BORISLAV MITIC

Neoclassical metal • Serbia
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Borislav Mitic was born in Belgrade, Serbia. He started to play at the age of 11 after getting his first guitar from his grandfather. Initially Borislav was inspired by "The Beatles" but he quickly moved on to emulating bands and artists like Deep Purple, AC/DC, Dire Straits, Jimi Hendrix, Mike Oldfield,... etc. Borislav was very much self taught from the beginning learning licks from records of his favourite players.

The "Shred Boom" of the 80's brought to the forefront new players like Eddie Van Halen, Randy Rhoads, Yngwie Malmsteen, Allan Holdsworth, Gary Moore, Steve Vai, Joe Satriani,... Their groundbreaking and dazzling development of guitar techniques sent Borislav (like many young guitarists at the time) back to practising. Having reached a new plato of proficiency on his instrument after a few years of "wood shedding" Borislav became "the talk of town" in Belgrade music circles. This was due to his
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SHRAPNEL (ORCH) 2013
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BORISLAV MITIC Fantasy album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Fantasy
Neoclassical metal 1996
BORISLAV MITIC Borislav Mitic album cover 4.50 | 1 ratings
Borislav Mitic
Neoclassical metal 1999
BORISLAV MITIC The Absolute album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Absolute
Neoclassical metal 2009
BORISLAV MITIC Electric Goddess album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Electric Goddess
Neoclassical metal 2013

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BORISLAV MITIC Borislav Mitic

Album · 1999 · Neoclassical metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
siLLy puPPy
Serbian born BORISLAV MITIC caught the guitar bug early on at the age of 11 when he began to emulate his influential guitar gods that ranged from Jimi Hendrix and Ritchie Blackmore to Jimmy Page before discovering the new bars raised that started with the shredding wizard of Yngwie Malmsteen and subsequent army of faster-than-the-speed-of-light shredders that ranged from the neoclassical prowess of Jason Becker and Marty Friedman to the more bizarre guitar freakery from Bumblefoot and Todd Duane. After setting his homeland on fire with his debut album “Fantasy,” he caught the attention of the never-ending searcher of guitar virtuosity in the form of Mike Varney of Shrapnel Records who offered him a chance to join the big boy’s club and enter the world stage. Fearing missed opportunities in a then recently collapsed Yugoslavia, MITIC relocated to Montreal, Quebec, Canada and so he could work on his first self-titled international release.

Whilst the “Fantasy” album showcased MITIC’s uncanny finger dexterity and militant command of classical scale manipulation, this eponymously titled album finds MITIC adopting a wider palette of influences many of which were taken from the fertile crossroads of his homeland in the Balkan area of southeastern Europe. While BORISLAV’s technical chops had been honed perfectly on “Fantasy,” on this album they find their way into a more meaningful mystic journey through various styles ranging from not only the classical leanings of the previous album but incorporate many folk elements that range from Balkan gypsy swing, Celtic Irish jigs, caffeinated waltzes and Middle Eastern rhythms that are sifted from a plethora of regional cultural and religious imprints from his youth. All of which conspire to embark on a fascinating mix of ethnic folk music amplified by the extremities of neoclassical shred metal gone wild.

The album starts off with the opening tracks “Sky Rider” and “Chasing A Dream” which furiously erupt into shredder’s paradise with blitzkrieg finger breaking antics that not only showcase MITIC’s guitar shredding talents and ability to compose brilliant material to solo over but also the two other members who join in to make this more of a band sound. Jacques Roy joins in on bass and although not as funk rock oriented as the bass player on “Fantasy,” finds a unique role in the rhythmic performances. This album also finds a real human drummer in the form of Marc Bonneau who is equally talented with more tricks and trinkets than simply keeping the beat while the guitarist goes nuts. These three provide a well-balanced rhythmic drive although it’s true that the star of the show is of course MITIC whose shredding skills are on full display although he carefully crafts the compositions so that they are climax producing crescendos for the most part rather than a ceaseless cannonade of blitzkrieg bombast.

In addition to the expected guitar shredding excellence par none are atmospheric and even ambient segments that build emotional portraits before the more aggressive elements kick in. Three sets of tracks provide a slow and brooding swarm of atmospheric build up before a more folk oriented metal track is allowed to unfold. These include “Mystic I & II” with its sizzling Hendrix inspired riffing, the metal jig “Celtic Legends I & II” as well as the more progressive metal oriented “Light Of 7 I & II” which runs the gamut of emotional connection before adding the technical wizardry. It begins with an Indian sitar inducing raga to usher in a bombastic time signature rich sizzling riff and solo frenzy. While heavier metal is the king of the roost here, MITIC also implements the slower number “Ballade Pour Elle” which complements the ambient and more chilled out intros.

