Review Summary: A show piece of a guitarist who is at the top of his game. A must for guitarist and a reccomendation to all metal fans.
What makes Jeff such an amazing guitarist is what he brings to every record. In this case you get a collection of incredibly well written songs tied in together for Plains of Oblivion.
Side tracking for the momment, I thnk particular metal critics judge albums/artist way to harsly or in other circumstances incredibly soft. Jeff will always go for me into the judged way to harsly category. Though i understand that no one here is judging his technique because, well, he is flawless. What i argue is what album they expect to hear from a guitarist who always shows off in every record his versatility and progressive song writting of many different genres.
So much hard work and dedication goes not only go into his playing, but in his song writing. What Jeff has gotten very good at is writting progressive songs that blend in very well together to give the listener a journey. Songs seem to complement each other, and dont take away from the feel of the album.
Though i have read that some people didnt think that no risk were taken. I am not sure I agree with this entirely. The tracks are very diverse with songs like Continnum Drift taking on more of a Jazz influence and Chosen time being a song where Jeff might not shred but it still has his feel and a truely strong melody. These types of songs are diverse from other previous songs written by Jeff, and shows that he listens to many genres and dare I say, takes a risk by melding his metal influences with his other various tastes in music.
As you would have guessed by now, yes I am a massive Loomis fan. But i guess i want people to get out of this article is what I experience every time i listen to a Jeff recording, whether it be Nevermore or solo stuff. What I hear is the amount of hours of song writing. The amount of days to put the riffs together. The amount of months spent mixing and mastering. Most importanly, the amount of years it took to get that kind of technique. Combine all this together with an artist who really loves what he is doing. Its passionate and technical, heavy yet soft, its diverse yet combines all these elements together to produce one memorable listen.
Plains of Oblivion shows that Loomis is one of the strongest metal guitarist in the history of the genre. With Jeff, maybe you do or don't get an album that takes risks. But one thing I know is for certain. With every record, you get a guitarist who shows you how you write a kick arse song no matter what the genre. An album that gives you a journey. With Jeff Loomis, you get mastery.