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Album Review: Shrouded In Mystery by Ryan Rostrom

From face-melting solos to soulful lyrics, this record’s got it.

By Richard Provost

Do you enjoy face melting guitar solos, soulful and intricate guitar covers, and an overall Steve Vai/Joe Satriani mix? If you haven’t heard of these guitar gods, or aren’t too familiar with this style, let me introduce you to one of Provo’s most elite guitarists. Meet Ryan Rostrom.

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I picked up a physical copy of Rostrom’s Shrouded In Mystery last week, and have really dug into the music. It’s a full-length album with tons of diversity. Whenever I go for a run, I throw on some tunes to jog with. I often find myself jogging to the beat – or rather, the intensity of the song. Rostrom’s tracks are “marathon” worthy. Some of his tracks are long enough to really build in intensity, and drop off to a state of complete zen, as if you’re climbing mountains and descending into valleys.

I recently attended Rostrom’s CD Release show at Audio West in Orem. Opening the show up for Foreign Figures is no small task. Not to mention he was alone on stage playing (shredding) to backing tracks. I was amazed at his stage presence and overall performance. He played so hard that he even snapped his guitar strap in two! Now THAT is rock-n-roll, my friends.

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I was well aware of Rostrom’s shredding capabilities before the show, but I didn’t anticipate his voice to be that great. He can really belt the notes that every rocker screams, yet has complete control when he tones it down for a softer ballad that calls for a tender voice. Both of these talents are present on his album.

My only issue with this record is that the production doesn’t quite live up to Rostrom’s live performance. The e-drums aren’t programmed very well (as there are some timing issues), and it doesn’t quite carry the energy that his live performances do. However, the arrangements are still enjoyable and there are some excellent harmonies on tracks like “Turning Wheel.”

Is it the greatest release to ever come out of Provo? No. But the question is, would I refer this album to a friend? Yes. Rostrom’s skills as a guitarist rank extremely high on any scale. It’s definitely worth a listen.

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