Formed in 2002, the San Francisco based group is the brainchild of lead guitarist/songwriter, Doug Doppler. With their debut release, theyre forging an exciting new brand of music—-Nu Instrumetal. "The goal of the record was to bridge the gap between nu metal bands like Korn, Limp Bizkit, and Saliva, old school metal acts like Metallica and Exodus and instrumental artists like Joe Satriani and Steve Vai. Nu Instrumetal refers to that collision of stylistic influences."
Produced by Doug Doppler and Pete Karr (Michael Bolton/Backstreet Boys/Jennifer Love Hewitt), the record is an immaculately crafted marvel, juxtaposing savage riffery with inventive arrangements and inspired playing. As for Karrs crucial contribution to the record, Doppler reflects: "Pete put a very large steel toed boot to my posterior and kicked me out of my comfort zone into the uncharted waters of the deep end of my creative pool. He brought a distinct modern flavor into the record, adding the really cool harmonic and rhythmic loops that made it sound less like an instrumental record and much more like a nu metal disc. His vision really upped the production value, making it competitive with other nu metal acts."
Indeed, that well-seasoned sound is built on slammin metallic riffs, guided in equal parts by a free flying virtuosity and fine tuned craftsmanship. And its no wonder, lead guitarist and founder, Doug Dopplers musical pedigree is impeccable. He is one of musics most promising new guitar players. Doppler, a protégé of Joe Satriani, has also incorporated his teaching skills into his finely crafted Guitar 411 instructional DVD series.
On the record, Doppler employs a 7-string guitar, as if six-strings werent enough to cause some serious damage. "Steve Vai popularized the use of a 7-string guitar and influenced other 7-string slinging bands like Korn," Doppler explains. "I love the way the bottom strings bark at your tush like a ferocious rottweiler and the treble strings sing like a three hundred pound soprano. You can go from super low and chunky with your guitar parts to soaring high notes at the drop of a beat." A prime example of the versatility of the 7-string instrument can be heard on the track, "Bumpin Grind," earmarked by its growling rhythms and Hendrix/SRV-esque sounding melodies and leads.
Enlisting such luminaries as, Night Ranger/Ozzy Osbourne lead guitarist Brad Gillis, bass icons, Billy Sheehan and Stu Hamm and acclaimed drummer Atma Anur, Nu-Instrumetal is primed for radio airplay. Significantly, the bands first gig was broadcast live in primetime on KSAN, San Franciscos number one classic rock station. Mining classic styles with a modern slant, Doppler, Inc.s radio accessibility is indicative of things to come.
"Fat Lip" kicks things off with a pulverizing punch, a velocity of notes and cranked aggressive thunder. "Wicked", one of the records standout tracks, keeps the momentum rollin, hotwired to an infectious groove and kinetic kick. But make no mistake, this musical conglomeration, Doppler, Inc., aint no one-trick metal pony. Showing off their versatility, "Fire Down Below" and "Wrecking Ball" grab you with more subtle grace, driven by rock solid, sturdy grooves, and cascading fretboard magic that rides to a thrilling climax.
Changing gears dramatically, the evocative, "Like Father Like Son", is a welcome respite from the records innate ferocity, boasting an unforgettable melody and some of the albums most expressive seven-string wizardry. "As a melancholy backdrop to the record, my father is terminally ill with lung cancer. This song pays homage to my Dad who over the course of the record was an unyielding force of support and love. This track offers the listener an opportunity for introspection and understanding of where I was at as the disc was being recorded. It also brings forth a contrapuntal emotional time stamp if you will."
Fresh and forward thinking, Nu Instrumetal resonates with a distinct modern flavor, drawing together a minefield of loops, gizmos, and gadgetry. One device used to particularly strong effect on the record is the Vocoder, a human voice electronic simulator. "Pete suggested that we use a Vocoder to add a humanistic touch to a previously non-vocal genre," Doppler reveals. "We used that device on Wicked to provide an extraterrestrial sonic hook not normally found in instrumental music. The Vocoder immediately pulls your ear right into the track."
Despite the instrumental nature of the record, Doppler is quick to stress that he views his band as a nu metal act, not a relic of the past. "The idea was simply to create a nu metal instrumental record. I was much more interested in appealing to young rock audiences of today rather to the shred infested waters of yesteryear."
While all the songs are instrumentals, youll soon discover that no words were necessary on this strong collection of 11 tracks. Each song brands the listener with its own powerfully indelible imprint, creating an arresting aural story in your mind. So sit back, close your eyes, and let Doppler, Inc. take you on a "nu" mind-blowing trip of sound and fury.