Hailing from Dallas, Texas Chris Manning is a guitarist, songwriter, and session player who recently released a solo effort entitled Symmetry. Symmetry is Manning’s third release and like his previous material is an instrumental based album that is anchored by the guitar. Fans of virtuoso guitarist such as Yngwie Malmsteen and Joe Satriani will immediately embrace the album. On top of that if you can get down Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix this might also be your cup of tea. Aesthetically, the guitar tone (at least the lead) has more of an 80’s hair metal vibe than anything else. It has that high-end sheen that when coupled with a conservative amount of reverb makes the guitar soar.
The first track "Devildogs", a song dedicated to the U.S. Marines is technically and creatively impressive. Mannings dishes out a copious amount of changes that keep the song fresh and engaging. The first riff sounds like the beginning of Boston song you never heard before but then quickly mutates into a pulsating drum beat that gets hammered by dueling guitars. From there the song opens up and you are treated to a number of solos that take some skill to pull off.
On Manning’s bandcamp page “Walking With The Dead” is described as “the heaviest track on the disc, and has a Black Sabbath meets Alice in Chains vibe”. That statement really nails it as long as you aren’t expecting vocals by Layne Staley or Ozzy Osbourne.
On the other extreme is “Waiting” which sheds the distortion in favor of cleans guitar with a decent amount of reverb and delay. The track emits waves of tranquility and relaxation. It was a welcome deviation that didn’t feel too out there.
Symmetry doesn't exactly have a ubiquitous appeal. I can’t see too many hipsters playing this in between the New Flying Lotus record and iceage. That being said Pallbearer seems to be popular with the kids these day so who knows.My advice is to give this a spin and check out what a skilled lead guitarist can pull off.
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