David T. Chastain – Countdown to Infinity

I’d heard of David Chastain many times over the years and finally got round to picking up one of his albums on impulse while browsing in one of the specialist record stores here. 


Countdown to Infinity was released in 2007 and to be honest, it wasn’t really what I was expecting. I was expecting a lot more *shred* from this guy based on my impressions that I’ve built up and frankly, on this mid-paced rock groover of an instrumental album, Chastain rarely opens up the throttle for more than a few bars. Honestly, as much as I really wanted to like this album, I did eventually get a little bored with it. Dynamically, there is not much to offer – most of the tracks are of a very similar tempo and the riffs are very repetitive and not particularly imaginative. Most of the melodies are quite forgettable and it does make me wonder (and this applies to a lot of instrumental music in general) what the point of even giving the tracks names is, given how undifferentiated they are.

Still Chastain is an excellent player and the tone on the guitars here is fabulous – sweet, full-bodied and biting. Aside from the gripes above though, I did find his improvisations a bit meandering, and I sense a bit of hesitance in his soloing that seems to me as if he is not quite sure on the next notes to play and there is not an overall sense of conviction.

Still, I am not giving up on David T. Chastain. His earlier albums have an excellent reputation and I will seek out some of those from the Shrapnel era.


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