You might say Ethan Brosh was oblivious – to the journey he’d make from Israel to the US, how an infatuation with Iron Maiden would spawn a career as a captivating guitarist & professional instructor…joining him to collaborative efforts with a number of renowned musicians & the SUPERGROUP ranks of ANGELS OF BABYLON. In fact, his debut instrumental album (sold through Magna Carta Records) was titled just that…“Out of Oblivion”, & although we never talked about where the meaning actually came from – his glorious future’s being mapped out in front of him…a young “virtuoso” with a diehard destiny of creating some of shred’s most STELLAR licks.
AOB’s 2010 release “Kingdom Of Evil” brought power-metal back to VITALITY – stringent melody pounding through raging rhythm, huge hooks, symphonic immensity, & taut vocal prowess. It has been described as an album with “a vision”…taking founding member, Kenny “Rhino” Earl (ex-Manowar drummer) TWENTY YEARS to bring to fruition. Joined by Dave Ellefson (Megadeth), David Fefolt (Hawk, Valhalla), & Brosh himself…the project morphed from simple beginnings & delivered an optimum line-up for the elevated arrangements that many fans, & reviewers, would consider as one of the GREATEST ALBUMS within the past ten years. “Did you want to join a band with me & Dave Ellefson from Megadeth? I’m like…well, um…let me think about it for a second, UH…YEEAAAH!?!” Brosh happily reflects on one of his first encounters with Kenny Earl. “These are legends, & people I grew up listening to…so, it’s a GREAT HONOUR. It used to be more intimidating, a few years ago, than it is now…but the more experience I get, the easier it becomes. They’re just so experienced…& I’m fortunate to get to work with them & learn a lot.” In all his humbleness, Brosh was inspired by neo-classical music, attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston, graduated with “HONOURS” (majoring in songwriting), & accomplished it ALL in only THREE YEARS. He has breathed NEW LIFE into power-shredding & encapsulates a variety of styles within his work.
“ETHAN BROSH took it up a whole other level…because he’s just a GREAT SHREDDING GUITAR PLAYER.” – Dave Ellefson
“No one’s ever gonna’ want to hear an imitation. Try to listen to a lot of people & get a lot of different influences.” he comments, on the task of reinventing his sound & the limitations of adopting a singular playing style. “My own style is something that I constantly work on developing. If I hear something in my head, I just wanna’ play it. If I borrow something from George Lynch, or Greg Howe, I’m sure they’ll forgive me. You know, I’ll usually credit them…& I won’t say, ‘I CAME UP WITH IT.’ – or whatever. I give credit, where credit is due.” With diversity acting as his key to sonic stability, Ethan also elaborates on his practice regimen, “I never practice & I never, ever warm up.” (HE LAUGHS) “I have a guitar on me almost all of the time, but I don’t really get to practice because I’m either teaching…or I’m playing a rehearsal, or playing a show, or I write a solo for someone. I just pick up the guitar & I play…& whatever comes out, comes out.”
“Just PLAY, PLAY, PLAY all the time, as much as you can…that’s whatcha’ gotta’ do.” – Ethan Brosh
With a champion album ahead of them, Brosh & the AOB teammates were set to deliver a dramatic, coast-to-coast harmonic blast…until Dave Ellefson announced his return to Megadeth & Fefolt opted out of touring to front new project, FireWolfe. Plans to work the album on a LIVE scale continued, with newcomer STEVE HANDEL on bass, & prospects of a monster “Dio-esque” type vocalist (Diego Valdez) joining them from Buenos Aires. When visa issues prevented this from happening…it was a painstaking, double-edged sword…& the threesome (excluding Valdez) had no choice but to go out on the road & persevere. The 2011 “Wings of Steel Tour” commenced…& Kenny Earl would not only man the drums, but vocally front the group…instituting his efforts as the “ULTIMATE METAL MULTI-TASKER”. There was tremendous response & support from the fans. “It was a really interesting turn of events, cause we went out as a trio…& Rhino had a lot on his plate. We had a really good time. I just can’t wait…I just want to be on stage all the time, & be on tour, & all those things. Now…I’m REALLY, REALLY hungry for it!”
The thirteen tracks off “Kingdom Of Evil” soar with astounding presence…majestically demonstrating unobstructed creativity, articulated experience, & straight-forward mass production…leaving many to wonder if it is, in fact, a “CONCEPT ALBUM”. Although Brosh could not comment on the likeness, due to Kenny Earl being the primary writer, the emotional draw from each piece is nothing short of relentless & could definitely be adapted for the larger, cinematic stage. Chalked with balanced instrumental strength, & resonating lyrics, it was released on Metal Heaven Records (Europe) in January of 2010…later being picked up by Burnhill Union Records in the USA. Brosh credits much of his heavy metal influence to the band Iron Maiden, after discovering evil mascot “EDDIE” on the “Number Of The Beast” album cover. It fused a destiny of perfecting thunderous solos, later pairing his talents with Derek Riggs – the infamous artist that brought “Eddie” to life, back in 1980. Riggs also designed the art for Brosh’s “Out of Oblivion” solo record – an experience that Ethan describes as…coming back FULL CIRCLE. There’s only one lingering thought. “Before I die, I need to open for Iron Maiden.” he confesses.
“Once I started listening to MAIDEN, I listened to all those electric guitars & I was just AMAZED BY THE SOUND OF IT.” – Ethan Brosh
A compilation of ideas from twenty years ago, the “brainchild” of ONE man, the “powerchild” of FOUR others…“Kingdom Of Evil” is surely a tough act to beat. “We are working on a second album. As far as a line-up, I guess it will have to be a surprise…& people will have to wait & see.” A strum of EVIL GENIUS – Brosh will have no trouble adapting to whatever the music holds. “I started playing guitar when I was twelve years old, & all these years…I put EVERYTHING into it. I hope I can continue improving & reach out to as many people as I can. I (actually) love it MORE & MORE, everyday.” In the face of a second instrumental pursuit, further works with AOB, & sideline project “Burning Heat” – ETHAN BROSH is in high demand. Still…under all the pressures of an extremely tight schedule (almost as tight as his riffs), he takes time for his fans & the people who helped put him there. Dedication to including them in as much of his “personal journey” as possible…a pilgrimage that has taken him from OUT OF OBLIVION to shredding through the KINGDOM OF EVIL…& flourishing on the wings of heavy metal greatness – ANGELS
*** ALL PHOTOS courtesy of Ethan Brosh & Angels of Babylon.
BPatoine – September, 2011
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