Lion Music 2013
An exploratory soar of fantasy for the fast-fingered guitar master.
One can’t help but admire the scope of scores composed by this polymath who’s been treading the thin line between the high-flying and highfalutin for many years, both as a member of bands such as RING OF FIRE and a solo performer. “Astral Projection” sees Bellas in the latter kind of hypostasis, playing everything himself with only drummer Marco Minnemann to give the groove to such a trip. Delving into his psyche and taking the experience beyond, while fusion inflections spice up the streamlined “Hyperspace,” George creates an orchestral soundscape for “Into The Unknown” and “Magnetic Anomaly” to fill it with a multi-layered guitar lines but, once “Dimensional Portal” opens to a metallic charge, anchored with pseudo brass and synthetic choir, a certain shallowness sets in.
To have the shredding suck a soul from it all sound quite logical in the out-of-body context, yet the aural assault takes away from the depth, so blissful in the baroque likes of fluid “Apparition.” That’s why the old-school riffage in “Tipler’s Cylinder” or “Fabric Of Space And Time” feels so good for a rocker’s guts, its dynamic range providing tension and release to the ever-expanding sonic universe, where “Rip In The Continuum” turns technicalities into a heavy prog pull. It grows immensely in the woodwind-haunted crawl of “Visiting An Alien World” which gains speed and texture and then ebbs away to reveal Bellas’ talents not only as composer but also as classical arranger, even though “Interdimensional Travel” would have impact with no electricity applied to the most of it. And when the grand finale that’s “Transcendental” gets sparse and signs off, one feels it might be the way for George to go with the next move: to deliver a symphony for the real orchestra.