Chris Manning | Symmetry

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Rock: Instrumental Rock Rock: Hard Rock Moods: Type: Instrumental
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Symmetry

by Chris Manning

AOR rock with melodic sensibilities, guitarist/musician Chris Manning returns with "Symmetry", his best release yet. Featuring 10 new songs, 9 instrumental plus a modern take on the classic KISS song "Strange Ways".
Genre: Rock: Instrumental Rock
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
clip
1. Devildogs
5:03 album only
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2. Purple Funk
3:56 album only
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3. Walking With the Dead
5:33 album only
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4. Red Dragon
4:54 album only
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5. River of Passage
5:17 album only
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6. Strange Ways
3:26 album only
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7. The Wah Song
4:16 album only
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8. Planet Groove
4:19 album only
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9. Waiting
4:14 album only
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10. Dallas City Limits
2:09 album only
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Symmetry is Manning's third release and represents his best work to date. Always a master of balancing technique with melody, he expands his sound yet again to produce a true instrumental rock release. It is a culmination of many of his influences, which range from Joe Satriani and George Lynch to King's X and guitar god Jimi Hendrix. Symmetry is a great mix of hard rock, metal, and of course melodic riffs.

"Devildogs", a song dedicated to the U.S. Marines, opens the disc with ferocious drums, a thunderous bass groove, and shredding guitar solos. "Purple Funk" features the funk element present in later incarnations of Deep Purple, and was co-written with Doug Raines. "Walking With the Dead" is the heaviest track on the disc, and has a Black Sabbath meets Alice in Chains vibe. Chris puts a modern twist on the classic Kiss song "Strange Ways", which is the lone vocal track on the disc. "I grew up on Kiss, and like many players my age, Ace Frehley was a huge influence". "Waiting" is a haunting tune written about the experience of waiting for a loved one to return from the war in Afghanistan.

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Reviews


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Rob Metz

Awesome guitar album
Energetic and dynamic. Great use of volume and tempo. These songs are full of emotion. My personal favorite is The Wah Song. Chris is an impressive guitarist and songwriter.I can hear the influence of Joe Satriani and George Lynch in his playing. I really enjoyed the entire album.
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Matheson Kamin

Guitarist Produces Strong Instrumental Release
Good instrumental rock albums only get produced once-in-a-while. One of the most recent additions to that list of albums is Symmetry from Chris Manning, a musician who makes his home in Dallas, Texas. While the majority of Symmetry was created with the foundation of Chris Manning on guitar, Bryan Plemons on bass, and Jerome Howard on drums, the album sounds a lot more complex than having been created by only three musicians. For most of the tracks on the album, Manning created a layered effect on the songs by recording multiple parts for the guitar to fill out the sound. Nowhere is this more evident than on “Devil Dogs,” the first track of the album.

From the first measure of the song, the listener is exposed to Manning creating a three-part harmony using the guitar. Having established the style of the piece, two guitars remain in harmony for the majority of the piece while one is used as the “solo” instrument. This arrangement of the instruments remains until the last few moments of “Devil Dogs” when the harmony that began the song is brought back to close the song out. The song “Devil Dogs” is dedicated to the U.S. Marines, like Michael Manning, Chris’ son.

The album’s next track, “Purple Funk,” finds Chris Manning pushing the layering effect even further. Two guitars begin the song, creating a bed of harmonized guitar onto which Manning creates a “solo” part that adds to the melody of the song. A third guitar part is brought in to add even more texture to the piece. While too much of a good thing can kill a song, the layering effect used by Chris Manning helps to fill out the songs and does not overwhelm the listener.

For the most part, Symmetry was created as an instrumental album. The only song that features lyrics is “Strange Ways, “ written by Ace Frehley, the only song on the album that Manning did not have a hand in composing. On “Strange Ways” Sean Cloutier joins Manning to provide the words to the song. While the track isn’t the strongest song on the release, it does add a nice change of pace to the otherwise instrumental album.

“Waiting,” the second-to-last song, is the track that sticks out the most on the album. When the rest of the tracks feature both a full band as well as dramatic production values, “Waiting” is two-part harmony played without much in the way of production. The simplistic approach on the song gives the chance to hear the talent of Manning as he plays his guitar in a very intimate setting with just a two-part harmony and some bass guitar in the background.

On Symmetry’s last track, “Dallas City Limits”, Manning changes directions, as well as musicians, joined by Chris Cloutier on additional guitars, Mike Price on bass, and Chad Crutchfield on drums. The quartet laid down a track of hard-hitting instrumental heavy metal. While Bryan Plemons and Jerome Howard are talented musicians and help to fill out the sound on each song that they perform, Manning, Cloutier, Price, and Crutchfield sound like a band.

It takes a lot of talent to be able to play the guitar well, and even more talent to compose an entire album of instrumental rock music. When that album demands repeated listening, you know you have something special.

Review by Matheson Kamin
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