A while ago a visitor of the W3M3 pages told me I ought to check out a Norwegian guitarist called Torodd Rasch Hansen, someone I had hitherto not heard of at all. What I did was I contacted Torodd via the Internet, checked his home page, and got interested. Quoted by this reader to be the fastest and most precise guitarist on earth, I asked if perhaps Torodd would like to send in some demo stuff so I could comment on it. So off he sent two CDRs, one with well over half an hour of contemporary guitar music (these show Torodd's six string and keyboard prowess), and the other with almost 70 minutes of classical pieces (which show his piano/keyboard talents).

Most interesting of the two discs was the first one, obviously, although the classical one featured almost 30 capably transcribed, sensitively performed renditions of more or less well-known classical compositions. That's why I'd like to focus on the first CD. The copy I got contained 7 tracks, with Torodd playing drums, keyboards and guitar, varying in recording quality and style. The first tracks (consisting of an intro and "Kitty's Jam") seemed fairly repetitive, with some amazing guitarwork that is barely audible in the mix. The other songs have a more prominent role for the guitar, especially a song like "No Surrender" which really gives Torodd's main example (Malmsteen, of course), a run for his money. "Chinese Rules" and "Fly with Me" are great tracks too, although I fail to see the purported Deep Purple influences in the latter. The disc closes with a more mellow, laid-back song entitled "Last Goodbye", which probably sounds a bit like John Petrucci in a sensitive mood.

Torodd Rasch Hansen is probably the most promising unsigned guitarist I've heard in a long while. His picking seems impeccable, his speed is amazing but functional, and he masters a wide variety of styles. His drumming seems the least of the three talents he boasts - but being able to play a mean classical piano as well as playing the guitar as if haunted by the Gods of Shred...I know guys who'd give their right arm for something like that. Hansen's compositorial skills may need to crystallize a bit, but I am sure if this guy got the break he deserves he'd make your picking fingers red with shame and your neurons go "pop".

His demos are not for sale, but you can listen to them, in MP3 format, at his home page listed below.



Written September 1998


Go to the Official Torodd Rasch Hansen Home Page

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