REB BEACH – A View From The Inside (2020)
Released by Frontiers Music this weekend, “A View From The Inside” is the new solo album from esteemed WHITESNAKE / WINGER guitarist REB BEACH. The musician graced countless ’80s classic records as session player, and still continues being one of the most talented and original rock guitarists of his generation.
“A View From The Inside” demonstrate the astonishing breadth of the guitarist’s abilities, not to mention his eclectic taste.
Opener “Black Magic” is a re-work of an old Beach no-nonsense prog metal instrumental, with our hero ripping his way through several unfathomably technical solos. But as with obvious contemporaries like Marty Friedman and Joe Satriani, Beach can’t help but fill the gaps with giant hooks and moments of exhilarating ensemble precision. Drummer David Throckmorton deserves particular credit for keeping up with his leader’s relentless energy levels.
Once the fieriness of this enterprise has been established, both “Little Robots” and “Aurora Borealis” veer into fusion-fueled realms, rich with proggy keyboards and AOR sparkle, but resolutely tight and funky.
“Infinito” is a low-slung, moody rocker, with swooping slide guitar, an air of dewy-eyed melancholy and strong ’80s metal vibes. In contrast, “Attack Of The Massive” is a riveting funk metal freak-out, as stridently syncopated as any classic BRECKER BROTHERS jam, but pumped up with the swagger of rock ‘n’ roll and blessed with some of Beach’s most effortlessly magical soloing.
“Whiplash” is a bubbling, strutting string of crescendos and AOR money shots; “Hawkdance” is all prowling blues rock bravado and finesse; then “Cutting Loose” drinks from a more traditional, prog metal wellspring, with shades of Vai and Satriani’s imperious ’80s phase.
It probably doesn’t need saying that the bulk of this will appeal primarily to fans of virtuoso progressive metal showboating, but there is a beautiful musicality to even the most indulgent moments here.
The closing “Sea Of Tranquility” is particularly stunning, and showcases a more refined, understated and gentle side to the esteemed sideman’s singular vision. Like everything here, it is played with a mind-blowing level of skill and dexterity, but there’s no shortage of soul (and funk) on show either.
01. Black Magic (2020)
02. Little Robots
03. Aurora Borealis
04. Infinito 1122
05. Attack Of The Massive
06. The Way Home
09. Cutting Loose
10. Sea Of Tranquility
Reb Beach – guitars, bass, keyboards, strings on 10
David Throckmorton – drums (except on 6)
Robert Langley – drums on 6
Michele Luppi – piano on 3, 10
Phillip Bynoe – bass on 1, 2, 3, 8, 10, 11
John Hall – bass on 5, 6, 7
Paul Brown – keyboards on 1, 2, 5, 7