“It’s not hard to believe that Ben Woods might have sold his soul to the devil in exchange for musical virtuosity. With dark, feral eyes and fingers blurring on the guitar, it’s easy to imagine him at a crossroads cutting the deal” – East Bay Express~
Benjamin Woods and his monster creation FLAMETAL will release their latest masterpiece “HEAVY MELLOW” July 6th on Flametal Records. This album embraces the metal-works of SLAYER, MEGADETH, KISS and the SCORPIONS to name a few. “This is a Flamenco Guitar tribute album to some of the great Metal masterpieces,” says Woods. “It is definitely a different album from the other FLAMETAL releases and is more of a solo effort that is a very powerful to play live. Although the songs are very dark, everyone gets it, even your Mom.”
Woods is a new breed of virtuoso and a speed metal guitarist from the start. By a twist of fate Woods gear was stolen by a junkie, leaving him with only a Spanish Guitar to practice on. This was the defining moment that ignited a passion for Flamenco Guitar. After spending years studying and performing authentic Flamenco, Woods created the genre-bending group FLAMETAL, earning him an international reputation as the master of Flamenco and Metal. Playing Metal without a pick, or distortion would seem impossible to most, but through his training and creativity, Woods is the first and only musician to successfully combine real Flamenco and Metal. Here he pays tribute to some of his favorite metal tunes, played in the Flamenco idiom, with traditional accompaniment. “I had to use all my Flamenco knowledge to play these metal favorites without losing the integrity so I picked great songs with great melodies. On some songs I sped up the tempo, dropped a verse or created a new solo version only slightly changing the arrangements,” explains Woods. “The King Diamond song was a great challenge to put into the 12/8 time Flamenco rhythm of Bulerias, and the solo was definitely fun, but a bitch to learn on the Spanish guitar. The Megadeth tune was difficult to create melodies from Mustaine’s vocal grunts and growls, but cool how it fit into the slithery rhythm of Tanguillos. I was very fortunate to have Steve Stevens do some nylon and electric guitar solos on my original tune “Cursed”. It’s a raw preview of what the next original FLAMETAL album will be with many great guest artists featured.”
Woods has built a substantial following through his years of touring and recording as “HEAVY MELLOW” unveils him to be a master musician with deep musical roots in metal, classical and Flamenco guitar. Woods is also one of the only American Flamenco guitarists to ever grace the pages of Spain’s national newspaper El Pais, and Spain’s number one Flamenco publication ALMA 100.
Woods raw energy combined with exotic and sophisticated acoustic playing and the talent of a new-generation shred-master is a much needed breath of fresh air to the instrumental rock genre.