Robert Burton and William Shakespeare.

The album opens with the creepy "Critical Mass," six minutes of throbbing, mind-twisting molten metal that crescendos to a symphony of quirky keyboards. That's followed by the dark and rhythmic title track, which gives way to "Swing Shift" -- a less intense but still heavy composition that will challenge your speakers. "Shedding My Skin" is a haunting acoustic piece, and "Metallic Salad" sounds so much like classic Van Halen that you half-expect David Lee Roth to chime in.

Ballurio wrote, arranged, performed, programmed, produced, engineered and mixed all nine tracks on In the Machine -- a phenomenal feat when you consider just how seamless this disc sounds. A sentence in the liner notes states that "all music is specially formulated to be played loud!" So crank this sucker up!

- Michael Popke - Progression Magazine  

 

"What I like most besides the conceptual idea Keith had to keep things fresh and ahead of the times is that he still once in awhile pays homage to his influences and roots without being a copycat or just being flat-out cliché. Sort of like buying a beer for a good friend of yours. It works well and it's just a good strategy put to music since he has the tools and brain to put forth something this abstract to music...very reminiscent of the Michael Harris we just mentioned but not as heavy musically but Keith can still rock and throw a few riffs here and there to prove that point. "In The Machine" is definately bolder musically and has elevated above "Spider Dance" as far as taking music and the unrelenting boundaries that come with it. Keith has raised his levels of expertise and I think everyone will assurely agree..."

- Wayne Klinger, Quintessence 2000


S P I D E R   D A N C E  - R E V I E W S


"There 's some splendid, dynamic hard rock guitar wizardry at work on Spider Dance.  If you dig guitar masters like Vai, Beck, Morse and Holdsworth then you owe it to yourself to check out Ballurio."

- Robert Silverstein - Twentieth Century Guitar

 

"Instrumental rock guitar with a furious groove is how I would describe Ballurio. The music is a screaming ride through virtuosity, while stopping from time to time to smell the roses. The interesting thing about this music is the great harmony work. Two leads working different spectrums is a very difficult thing to get to sound good. Ballurio makes them fit so well together and sound like they were so simple. That is true craftsmanship. This virtuoso pulls out all the stops and shreds through the tracks with the greatest of brilliance. The one thing I look for in instrumental rock is whether or not the music contains feeling. This music definitely presents a mood with every song. I truly enjoyed this music and believe that any guitar enthusiast with find a large amount of inspiration here."

- Michael Allison - THEGLOBALMUSE.COM

 

"Along the vein of other instrumental guitarists, Ballurio puts out a compelling disc. This disc isn't so solo based as mood and structure driven. This 10 track instrumental collection is all about jammin', fast, accurate, guitar work. It's a rockin' good time from start to finish. This guy is good! I mean really good.  The performance is superb. Production is great. The CD liner says 'all music is specially formulated to be played loud!'. Believe it. Crank it up till your hair tingles. Grandma will love it! What more can I say? (except maybe that this is his second CD)"

- Chris Lonsberry, Independent Music Site 

 

"… a new talent whose debut album is a positive barnstormer of mixing melody, ferocity, dynamics, power, restraint and compositional skill. Right from the start, the multi-layered rampaging guitar work takes you by the throat, but with a whole stack of melodies and some quite unique work in the old bass department, while the drummer anchors the thing to the floor, as the guitars take off and sparkle, all in a shade under four minutes, and the perfect start to a thoroughly quality album. Consisting of forty minutes across ten tracks, you'll find a range of styles from metallic and bluesy, but all delivered with a passion and love for the music the guy has created. Superbly played throughout, there is a master guitarist at work here…."

- Andy Garibaldi, CD Services Mail Order, Scotland 

 

"Ballurio is one of these people that are multi-purpose with playing, writing and even producing/recording. This 10-track CD reflects all these qualities and balances musically jazz, rock, metal and contemporary to balladic passages, making this very entertaining with a vast range of ideas melded together…this guy has the talent with great fretwork and the emotional chasm of haunting melodies to psychedelia to blues influence and songwriting…"

- Wayne Klinger, Quintessence 2000

 

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"Ballurio's bluesy hard rock guitar style emphasizes melodic motifs, while leaving plenty of space for rapidly picked guitars solos and strict ascending and descending minor key flourishes. Specifically formulated to be played loud, the ten tracks comprising Spider Dance are directed towards the fan of up-front and raw orchestrated guitar work in an instrumental rock setting."

- Dan McAvinchey, Guitar9 Records, www.guitar9.com

"Ballurio creates a dense wall of sound, layered with varied textures. Playing some of his seventeen guitars, Ballurio invokes the jazz, heavy metal, and progressive idioms as he weaves his webs of sound, although there are no jazzy chords, no screaming, and no odd meters or exotic tonality. This leads to a pleasant, instrumental rock recording with a dazzling display of virtuosity."

- Hank Stone, The Night Guide


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