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Album Reviews : Stephen Taranto – Permanence

By on April 10, 2019

Every time I review one of these types of releases I say something along the lines of ‘the world is a treasure trove of progressive instrumental guitar music right now’, and so it goes on. Stephen Taranto is a Sydney musician who was a co-founding member of instrumental act The Helix Nebula, and has worked with the likes of Plini, Sithu Aye and Widek.

With Permanence, his debut solo release, Taranto has crafted something rather special. Obviously, on a first, casual listen, what strikes you is his masterful technical skill on his instrument, he really is quite spectacular. He laces out the blistering lead lines and often techy riffage with what appears to be veritable ease (of course this does not take into account, firstly, innate talent and then secondly the no doubt hours upon hours of personal practise it takes to hone and perfect that talent.)

The ability to play like a motherfucker alone doth not maketh a great record however, you have to be able to construct and execute a great tune. And Taranto proves his compositional skills to be just as impressive as his playing skills. The five tracks on offer here display great variety, dynamics, catchiness and breathtaking power. The tunes have moments where they soar to the very heavens, smash you between the eyes with their chunky, grinding heaviness, sojourn into musical passages that are wildly unexpected (especially during Pixel Heart: Celestial) and will generally put a smile on the dial of progressive heavy music lovers everywhere. All in the space of a very cohesive and streamlined 30 minutes.

In fact, that’s the only small gripe with Permanence, it swings by and is over way too quickly. Personally, I could listen to this type of stuff all day. Hopefully a full-lengther isn’t too far away, and we get to hear him really wind out.

File Permanence alongside such prodigious works by the likes of Plini, Tosin Abasi, David Maxim Micic, I Built the Sky, James Norbert Ivanyi, Intervals, Modern Day Babylon, Jacub Zytecki………..

Band: Stephen Taranto
Album: Permanence
Year: 2019
Genre: Instrumental Prog Metal
Label: Independent
Origin: Australia


Rod Whitfield is a Melbourne-based writer and retired musician who has been writing about music since 1995. He has worked for Team Rock, Beat Magazine,, Heavy Mag, Mixdown, The Metal Forge, Metal Obsession and many others. He has written and published his memoirs of his life and times in the music biz, and also writes books, screenplays, short stories, blogs and more.