BORISLAV MITIC found his happy zone on this international debut where his pyrotechnic shredding skills integrate perfectly into not only the bluesy rock and parades of wah-wah rich riffing but especially in the mystic folk laden journey in which he rides the caravan and adds his own guitar sounds on top of. This is a brilliant album that works on many levels. Highlight tracks are the two openers “Sky Rider” and “Chasing A Dream,” “Celtic Legends,” the feisty facemelter “Bird Dance” and my favorite gypsy swing inspired “Southern Wind.” Every track fits together perfectly with the exception of the rather tediously generic closer “Fairytale’s End” which i find quite weak in comparison but since it’s the last track i just pretend it doesn’t exist. While neoclassical instrumental shredding albums are surely not to everyone’s liking, for those who find this stuff exhilarating, BORISLAV MITIC offered one of the best of the genre with this self-titled gem.

BORISLAV MITIC Fantasy

Album · 1996 · Neoclassical metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
siLLy puPPy
BORISLAV MITIC was merely one of the legion of guitar shredders who followed in the footsteps of not only the early guitar god pioneers such as Jimi Hendrix, Ritchie Blackmore and Michael Schenker but quickly joined the new ranks of technically gifted neoclassical shredders that emerged in the wake of Yngwie Malmsteem who continued to ratchet up the technical skills to a ridiculously high bar. Born in Beograd, Serbia, at that time Yugoslavia, a young BORISLAV began his guitar training at the tender age of 11 and quickly joined the ranks of some of the world’s most extraordinary neoclassical guitar shredders by the age of 18 in his homeland.

His debut album FANTASY was recorded in 1992 and premiered his ability to shred in the big boy’s club. While this album was released in 1996 as a Serbian domestic product, it was this very album that got him signed to the Shrapnel Records label that specialized in snatching up all the virtuoso guitar talent of the world. MITIC would relocate to Montreal, Canada and after releasing his self-titled debut for Shrapnel, he would re-release this early recording turned Serbian debut again in 2000 for an international audience.

FANTASY is all about advertising guitar virtuosity. MITIC was a huge fan of classical violinist Niccolo Paganini and this debut finds his virtuoso guitar playing successfully adapting to many of the classical world’s greatest hits so to speak with from not only Paganini but also from Handel and Bach. This all instrumental neoclassical outburst of energy focuses on two completely different aspects. It allows MITIC to shred at the speed of light to the adaptations of the classical past masters and it also showcases MITIC as a songwriter in conjunct with the extraordinary bass work of Stevan Nimcevic and two tracks that are keyboard oriented and played by Bojan Isailovic.

Within the span of 14 tracks, MITIC runs the gamut of ridiculously mind-blowing interpretations of Niccolo Paganini’s “Caprices No. 24 in A Minor and No. 17 in E-flat Major” which is teased into the frenetic opener “Master Of Strings” to the ubiquitously mandatory version of “La Campanella” which has become rather cliche and less enthralling than the opener. The highlight of the entire album is the outstanding Handel inspired title track that not only offers the most technically adept shredding workouts but also excels in the creative dynamic changes that offer as much brilliance as the original piece. The other outstanding Paganini piece is the closer “Moto Perpetno” which features a melodic keyboard riff accompanied by MITIC’s finger breaking antics.

Classical reinterpretations aside, the rest of the album is more bass driven with a rather funky groove and hard rock feel which allows Nimcevic to shred on the bass which comes off as bad ass as the guitar. Extreme caution is implemented in the mixes here as MITIC, while able to shred a million miles per second is reserved as to when he unleashes his frenetic discharge. The melodic development and compositional flow supersedes any extreme episodes of wankery, however once the fingers are let loose they conjure up some of the most sophisticated shredding that can be heard.

While MITIC’s eponymous debut album on Shrapnel is far superior for its incorporation of various folk elements to his neoclassical shredding workouts, FANTASY is a decent slice of all instrumental guitar god magic that is a pleasure to listen to on occasion despite the album feeling a little lopsided between two disparate styles and a little heavy with sappy ballad type material that shows a more sensitive side than most shredders engage in. MITIC proves he was up to the task of competing with the likes of Paul Gilbert, Ron Thal, Yngwie Malmsteen and Steve Vai on this debut FANTASY but lacks enough creative prowess to push himself above the ranks of the already established shredders of the 90s.

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