Review by Holger B.: Who like me since the mid-80s on neo-classical metal of the sort Tony MacAlpine, Vinnie Moore, Joey Tafolla or Yngwie Malmsteen could not get past Joe Stump. Admittedly, he was always in the shadow of the above. Whether solo or with the well-known Reign Of Terror. This may not have been due to his crafting skills, because today he is even the official successor of Yngwie Malmsteen, Steve Vai and Danny Johnson at the revived gods Alcatrazz.

Rather, it was like that, many of his songs did not really want to ignite, at least for me. Sometimes they were too self-loving for me and sometimes just too much “shreddered”. On the other hand, the two Raven Lord albums on which Joe worked are really good. They both go in the direction of Symphony X and fans of whom are heartfelt.

On his latest solo release, not only is everything technically correct, but he also plays very much for the song for his circumstances (faster, higher, further!). The entire album is very varied and after songs like the driving “Facemelting Devastation” so many Power Metal band would lick their fingers. The incredibly cool “Stratocastle” is performed in the very best Deep Purple or Rainbow style, and “Swedish Assassin” and some others make sure that neo-classical Metalheads are happy. In the very fast “Mayhem Enuses”, I even caught myself chanting this ultra-cool guitar riff all the time. For me a very clear highlight on the disc. Such blast songs (of course with vocals) have cut out Vicious Rumors for the last time 25 years ago. That’s just great!

Conclusion: For me, “Symphonic Onslaught” is a big surprise, because I did not expect such a strong solo album from Joe Stump. This part definitely belongs in every well-stocked collection of neo-classical metal discs.

My rating: 90/100 (Surpasses the style of music, must be heard/ordered by every Metal fan)