Joe Stump – Diabolical Ferocity

Diabolical Ferocity Album Cover Art

Joe Stump – Diabolical Ferocity
Lion Music
Release Date: 17/09/2021
Running Time: 46:27
Review by Chris Galea

Pretentious as it may sound, the title says it all….”Diabolical Ferocity” is an instrumental and guitar-driven album whose music sounds furious, passionate and, yes, possessed. In case you may have missed his previous 12 solo albums, Joe Stump’s guitar playing style is (usually) fast and directly influenced by guitarists such as Ritchie Blackmore and Yngwie Malmsteen, especially the latter.

This was one release I was particularly looking forward to, especially considering my affection for the neo-classical genre, as well as my interest in instrumental guitar albums. So, at the outset my expectations were high. And yet, before the brief intro was even over, I was already smitten.

First of all, there’s Joe obvious passion for this music genre, together with his technical guitar mastery. Then, although his solos are fast, there are various shades to this album. For example, I loved how the keyboards and guitar work together in the excellently-written ‘King of the Underworld’. There’s the incendiary ‘Burn it Down’. ‘The Snake Charmer’s Fate’ has some interesting middle-eastern melodies, and ‘Maximum Damage’ blends catchy riffs, furious guitar solos, and Black-Metal-style blastbeats. The inspiration for ‘Nacht J.S. Bach’ is in the title, and I couldn’t help smiling at the fact that Joe Stump shares the same initials as Bach.

Speaking of inspirations, “Diabolical Ferocity” ends with a heartfelt musical eulogy to Gary Moore. It’s no surprise that, shortly before the album’s release, Stump had confessed: “For me Gary Moore is still the one guitarist that really reaches me on an emotional level like no one else.”

I have an inkling that Stump’s solo music has benefitted from him having joined Alcatrazz around 2 years ago. Whether that’s the case or not, it was certainly a long time since I last heard a new album from start to end without pauses, but “Diabolical Ferocity” is also that….unstoppable.

‘Forever Moore’ video:

01. Ignition
02. Burn It Down
03. King Of The Underworld
04. The Snake Charmer’s Fate
05. Nacht J.S. Bach
06. Sneak Attack
07. Die By The Sword
08. Viking Pillage
09. Maximum Damage
10. Forever Moore

Joe Stump: guitar, bass
Francisco Palomo: keyboards, drums


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