DEC, 2017 REVIEW BY Strings Magazine
With herky-jerky momentum, the sinister yet jolly “Behind the Curtain” kicks o Joe Den-inzon & Stratospheerius’ exhilarating fifth album Guilty of Innocence. Chunky guitars, a battery of drums, and a seesawing Jacob’s lad- der of electric violin battle for supremacy as Deninzon’s piercing tenor equates American exceptionalism with the fraudulent Wizard of Oz. e metaphor has been employed before, but seldom with such panache.
Deninzon has been called the Jimi Hen- drix of electric violin, and that comparison seems apt on “Dream Diary Cadenza,” an excerpt of Deninzon’s solo concerto, where his violin swoops, howls, and dive bombs amid quickening arpeggios.
Elsewhere, Deninzon nods to Jean-Luc Ponty and George Clinton’s Funkadelic while charting an eccentric course that conjoins whiplash funk, spacey electronic, and pro- gressive rock. Vocals adopt a snarky tone, but the lyrics convey anything but cynicism. Deninzon is a moralist raising an alarm and pointing out insanity.
“Take Your Medicine,” a revenge fantasy aimed at scam artists, entangles Deninzon’s hyperkinetic bowing and a rubbery bass line in a muscular groove. The set’s title track lambasts the United States court system with squawking guitar, wiseacre lyrics, and Den- inzon’s dust-devil ostinatos.
On “Face,” coiled percussion, crunchy gui- tars, and whirlpooling violin entangle in a grand slalom of power chords, syncopation, and distortion. e 12-minute progressive rock epic “Soul Food” reels out vertiginous violin switchbacks, operatic choruses, and pummeling panzer division drums before galloping to a nale that combines crescendo and cacophony.
Splashy and theatrical, Guilty of Innocence is a howl for justice delivered by virtuosos completely in synch with one another. It’s a darkly comic clarion call to combat a u- enza, self-delusion, and the commoditiza- tion of daily life. Otherwise, Deninzon seems to say, we’re just another brick in the mall.
MORE CRITICAL ACCLAIM!
“When you put distorted guitars up against a violin you get magic. When you put a violin solo in a metal song, you get Fucking amazing shit! I love it when artists push the boundaries of what is perceived as the norm….. And I love it even more when it’s pure magic… I tip my hat and bow my head in awe ..”-Act/one Magazine. Read full review HERE
“Stratospheerius music is otherworldly!”They can tear out ear hairs and stomp them flat!…sounding both ahead of the curve and accessible at the same time. ”-#cirdecsongs. (www.proglodytes.com) Read full review HERE
“Guilty of Innocence is not only great, but one of the most hectic and heart-stopping albums I’ve listened to.-Zachary Nathanson
MUSIC FROM THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROOM
“Joe Deninzon’s virtuosity is undeniable….It’s progressive music that’s not afraid of a catchy chorus. The 12 minute closing track, ”Soul Food” is a well crafted multi-tempo road trip. It ventures into magnum opus territory where 70’s rockers Kansas were at home…”
-Haydn Seek SkeletonPete.com
“Deninzon’s perfect vocal delivery and skills as a violinist. Stratospheerius is as tight as ever and really create a strong organic melody. Bravo! This is music!”
–Warlock Asylum International News