BORISLAV MITIC — Fantasy (review)

BORISLAV MITIC — Fantasy album cover Album · 1996 · Neoclassical metal Buy this album from MMA partners
3.5/5 ·
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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