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Prog From The Vaults: Elmo Karjalainen’s Unintelligent Designs

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Worship Metal delves into the vaults to unearth some Prog Rock/Metal gems that deserve some time in the sun. For this month’s pick, we didn’t have to dig too deep as Elmo Karjalainen’s Unintelligent Designs is only 3 years old….but still thoroughly deserving of a wider audience and reappraisal!

How often do we read about bands who have been influenced by a vast selection of the greatest rock/metal artists of the past 40 years and profess to emulate them? How often do we hear of solo artists who play every instrument, produce themselves and also claim to be a reincarnation of the best ever metal guitarists of the past 40 years? The answer? Too many times! And too many times they simply disappoint. Then, out of nowhere, someone shines through that dull and dismal fug and delivers wholesale; Elmo Karjalainen is exactly that someone and 2012’s Unintelligent Designs was exactly that album!

Finnish guitarist Elmo Karjalainen is a solo artist who has also played with hard rockers Deathlike Silence and prog metallers Conquest and has an uncanny gift of being able to emulate the likes of Steve Vai, Yngwie Malmsteen, Steve Lukather, Joe Satriani and Gary Moore amongst many others.

Elmo’s first solo album, Unintelligent Designs, is an instrumental journey through multiple genres and a vehicle through which he demonstrates his phenomenal talent from jazz-fusion to thrash – and everything else in between – all of which is played and produced by the man himself.

From Python-esque humour to expertly shredding over a broad canvas of tones and styles, this album simply has it all. We say embrace your inner prog and indulge in an album that is as varied as metal guitar can be. Praise cannot be high enough for the sheer virtuosity on display here and we’ll finish with this….please can somebody nail this guy down in a studio, we want more! 10/10

About Chris Jennings (1985 Articles)
I love metal. Always have. Always will. As editor of Worship Metal - a site dedicated to being as positive about metal and its myriad of sub-genres as possible - my aim is to 'worship' metal through honest reviews, current news and a wide variety of features; offering the same exposure to underground bands as we do to mainstream/well known acts. Our mantra; the bands are partners and we exist to serve the bands \m/

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