Valentin or Valentin The Mad is a lead guitarist-solo artist. He leads an instrumental guitar-centered solo project where he plays all the instruments, except for the drums that are programmed. He describes his style as prog rock/metal with various influences.

After listening to only two tracks off the project, I can say a couple of things about the whole project. Valentin’s style is very melodic; hence, it is quite expressive. It is also hard to ignore the programmed drums. He stated that he could not find band members, but if he happens to find a drummer, it would make all the difference.

The first two tracks are soft to the ear. They are neat and as I mentioned, quite expressive. The only complaint, other than the drums, is how they sound similar to each other at some points I had to re-listen to them to make sure I am not mistaken.

‘Apocalyptic Visions’ is different however. It is a heavy Metal instrumental. It proves that Valentin has the ability to write a hit metal track. With vocals and some work, it can be a hit and can also be pictured as an instrumental album opener. When ‘Sandstorm’ kicks off next, there is a sense that you have tuned in the middle of a track, not in its beginning. It is a heavy progressive thrash with an Arabian style, as he implies. It is likeable, but I did not find anything remarkable about it.

Next, ‘Never Peace of Mind’, is another hit track. It is emotional and epic. It would work as a soundtrack. As you can see, the tracks here are either very good or not very special. The former applies to ‘Devil’s Courtyard’ and ‘Deadly Obsession’. They show he is a talented original songwriter. ‘Hypnosis’, his latest track is more similar to the first couple of tracks as it is not as heavy as the rest. It is an indie/progressive track. I find it thoughtful and very appealing to progressive rock fans. The lead guitar work here is great.

Valentin is a talented instrumentalist and creative songwriter, especially on the melodic parts. In some tracks, I had a tendency to think that he is more able melodically than rhythmically in some tracks, but not all. Although he is doing a good job on his own, I think he could come up with something even better if he called for other members and formed a band whenever possible. That way I believe his few weak points can be fixed. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the project and recommend it for a listen.

Edited by: Duha Mousa