Review of "Fantasy" (Release 2000) by Evil G, October 2000
Metal-Rules!
Rating : 4/5

Although this album gets a 4/5 the guitar playing deserves a 5/5!
By the gods, this guy can totally shred! I think the leads on this are overall probably more faster and ripping that on his newer self-titled CD on Shrapnel Records. It's not hard to see why Shrapnel's Mike Varney signed this guy after hearing this CD.

The style of music on Fantasy is neo-classical shred. It has slower melodic moments like "Ave Maria" but it's the ass kicking songs like "Fantasy", "Master of Strings" and the double kicker "Virtuosa" which interest me. Perhaps part of the reason why I like neo-classical shredding so much is because of my childhood when my parents would play a lot of Mozart, Vivaldi and Handel. I don't listen to those composers myself, but I do hear elements of them and Paganini in the themes and melodies on Fantasy. The CD closing track "Moto Perpetno" with it's nonstop lead guitar and backing harpsichord is incredible! This is the kind of thing that is Borislav's strong point. When he attempts to play something more funky in a Satriani / Via way like "Lion Heart" or "Hired Gun" it doesn't work for me. Thankfully, that style is not pushed very much on the CD. That said, the solo in "Lion Heart" itself is still mind-blowing.

Fantasy was previously released only in Yugoslavia in 1996 and is now finally available here in North America. Borislav's new album will be out on Shrapnel Records in 2001.
It would be nice if there were a couple of vocal tracks on there. Maybe he can get one of the many former Yngwie vocalists to make a just appearance! (haha) I'm in NO WAY saying that in a sarcastic way and I don't think that Borislav is a Yngwie wanna-be.
He just happens to play neo-classical guitar and as such it is inevitable that people will compare him to the master, Mr. Malmsteen.
There's plenty room in this world for more than one neo-classical shredder!

I would recommend this CD to fans of instrumental high caliber hard rock and to those who like the shredding side of guitar playing. There are no vocals on here just the breathtaking playing of this great guitarist.


Review of "Fantasy" (Release 2000), October 2000
by
Guitar 9

Fantasy is guitarist Borislav Mitic's 1996 Yugoslavian release which eventually led to his signing with Shrapnel Records. Featuring original compositions and works by Paganini, Handel and Bach, the CD is a neo-classical shredfest in every sense of the word. Mitic explains, "The music on Fantasy was largely inspired by virtuoso compositions by the legendary violin wizard Niccolo Paganini. My dream at that time was to reach the beauty of expression and the level of technical brilliance of playing that can be heard on the classical violin and make it part of the electric guitar. Dexterity, passion, singing vibrato, control and perfection in execution of musical ideas were the goals I was after and hopefully the ones I achieved. I consider my playing on this album to be some of my best ever."

Instrumental Guitar (Electric (Heavy)/Neo-Classical Metal/Shred),
total running time, 44:33


Review of "Fantasy" (Release 2000) by Brian Coles, October 2000
Electric Basement

Exclusively released in Yugoslavia back in 1996, Fantasy finally sees an independent reissue.

If you like Mitic's sophomore effort, you'll enjoy delving back and discovering this one. Powerful, yet intricate and melodic guitar playing is the common thread throughout the disc. Reworks of Bach, Paganini and Handel are given a subtle electrification, yet with a purified tone. While the rockers are well done, some of the highlights are in the lighter pieces, such as "Epitaph", done with a sophisticated melancholy. "Lion Heart", on the other hand, presents a modern metal shuffle and recalls Steve Morse circa '92 with it's clean and spry delivery. "The Road To Babylon" starts with a riff that would fit well as the under current for Sunset Strip sleaze rock yet continues into various passages that give it an extra depth and longevity. Actually, Borislav's original material is the real eye opener here. The riffs and grooves are more unique and memorable from most "original" rock acts springing forth in the new millenium.

Mitic proves a flexible and confident player who can write as well as interpret. Totally recommended for guitar nuts.


