Patrick Rondat's fifth album, "On the Edge", kicks off with a four-part tune called "Duality" that possesses powerful climaxes intermingled with soulful softer sections. It pretty much sets the mood for the rest of the album - awesome guitar work displaying amazing technique, with heavy riffing throw in at more or less regular intervals. There's the title song, for example, which is a fast-'n'-furious track with impressive guitar work. There's the acoustic version of "Burn Out", showcasing some of the most excellent acoustic guitar work I've heard ever since I discovered Bernd Steidl. Patrick's command of the acoustic guitar is no less than that of the electric guitar. Not a lot of guitarists can pull that off.

Most notable track on the album, without a doubt, is "Why do You do Things like That?". This is the kind of track that, had it been on a Joe Stump album, would have accompanying notes like "this was insanely difficult to play" or something. Almost 10 minutes of sheer guitar virtuosity, with heavier passages thrown in to good accord. The track is enriched by similarly talented work of pianist the late Michel Petrucciani (to whose memory the album is dedicated) and violinist Didier Lockwood. Add some of the best drumming I've ever heard of Tommy Aldridge, and here we have one of the most essential guitar releases of the year.



Written April 1999


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