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Felix Martin “The Gathering” Album Review by Curtis J. Dupree

Felix Martin FM Guitars 202 copy 2 scaled

To sum up Felix Martin’s sound on The Gathering, I will quote from the press release: “Felix Martin’s new album, “The Gathering” features unique sounds of 12 and 16-string FM guitars, 10-sring FM Basses and melodies inspired on medieval music, Japanese anime style, video game and progressive rock/metal with electronic music elements.” I would say that all those elements are present in the album’s sound, although I would caution anyone against reading “metal” and thinking the album is especially heavy. However, there are plenty of moments on the release that are truly intense, especially as the instrumental skill is at a remarkably high level. Felix plays with a jaw-dropping tapping technique that is sure to stand out to the listener. 

The production is overall clear, although I would prefer a slightly stronger drum sound. The bass sounds quite good, and of course the guitars all sound excellent. The songs are all engaging, and feature a lot of shifts throughout their runtimes. Throughout most, if not all, of the tunes, Felix displays some of his speedy, impressive tapping. While this technique helps give the album character, it does occasionally cause the songs to blur together a bit. Perhaps including one song that stayed within the realm of a ballad would help the album flow. However, I guarantee that after a listen or two you’ll be humming some guitar lines from this compelling release.

The album begins with “Gatherpiece,” which is the perfect opening track for the album. We go from speedy to serene then back again. I particularly like the part that comes slamming in at about 45 seconds. This part is then joined with are more distorted guitar sound and it works well. There are lovely melodies and killer bass work present on this track. 

Clouddiver” follows and boasts a lovely melody. We get speed and precision, but also some more emotional guitar lines that fit well. Shortly before the minute mark is one of the best melodies on the album. As impressive as the guitar work is, Felix plays to fit the song, and it shows. I’d go so far as to say this song is an album highlight. 

Wordvision” features a more subtle melody and playing and a subtle use of distortion. A delicate melody comes in around the minute mark. The bass work on this song is well-done. The drums kick in heavier near the end, along with some impressive guitar runs that fit the song well. 

Tresnoid” sports a more dramatic sound. The song features a good rhythmic bass, cool melodies, and speedy guitar work. The precision of the musicians is on full display. We have another album highlight here.

Rootcrafter” starts more delicately, gathers intensity, and then goes back to a softer, lovely melody. We get a nice use of a more distorted lead, although it is quite brief. 

The second half of the album begins with “Thundertap.” The song is dramatic and gets you moving. We get a section with a more ethereal sound, along with further speedy guitar work. The bass again stands out, especially near the end. The song ebbs and flows nicely. 

Next up is “Panamorphic.” This song sports a soft, lovely beginning, before speeding up with an intense, but intriguing melody. I like the changes throughout this song and the way the guitars and bass interweave. 

Fatechanger” gives us a nice, ringing, shimmering guitar and nice bass work as it begins. The song slows down and boasts a beautiful melody. There’s good percussion work that sounds like a whip cracking as the song gets more intense. 

Louderbit” starts softer before blending soft and aggressive. We also get to hear one of the album’s best melodies. 

Lastly, “Moonhike” show us the guitar and bass together providing an impressive run for the song’s opening. The song settles into a nice mid pace. The melodies are intriguing and I especially enjoy the darker riff that comes in around 2 minutes in. 

Overall, The Gathering is an impressive piece of work. The musicianship on display is of a very high quality. Most of the songs here feature both impressive, speedy tapping work, and lovely melodies. While there are aspects of the songwriting that could be tightened to some degree, I would recommend any fan of instrumental guitar music to check out this release from Felix Martin.

Curtis’ rating: 8.25/10

Get the album HERE: https://felixmartin.net/thegathering

Felix Martin The Gathering Album Artwork

Tracklist:
01 Gatherpiece
02 Clouddiver
03 Wordvision
04 Tresnoid
05 Rootcrafter
06 Thundertap
07 Panamorphic
08 Fatechanger
09 Louderbit
10 Moonhike

Lineup:
Felix Martin on Guitar
Nic Kubes on drums
Joan Torres on Bass

The album was recorded in Los Angeles
Felix also recorded bass on some of the tracks.
Mixed and mastered by Moises Bello.

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