One may stair into the light, until one becomes the light. I've done it many times.
Greetings and thanks for stopping by. I am a 7 & 8 string progressive metal guitarist from Scotland. My signature sound is known for outrageous and over-the-top technical guitar work, always seeking to push the boundaries of what can be done on the instrument. More than just a 'youtube' guitarist, the objective of my music has always been to write technical progressive metal, that’s innovative, dark, unexpected, brutal and beautiful, never compromising on my vision as a musician. I am renowned for 8 string arpeggios, 8 finger tapping, 4 note per string runs, lightning fast alternate picking and legato, multi-finger tapping, unusual scales and arrangements, crushing riffs and progressive chord passages.
My music centres around personal themes, often utilising allegoric concepts to give each song its metaphorical meaning, writing music heavily influenced by historical, political, philosophical, religious, science fiction and mythological themes. Far from simply shredding for the sake of it, I have always had the ambition to incorporate complex imagery into guitar and progressive music; with other styles of music to mix things up. I write long songs and don't compromise or writing short marketable stuff. I always stick to the concept and meaning of why I am writing and the subject matter. I don’t enjoy playing other peoples music, but am always striving to learn more and improve, continuously looking for areas I can grow and be inspired as an artist. I am a keen admirer of Scottish folk music, and also very interested in other world music such as classical, middle eastern, indian, gypsy-jazz, and I hope this shines through in my playing. There is always something new to learn in music, that is its nature.
I began playing guitar at the age of 12 and naturally fell in love with everything about it. My earliest influences included Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Yngwie Malmsteen, Megadeth and Metallica, with a fanatical love for everything Metallica, which I still attribute to this day for shaping the course of my music and life. At the age of 14, I was gigging regularly with a Metallica cover band, named Metal Militia, which gained me some early notoriety in the local music community. I come from a family with a background in folk and traditional music, which I have always enjoyed and drawn influence from.
At the age of 17, I gained a love for power and progressive metal, citing bands such as Blind Guardian, Nevermore, Iced Earth, Persuader, Demons and Wizards, Vanden Plas, Tool, Outworld and Symphony X as heavily influencing me at this time. It is also at this time that I began to really develop a love for virtuoso solo guitar. I vividly remember experiences of seeing the playing of Shawn Lane, Jeff Loomis, Rusty Cooley, Michael Angelo Batio, Francesco Fareri and many other chops from hell artists as heavily influencing my playing and direction. At this time, I began playing in renowned Scottish Power Metal band Ascension, in which I played lead guitar and was co-composer in for 5 years, with lots of gigging and writing in between.
HYPER KINETICS (2011)
I departed Ascension on amicable terms and took a long hard look at what I wanted to do with my passion for music. It is at this point that I realised my purpose in recording a solo album was my way forward, pursing a project I had always wanted to accomplish. After a pain-staking and long song writing process, my debut album Hyper Kinetics was finally completed and was released in summer 2011. I gained an enormous amount of experience regarding the recording process of shred albums of this scale. Hyper Kinetics is loosely based on nuclear war and holocaust, with a large amount of the content inspired by Stephen King's The Dark Tower series.
THE REVELATION STOCKPILE/ALEXANDRIA BEFORE THE FIRE (2015)
The next big chapter was my most ambitious project yet. I began writing and writing and it just didn't stop. When I visualised what this would all become, I knew that this was what I had been working toward. A double thematic album entitled The Revelation Stockpile and Alexandria Before the Fire. This album which was released independently and was an enormous task from the beginning, with 11 songs and over 2 hours of progressive instrumental metal, as diverse as songs with true 9 string guitar ranges, to world music themes such as eastern drums, and acoustic orchestrated passage and even a sitar solo. It was mixed and mastered at Ed Man Studios in Banchory, Scotland and is now available for download, utilising the most professional equipment available within a professional recording environment, including a Kemper profiling amplifier and professional production and mastering team. The results of my latest album is truely amazing to me. I could never have conceived that the songs, art, mixing, mastering would ever have turned out this good (at least in terms of my ambition and opinion, its not everybodys thing).
In 2016, I released a special song called Tuning Up As We Speak, in loving memory of my father, who passed away suddenly in April 2016. The song is heavily influenced by the Isle of Skye, a place very dear to my heart, and was written using my father's priceless Martin acoustic guitar. At more than 18 mintues in length with multiple passages, incorporating a range of different Scottish folk instruments and tricks, I hope that I did the ‘old queen’ proud.
Tuning Up As We Speak
In December 2023, my 4th and 5th studio albums will be available. Total run time across both discs is 2 hours, 21 minutes and 21 seconds, with no song less than 10 minutes in length, one song exceeding 20 minutes and another above 18 minutes long.
Through Storms of Steel is based in World War 1 and I have attempted to capture the horror of those battlefields as best as I could. Met By Empyreus Fire is based in Science-fiction some far point in the future with the human race facing extinction (The Dark Forest).
Through Storms of Steel
- Crack Of Doom (Mark of Shame) (11.29)
- Mephistophelian Echoes, Purgatorial Shadows (The Devil Is Coming) (15.32)
- War Was In The Gates (Surely We Have Perished Sleeping) (13.20)
- Where the Iron Crosses Grow (All The World Is Dead) (14.11)
- Place Of Execution (This Is Unendurable, If Only Peace Would Come) (18.34)
- As Dawn Betrays Us (The Hell Where Youth and Laughter Go) (13.23)
Met By Empyreus Fire
- Blood Red Snow Falls Not From The Sky (Ruin On The Mountainside) (13.30)
- The Dark Vision (As The Price Of Your Present Glory) (12.26)
- The Fall Of The Rebel Angels (Sleepwalking Into Despondency) (13.56)
- Everyone Here Screams In Silence (Alone In A Dark Forest) (14.30)
- Met By Empyreus Fire (The Navigator, In Terminal Decline) (20.30)
I use a Jericho Guitars Avenger 7 splated blue as my main guitar and an Edge 7 as my primary instruments, supplemented with an Ibanez RGIF8 fanned fret 8 string (tuned Bb to high Ab 440), Ibanez UV70p green-dot, Schecter Hellraiser 8 , Yamaha Compass acoustic, Ibanez Classical, Peavey 6505, Yamaha THR10X, Morley Bad Horsie 2 Wah, Maxon 808 (Red), Bogner Uberschall pedal, TC Electronics Dreamscape, Digitech pedals, Boss pedals, Kemper Profiling Amp (studio), Swiss Picks Mini Chedder (1.80 mm) and Ernie Ball Strings.
I am a proud endorsee and ambassador of Jericho Guitars and Swiss Picks, currently using my Avenger 7 Pro, Edge 7 and Nuclear Chedder Jazz Mini.
Thanks for visiting my page, reading this and listening to my music.
All the best, Gregor