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David Zaffiro - Surrender Absolute 1992


01. Find My Way

02. To The Heaven

03. Carousel

04. Silas And Serai

05. In A Box

06. Attitude

07. Calling Out To Me

08. Surrender Absolute

09. Every Little Thing

10. No Long Goodbyes


David Zaffiro - All Vocals And Instruments, Songwriting, Producer

Michael Bloodgood - Bass, Songwriting

Randall Waller - Lead Vocals, Vocals, Bass

John Hopkins - Vocals

Elizabeth Herner - Vocals

Charles Meserole - Guitar

Scott Burell - Sax, Bass

Craig Buhler - Sax

David Zaffiro, if you're not familiar, was the former lead guitarist for the Christian heavy metal band Bloodgood (named after bassist Michael Bloodgood). David decided to go solo and ended up putting out 4 albums before turning to producing. Surrender Absolute is a great album that shows off his obvious music talent to go with his talented guitar playing. The highlights on this album are both instrumentals:

"Silas and Sirai" as well as "Attitude". The rest of the songs end up, in my opinion, to be the supporting cast of these two instrumentals. Keeping this album from getting a rating of 5 stars is the fact that none of the other songs really jump out at me. They're very strong but none seem to grab you or stick in your head hours later. Overall, however, don't let that stop you from picking up this great album - it's worth the cash.

Surrender Absolute" is considerably more mellow than anything Bloodgood has put out, or even the last two Zaffiro solo discs. David was clearly trying to reach the adult-radio-rock market with this album, which really did not impress me at all. What I do like alot are the three Satriani-like instrumentals. "Attitude" in particular sounds like something off Satriani's "Not of This Earth."

I would have loved to have heard a whole album of this kind of stuff. The rest of the album is like mellow Winger./ I love his instrumentals. They have more feeling in them that the typical / song without the lyrics. "Attitude" is so cool. I could just put it in the CD player on track repeat..... Ok, so I couldn't help myself, it's in on repeat mode.

giva a chance to his preview albums you will note some defent changes but anyway he still keeps doing great jobs. His professional career began as guitarist for the metal band Bloodgood. Though he officially left the band following their third album, he did play various parts on later albums. He then began producing records independently and for others. Artists that he has worked with include Acquire the Fire,

Andy Chrisman, A Worship House, Brett Williams, Broken Silence, Eli, End Time Warriors, Holy Soldier, Julie Miller, Kate Miner, Kim Hill, Little Big Town, The Passion Worship Band, Paul Q-Pek, Point of Grace, Whitecross, Zion.Fans of the Seattle based melodic metal band Bloodgood are certain to be familiar with guitarist David Zaffiro,

the talented musician who contributed the fast fingered lead guitar work to the bands first three albums. After departing Bloodgood following the release of its 1988 effort Rock In A Hard Place, Zaffiro recorded his first solo album entitled The Other Side in which he goes after a stylish acoustic laced combination of hard rock and melodic rock.

Zaffiro, a very underrated guitarist, provides for just the right amount of fluid lead guitar work, but when necessary he can showcase a softer side to his playing on tracks such as "The Other Side" and "Spirit Of The Lord". Due to being overshadowed by the bands talented lead vocalist Les Carlson, Zaffiro was never allowed to display his vocal abilities while in Bloodgood. Nevertheless,

The Other Side gives him the opportunity to exhibit a very fine gritty and raspy and at times blues soaked lead vocal style. (I had no idea this guy could sing so well!) A slight but noticeable thinness permeates the production values to The Other Side. The albums low end could have come across more pronounced in allowing for stronger bass lines and a crisper drum sound.

The rhythm guitar deserves to project more upfront edge and crispness. The lead guitar, on the other can, cleanly rises above the instrumentation. While certainly not a major detraction, there is room for improvement here. The album opens to three superb polished hard rockers in "Stay", "I See Red" and "Where Are You Now" that would sound right at home on Rock In A Hard Place."Stay" begins to several seconds of crunchy rhythm guitar that gives way to a bit of lead guitar. After the song tapers off to an acoustic laced mid-tempo pace for its first verse, it gains momentum for a smooth sounding chorus highlighted by Zaffiro's gritty vocal delivery.

A very fine fluid guitar solo helps carry a minute long instrumental passage. "Stay" draws its influence from (Luke 24:28-29:)Introduced to a drum solo, "I See Red" takes off to an edgy metal flavored guitar riff that quickly propels it to a chorus with a good catchy hook. Zaffiro is once again on top of things with several seconds of spirited lead guitar work.Another drum solo starts "Where Are You Now" before a crisp rhythm guitar buttresses its first verse with a ton of class, a full mix of vocal harmonies adulating the song as it approaches a strong ethereal flavored chorus. Zaffiro contributes thirty seconds of the albums best fast fingered lead guitar work.

The restrained melodic rock of "Why Me" is one of several tracks on the album to not quite make the grade. Once a blend of acoustic guitar and keyboards drives the song through its first verse, a touch of rhythm guitar reinforces a chorus backed by vocal harmonies placed a bit too forward in the mix."The Other Side" and "Diversity", on the other hand, highlight the more creative side of Zaffiro's songwriting skills.

An exquisite combination of acoustic guitar and keyboards compels "The Other Side" forward until a touch of rhythm guitar leads the way to an atmospheric chorus carried in sublime fashion. I like how the song slowly builds until Zaffiro lets loose with an extended blues flavored guitar solo. Beautiful song. "The Other Side" talks about the believer’s promise of eternal life.Commencing to a blend of dark sounding rhythm guitar and keyboards, "Diversity" transitions to an acoustic guitar upon reaching its first verse.

Picking up in pace for its pre-chorus, the song attains a chorus underscored by a near perfect blend of acoustic guitar and crisp rhythm guitar. A nice melodic based guitar solo complements the pace and feel of a song drawing its lyrics from (I Corinthians 12:4-7:)The guitar driven melodic rock of "You" does not quite make the grade. A near perfect blend of acoustic and rhythm guitar carries the song through its first and second verse until it hits a wall upon attaining a weak pop flavored chorus."To The End" moves the album back to a much needed hard rock direction.

Subsequent to an acoustic guitar driving the song through its first verse, a crisp rhythm guitar kicks in and takes it to a catchy chorus advancing at a strong upbeat tempo. Zaffiro cuts loose with a brief but blistering guitar solo.The acoustic based "Only Eyes" slowly proceeds through its verse portions until it reaches a stylish chorus with a laid back feel. While Zaffiro's lead guitar work is very well done, I wish he would have chosen to extend it by several additional seconds.After an anthem-like blend of keyboards conveys the ethereal "Spirit Of The Lord" through its first and second verse, it arrives at an acoustic laced chorus underlined by atmospheric female vocal harmonies. An edgy guitar solo flawlessly carries the song over its final thirty seconds.

A good ending to a very fine album. "Spirit Of The Lord" takes on a worshipful tone.The overall feeling I get from listening to The Other Side is that David Zaffiro wanted to stretch and explore musical territory he was not given the opportunity to cover while in Bloodgood. And I cannot help but think he did a very commendable job at that in tracks such as "The Other Side" and "Diversity" ranks among the finest of his career. That being said, I wish the album would have included a few more upbeat hard rockers along the lines of "I See Red" and "To The End" to better complement its more acoustically driven and pop flavored moments.


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