Project Steiger - Defiance - 2004


We had a great surprise when we received this great album from USA. A great guitar-oriented album by the guitarist Ken Steiger. Graduated with honor in 1992, Ken already has taken many years fighting in what refers to the soloist guitar way as people like Tony Macalpine, Vinnie Moore, Richie Kotzen etc.. Defiance is mainly an instrumental album dedicated mainly to the guitar world. We can find stellar collaborations in this album as Virgil Donati (drums) nowadays considered as one the best drummers in the world, Tony Franklin (bass guitar) who all will know for his extensive career as a musician & of course Mr Derek Sherinian (keyboards) known by everybody (Dream Theater, Kiss, Alice Cooper..)

We can´t say much more about the collaborations in this album becauseKen Steiger takes all the protagonism eclipsing the other ones with his guitar riffs & licks.


We put the album in the CD player and begin the listening session of this great album:
"Prince of souls" is the name of the first track and listening it, the musical atmosphere embraces us from the beginning during the whole CD. A lot of time have passed since we receive the last solo album by a guitarist like him. Pure 80s style. A very personal way of playing guitar that was already forgotten. "Rock it" and "Run for Cover" reminds us to great albums like “Perpetual Burn” of the amazing Jason Becker and others like him. Some aggressive riffs and a powerful heavy rhythmic base. A lot of melody and of course a big dose of speed metal. Without rest we find "Vertical Integration" and "Child of the storm". Two good references that maybe remember us a bit to Satriani´s songs in early career. In my opinion Ken Steiger is better than Satriani… faster and heavier. "Neutron Flux" is a calmer song. In that one he show us his melodic and more sensitive side but without leaving the dark atmospheres that prevail during the whole album. Maybe sometimes this song could remember to Planet X (it is obvious because there are two members of the band in this album). "Edge of forever" take us in route to other two songs of pure instrumental metal called "KT Boundary event" and "Persuasion" that continues in the same wave than the previous ones. "Anti-gone" it is practically the most progressive song of the album. In this one Virgil Donati sow us a good sample of his handling drums. A song a la Pantera with hard riffs and heavy all around. To conclude the album we listen to "Here come the heroes" undoubtedly the most melodic and with some touches a la Steve Vai.


In short: we can say that this is a great guitar solo album. Pure heavy American style of the latest 80s. I will highlight his virtuosity, his catching melodies and his purified technique. A real great musician of the old school of pure heavy metal. On the other hand we don't appreciate many progressive elements in his music and the sound maybe could be better. Apart from this we can say that “Defiance” is an amazing album. If you are guitarist you have to buy this album. A great CD that reminds us to styles that were almost forgotten. Congratulations!

author - date - rating - label

Germán Villén - May 2004 -   - Steiger Productions