Shred guitar pioneer Michael Angelo Batio will release his 12th studio album, "More Machine Than Man", on June 12 via Rat Pak Records. The all-instrumental follow-up to 2013's "Intermezzo" features 13 tracks and is "sure to resonate with past fans, as well as garner new fans along the way," according to a press release. From the infectious guitar riffs from album openers "Laser Guided" and "The Badlands" to the crushing bonus-track finale of "No Backup Plan", Michael has created something truly special and engaging.
The official music video for "The Badlands", which can be seen below, depicts Batio playing in a desert as a storm rages behind him. The song is also available on all streaming platforms, including Spotify and Apple Music.
Mixed and mastered by longtime Batio engineer Chris Wisco, "More Machine Than Man" features guest performances by Chris Adler (ex-LAMB OF GOD), lending his drum skills on the tracks "More Machine Than Man" and "The Two Sirens". Also appearing on the album is renowned bassist Victor Wooten, who performs on "AVTD", and guitar virtuoso Andrea Martongelli who guest solos on "The Countdown Is On".
Regarding the release, Michael comments: "This is the most 'in-your-face' album I have ever recorded. I limited the use of keyboards so you can hear the detail and precision of the rhythm guitars. My goals were to write the best songs I could, keep the tracks as raw and natural as possible and make the grooves relentless! I'm borrowing a quote by NITRO singer Jim Gillette that I think describes this album perfectly: 'If this album doesn't rock your socks off, call the coroner 'cause you must be dead!'"
The track listing for "More Machine Than Man" is:
01. Laser Guided
02. The Badlands
03. Put All Fear Aside
04. More Machine Than Man
05. Dreamin' Of 1986
06. Beyond The Outer Limits
07. The Two Sirens
09. The Countdown Is On
10. Rhythm Reprise (I Pray The Lord)
Bonus tracks (CD and digital versions)
11. 21st Century Beck
12. Charlie Went To Chicago
13. No Backup Plan
Michael Angelo Batio showcased his guitar techniques and innovations for the first time with his early instructional programs, as well as in his live performances, which are now considered "standard techniques" among guitarists worldwide. Michael not only invented, but was the world's first player of the double-guitar and was also voted one of the world's top 100 guitarists of all time by Guitar World magazine. He also holds the YouTube record for his instructional video "Speed Kills" — the highest views for a guitarist, coming in at over 21 million.
Photo credit: Marie Gregorio-Oviedo