Virtuosic electric guitar shredder Al Joseph has released his new single, Elemental – a high-octane seven-minute fretboard exhibition that boasts an abundance of tasty seven-string constructions.
It’s Joseph’s first new material since the release of his third studio solo album, Labyrinth, last year, and it’s an impressive continuation of form for the Berklee-educated guitarist, who pulls out all the stops to flex his proficient technical lead work and robust rhythmic prowess.
Incorporating chug-heavy, off-kilter right-hand riffage complete with chime-y harmonics into a smorgasbord of sustain-heavy, gain-laden prog lines, Joseph leaves nothing up his sleeve, and effortlessly bounds from one section to the next via some truly silky solo work.
Just when you think Joseph is neatly tying things up, the Kiesel-endorsed artist pulls the rug from underneath us, and even includes a cameo appearance from Kiesel’s headless Zeus acoustic guitar for some smooth stripped-back exchanges.
Of the mesmerizing new effort, Joseph commented, “Elemental is raw energy. It’s about summoning the ‘god’ in us all that can turn our inner rage and suffering into something that can move and terraform our inner and outer worlds.
“The aim with this song was to create a tune that was fun to play even without leads,” he continued. “Elemental draws out heavier influences from bands such as Linkin Park, Sevendust, Korn and Dream Theater that just makes you want to jam.”
Joseph went on to tease that even more music will be cropping up in the near future, both as a solo artist and as part of his band Hyvmine, saying he is feeling “inspired more than ever”.
“In light of what’s been going on in the world right now I’ve got to say I’m inspired more than ever to release more singles, EPs and albums on the regular,” he added, “including getting the band back together with a whole new name, look, improved style and agenda.”
The powerful guitar-charged direction is in keeping with Joseph’s own previously professed sonic vision, having told Guitar World last year that he wanted to “go back to his roots” and focus more on “guitar music”.
"I’ve been doing the whole Hyvmine thing for the last couple years,” he said, "and I started to think, ‘Let me get back to what makes me “me,” and what put me on the map in the first place.’ And that’s guitar and guitar music."
If you fancy testing your chops and giving Joseph’s seven-minute magnus opus a try, tabs for the track can be purchased for $20 from Al Joseph’s official website (opens in new tab).