ARZ - Welcome to the Universe!
ARZ, Steve Adams, Merrill Hale, prog rock, prog metal, Porcupine Tree, Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Pink Floyd
ARZ is the moniker given to the two-man progressive rock act comprised of guitarist Steve Adams (left) and drummer Merrill Hale (right...with the lovely and talented, Lisa LaRue, in the middle).
ARZ had previously been Adams' one-man instrumental band (playing all guitars, bass and programmed drums) who released four CDs: two from 2005 ('Serai' and 'The Magi') and two in 2007 ('The Last Kingdom' and 'Solomon's Key'). These recordings present the guitarist's wide influences ranging from classical to hard rock and metal, with an emphasis on unison riffing and balanced songwriting and arrangements.
The result can be heard specifically on 'Solomon's Key' (ARZ' 4th album) that features Hale's hand and footwork on the title track and 'Burning Bush.' The percussionist fits the bill as Adams' right-hand man and prime collaborator coming from the Neil Peart/Alan White school of "take no prisoners" drumming style.
The Last Kingdom was originally written intended to be a soundtrack for an RPG onlinecomputer game. Unfortunately, funding for the project failed to materialize. However,aside from this, good music was produced. I was given full creative license, just a brief description ofthe locations and moods of the game scenes.
While being blown away by the song samples, read Steve's track-by-track notes.
The Magi, the brilliant follow-up to Serai, is an even more progressive opus than its predecessor.
Also containing two superb epic length tracks, this CD shows the amazing level of Adams' musicianship.
Serai, written and performed entirely by Steve Adams (prior to his collaboration with Merrill Hale), is an album for the guitar aficionado. So, if you're a fan of Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Steve Hackett (you get the picture)...this is a must listen...and a must buy!!
Also, give a listen to Steve and Merrill's excellent work on Lisa LaRue's, "Fast and Blue," which also features John Payne (Asia featuring John Payne), Ryo Okumoto (Spock's Beard, GPS), Michael Sadler (Saga) and Don Schiff (Rocket Scientists).