Review of "Fantasy" (release 2000) by Jerome Long, May 2001
Crazy-Shred

Cet album est en fait une réédition d'un album que Borislav avait sorti en Yougoslavie quelques années avant de signer chez Shrapnel. C'est même cet album qui a été envoyé à Mike Varney. Et à l'écoute de ce fameux album, on comprend très vite pourquoi le père Varney a signé le jeune Serbe. Autant dire que l'album est très nettement orienté néoclassique avec des influences de Paganini et Bach. Et pour preuve, on a droit à de nombreuses reprises ou passages de Paganini comme sur "La Campanella", ou bien encore le feu d'artifice technique du "Moto Perpetuo", morceau qui termine l'album en apothéose et qui est considéré par beaucoup comme la pièce la plus complexe du violoniste italien. L'album contient d'excellents titres néoclassiques s'orientant plutôt du genre Malmsteen comme par exemple "Master Of Strings", "Virtuosa" et "Fantasy". On assiste également à deux magnifiques ballades, "Forever" et "All These Years", qui ne sont pas sans rappeler un certain Bach. Mais le plus surprenant est la présence de titres funk-rock un peu dans le genre Greg Howe ou Blues Saraceno ( "Lion Heart", "Riding The Wind", "Hired Gun" ) , et qui viennent donner une petite touche d'éclectisme très sympathique.

Cet album constitue donc un excellent investissement!!


Review of "Fantasy" (release 2000) by Mike Sandomirsky, February 2001
Guitar Mania

Mr. Borislav Mitic – Guitar Virtuoso!! Hailing originally from Yugoslavia, currently residing in Montreal, Canada. You may remember his sophomore release simply titled “Borislav Mitic”. It was released on the Shrapnel Label back in 1998. If you enjoyed this guitar extravaganza you will most certainly enjoy delving back to 1996 when Borislav released his introductory guitar masterpiece “Fantasy”. This first outing, up until now,
was only available in Yugoslavia.

Fantasy showcases Borislav’s formidable skills as a fiery guitar player. He is heavily influenced by Nicolo Paganini and classical music in general. Many of the tracks on Fantasy have excerpts from Paganini’s caprices interwoven into the compositions. Mitic handles these intricate passages with the authority of a seasoned composer / arranger. Where others might tread on imitation, Mitic offers up a refreshing
interpretation of Paganini’s greatest licks.

The first five tracks are a shred fest of over the top neo-classical guitar playing at it’s finest. Borislav takes us all to school in these first five tracks showing us mere mortal guitar players how it is really supposed to be done. From high-speed arpeggios to intricate sweeps, Mitic navigates the fret board with confidence and bravado. His playing on Fantasy definitely establishes him as a true stylist with his own unique voice. He is not just playing rubbish for the sake of impressing or playing fast. Every note is well thought out and has its purpose in the overall structure of each song.

Many of the original tunes on the CD are the real gems. Songs like “The Road to Babylon” which is a straight out rocker interspersed with very cool classical sounding runs and leads or the very beautiful “Epitaph” with it’s acoustic overtones; these are the tunes that push Mitic to the forefront of instrumental guitar.

Mitic proves once again that he is a groundbreaker, setting new standards for guitar playing in the 21st Century. This is intelligent music for the seasoned listener. If you are a fan of instrumental guitar – you owe it to yourself to seek out this extraordinary CD.


Review of "Fantasy" (Release 2000) by Lennart Hedenstrom, October 2000
Hedenstrom

Last year I reviewed Borislav Mitic's selftitled CD released in the US (Shrapnel) and I found him to be an extremely skilled guitarist. The CD spinning in my player this time is actually a CD that Mitic recorded back in 1996, that got Mitic the record contract with Shrapnel in the first place, titled "Fantasy". Mitic has brought revived the CD in a remastered version and it gives great insight to his talent and inspiration.

Mitic now residing in North America, but originally from the former Yugoslavia, shows a lot of influences from classical music and perhaps mostly to the great Paganini. Several tracks on this CD has sections where Mitic has worked excerpts from music written by Paganini, Bach and Händel. Mitic's playing is a perfect match for the fluent and fast passages since he simply is one of those superfast players that makes it sound so clean and simple but it's all done at an amazing pace. Mindboggling!

The backing tracks, drums and bass, are a bit dull in my opinion and mostly just a faded background that is there just to give structure to the songs but in no way interfere with Mitic's playing and not in any way risk that the listener loses the focus on the guitar. So yes, this is very much a guitarist's CD. So if you are a guitar fan and prefer neo-classical metal with amazing guitar playing this is for you. This is even more imoprtant since this an 100% instrumental CD. When Mitic isn't in classical territory he gives us a few stomping metallic rockers and romantic ballads.

I am not going to mention any other guitarist of the genre as a comparison, which would be almost too obvious. I think Mitic deserves a place ranked as one of the absolutely best players and I wish him all the best for the future and may he long continue to wring that guitar neck and give us guitar maniacs pleasure.