Asad Ahmed
Rebirth


4.0
excellent

Review

by OmairSh USER (31 Reviews)
June 1st, 2020 | 9 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Instrumental Rock albums still exist? Apparently so. Is this one revolutionary? Nope. Does it have a barrage of technical wizardry? No. Is it still a fun and gratifying listen? You bet it is.

Veteran Pakistani Rock guitarist Asad Ahmed started his career in the 80s and then went on to have successful stints in the commercially popular pop group Awaz & his own Alternative Rock band Karavan, along with being a session musician in projects including the renowned Coke Studio. Despite such a lengthy career he had never worked on solo guitar album, until 2017s Rebirth. This album sees Asad inject Instrumental Rock ingredients whose aesthetic resembles the likes of Joe Satriani, AC/DC, and Eric Johnson. There are a handful of fun short rockers that have simple juicy riffs and catchy licks. Tracks including the bluesy & uptempo “Maximum Throttle,” “The Grand Design” with its slew of melodic licks & tastefully implemented horn section, and the almost grandiose “Strip and Strut” display Asad at his most vibrant. They also possess the best solos, displaying some of his most pleasant phrasing in possibly 15 years. The disposition of the longer tracks is more laid back and atmospheric, especially demonstrated by “Into the Vortex” with its spacey atmosphere & groovy basslines, and the title track which is the most lush track on Rebirth. The inclusion of songs with varying tempos and lengths aids in bringing some variety to the album.

In the production department up until a few years ago Pakistan lagged behind the West quite a bit, but now thanks to the easy accessibility of modern audio software & equipment, Pakistani music production is more or less up to universal standards. This album is evidence of that. Sure it’s no “Dark Side of the Moon,” but thankfully the production team allowed all of the instruments to sound dynamic, especially the guitars where Asad’s chunky distorted tone & array of lead tones shine, and the drum skins & cymbals sound effervescent due to the airy production doubled with the expansive mix.

For the most part the songs follow the standard verse-chorus-bridge/solo formula, and the downside to this is that the songs can feel slightly predictable. The melodies are still enjoyable but some variation in the song structures would have been welcome. As an example, even having some “verses” with just the riffs carrying them would have altered the song dynamic, even if a little. Additional complexity in the riffs & rhythms, and a more significant keyboard & horn section presence would have also added extra textures to make the songs even more interesting. To play Devil’s Advocate though, it’s understandable why Asad might have wanted to keep his songwriting focused for his first ever solo album. As is referenced by the album title, Rebirth is a reinvention of sorts for him. A return to releasing his own music after a lengthy time of mainly doing session gigs for 10 years. Sure it’s not ground-breaking, but it’s an admirable debut with an efficient execution of Melodic Rock music, and if it’s a sign of things to come then there’s more on the horizon to be enthusiastic about.

Recommended Tracks
1. The Grand Design
2. Rebirth
3. Maximum Throttle
4. Strip and Strut
5. Bittersweet Love

Asad Ahmed’s Spotify page: https://open.spotify.com/artist/0yl5YlhdpOd1wIpq02pG3N


1. Rebirth [MUSIC VIDEO] [4:32]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mcUrb0KJyuw&list=OLAK5uy_mCX91AMbZp4Pi EbZtiV74fwEvKPM4UDpE&index=7
2. Maximum Throttle [3:16]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GSYfsRtwSDA&list=OLAK5uy_mCX91AMbZp4Pi EbZtiV74fwEvKPM4UDpE&index=6
3. The Grand Design [3:40]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t47qhkdyNYw&list=OLAK5uy_mCX91AMbZp4Pi EbZtiV74fwEvKPM4UDpE&index=9




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user ratings (3)
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
OmairSh
June 1st 2020


16236 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Instrumental Rock (Satriani flavour). Been listening to this again after a little while and enjoying it more than ever. Fun stuff. Rebirth's music video is amazing. Great landscapes



Link to Asad's Spotify account is in the review for whoever's interested.



1. Will You (MUSIC VIDEO) [3:25]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VMaH7pjPT1Q&list=OLAK5uy_mCX91AMbZp4PiEbZtiV74fwEvKPM4UDpE&index=10

2. Strip and Strut [3:12]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hv4SO0C_CzQ&list=OLAK5uy_mCX91AMbZp4PiEbZtiV74fwEvKPM4UDpE&index=8

3. Bitter Sweet Love [5:01]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N2K9mbHWmuE&list=OLAK5uy_mCX91AMbZp4PiEbZtiV74fwEvKPM4UDpE&index=3





Digging: Jim Matheos - Away with Words

FR33L0RD
June 2nd 2020


2726 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nice review OmairSh

Top notch production of a good instrumental rock album by a great guitarist.

Like you said Omair, nothing groundbreaking but damn fun listening session.

Digging: Paysage d'Hiver - Im Wald

OmairSh
June 2nd 2020


16236 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Thanks dude! Glad to see you're enjoying it. Yeah it's a fun listen and nice change of pace from a lot of overly technical and dense music



Title track is so lush, the production shines the most on it. Grand Design has some of the best licks on here

FR33L0RD
June 2nd 2020


2726 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Rebirth is perfect, indeed!

OmairSh
June 2nd 2020


16236 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Been listening to this a lot today as well and dancing to a few haha. Finding more details emerge with every listen, as you do

Titan
June 3rd 2020


20768 Comments


Nice write up bro.....gonna check this

OmairSh
June 3rd 2020


16236 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Thanks dude! It's a fun listen, nothing fancy. But it's a nice change of pace.



And finally no language barrier haha. Hope ya enjoy!

bloodshy
June 4th 2020


1108 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Pretty good ditties. Into the Vortex was a highlight for me.

OmairSh
June 12th 2020


16236 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Into the Vortex is probably the track that grew on me the most



Rebirth, Grand Design, Max Throttle, Strip & Strut are all great



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