David Shankle Group – “Still A Warrior” (Pure Steel Records)
David ‘Death Dealer’ Shankle was Manowar’s guitarist from 1988 to 1994, playing on the epic platinum album “The Triumph Of Steel” where his playing of 7 string over-the-neck scales, arpeggios and string skipping, along with being a master of many other guitar techniques soon made him a legend better known as ‘The Shred Machine’! Since going solo for the last 18 years he has not only founded his own band – DSG – but is also known the world over for his Shred Academy seminars, on line guitar instructionals, and endorsements from Dean Guitars. Now with Damien Thorne vocalist Warren Halvarson providing some high pitched power vocals to match Shankle’s frightening speed and technicality, DSG is US power metal intensity married to neo classical virtuosity! Despite his Manowar background, Shankle has commendably not relied on their style with DSG being a band in their own right, and with their own sound. With a nod more to modern power metal bands like Cage or Annihilator, Halvarson’s smooth vocals give DSG a hint of Riot on feisty songs like the searing ‘Fuel For The Fire’ or ‘Across The Line’, complete with its pounding double bass drumming. Of course, Shankle’s mastery is delivered in two solo pieces of ‘The Hitman’, a band instrumental that even incorporates jazz, but moreover, on the aptly named ‘Demonic Solo’ (from the movie “Jezebeth”) where he really comes into his own and makes me wonder if his guitar was on fire by the time it ended! Honestly, if you’re looking for something intense with the sorta guitar wizardry that few musicians dare to offer, let alone deliver, then “Still A Warrior” simply cannot be missed. As ex UFO guitarist George Bellas once said, ‘…DSG should stand for Dangerous Speed Guitar..’ – and I believe him!!!