Michael Angelo Batio: Hands Without Shadows 2 – Voices

The second (and hopefully last) of a couple of tribute albums by guitar virtuoso Michael Angelo Batio features a number of medleys of songs by some of Batio’s favorite artists played note-perfect except for some of Batio’s unique solos.

Either Batio did not think of reimagining any of the songs he covers, which range from Pantera to Eric Clapton to Megadeth, or his idea of doing so is to simply play really fucking fast over the song’s original parts. Even as a guitar nerd I found this incredibly obnoxious.
The band, as you would expect, is rock solid, featuring drummer Joe Babiak and vocalist Warren Dunleavy, Jr. , who sings on each track and to his credit imitates the voices of Phil Anselmo, Clapton, David Lee Roth, Dave Mustaine and more. Unfortunately, this record is nothing more than dull reproduction.

I’m not going to deny that Batio is a brilliant guitar player and has put out some stellar instrumental material over the years (see 1995’s No Boundaries), in addition to some really informative instructional columns and videos. However, this bland piece of guitar wankery does not fit in.

Would you pay $14.95 to hear Pink Floyd tribute band, The Machine, play The Wall when you could just listen to the original? Sure it’s cool to see them live, but that’s only because you’ll never see the real thing. I’m sure that it would be great for Batio fans to see him perform a couple of these medleys live, but on CD, why settle for anything less than the original?

In A Word: Why?