Review of "Borislav Mitic" (Shrapnel) by EvilG, August 1999
Used by permission of Metal-Rules!

Rating: 4/5

Circling scales, sweeping arpeggios, classically influenced chord progressions, and a godly lead guitar tone. Fans of instrumental guitar music take note, there is a new guitar maestro on the scene. Borislav Mitic's all instrumental CD runs the gamut from Yngwie-like shredding to influences ranging from middle-eastern, Celtic and classical. Borislav describes his music as having a "significant Yngwie influence...but there is also a lot of other influences such as classical music and cultural music." For me it's the significant Yngwie influence that I'm a sucker for!

Borislav comes from Belgrade, the capital of the troubled country of Yugoslavia. He left the country due to all the shit that is going down over there and he now resides in Montreal, Canada. Strangely enough Borislav claims he is basically self-taught. This guy has a gift, but one that he's obviously worked on very hard through years of practice. Even though he had made a name for himself in his homeland it was the renown Mike Varney of Shrapnel Records in the USA who called Borislav immediately after hearing his music to get him on his label. Released in March 1999, this is Borislav's first release for the label.

For me the highlights of the CD are when Borislav shreds (which is thankfully on most songs) like on "Sky Rider", "Chasing A Dream" (these two are very melodic and have a big classical influence), "Mystic II" (the main/theme riff reminds me of something from Dio-era Rainbow) "Waltz of Time" (begins with a riff reminiscent of Trilogy-era Yngwie...awesome) Even some of the slower / less aggressive stuff is tasteful. For example "Mystic I" is only lead guitar with subtle background keyboards. Even without the drums and bass this is very dark sounding and excellent for late night listening. I don't get as excited with the mellower side of Borislav's music - hey, after all I'm a metalhead first and foremost! In one or two places Borislav gets a little too heavy on the wah pedal (Light of 7 - part I) I'm thinking of Satriani and Steve Vai here - done well but not his finest playing. Let me tell ya though this guy can really really play! I think after playing guitar for about 15 years I should be able to recognize talent when I hear it. I have only a few minor complaints: the overall music could be heavier, there should be more backing rhythms, a couple of tracks with vocals would not be out of place, more intense double kicks over the 'driving' songs would be way cool, and finally the lead sound is amazing but the rhythm sound could be thicker and more crunchy.

Borislav is a name you will be hearing more of as I'm sure that he has a lot of great music inside of him. Let's hope he leans more towards the extreme playing and heavier music and only uses his other influences as 'spice.'


Review of "Borislav Mitic" (Shrapnel) by Brian Coles, July 2000
Electric Basement

There have been many metal/classical hybrid projects released over the past few years. Heck, metal and classical have been warming up to each other as far back as the late 60s, when Mr. Blackmore began the experimentation phase of Deep Purple. From Yngwie to Masi, virtuoso shredders have been taking up the "Bach in Black" project when the fever strikes. Sometimes it impresses while at others, our lips are left parched for the human element.

Fortunately, Borislav has found a happy middle between precise classical structures and buoyant hard rock. Backed with serviceable and complimentary percussion, Mitic breezes along with "Sky Rider", and the aptly titled "Chasing a Dream". The delicate, full production allows the music to come off as "orchestral", even if it is mostly Mitic who's doing all the work. "Bird Dance" recalls the romantic period, with subtlety colliding with big bangs. One of the best tracks on the album. Very hummable. The album also includes doses of Middle Eastern Balkin and Indian music. Somehow, he blends them flawlessly.

Of note, It's a testament to Mitic's talent that we forget these pieces must be very difficult to play, for he allows us to focus on the compositions instead of worrying whether he can pull of the technical aspects. Overall very well written and performed.

Review of "Borislav Mitic" (Shrapnel), 2000
Used by permission of Guitar 9

Borislav Mitic is the self-titled debut from a young Serbian guitarist who offers hard rock blended with classical and cultural musical influences ranging from Chopin, Mozart, Beethoven and Paganini to Indian, Celtic, Middle Eastern and Balkan. Mitic states, "My desire was to take the listener on a mystical guitar journey through the diverse world that I drew my inspiration from." The CD features Mitic's melodic, singing guitar style over ten wonderful, all instrumental tracks full of passion and emotion. Borislav Mitic will satisfy the enthusiast's craving for new neo-classical guitar.

Instrumental Guitar (Electric (Heavy)/Neo-Classical Metal/Hard Rock), total running time, 54:06


Review of "Borislav Mitic" (Shrapnel) by John W. Patterson, 1999
used by permission of progression magazine

This guitarist is from Serbia, Belgrade that is, with a certain ethnic/classical flair to his songs. Vinnie Moore and others of his ilk took to what is called Bach rock. There are fiery chops galore here, yes, expertly executed with precision.

"Sky Rider", "Chasing A Dream", "Waltz of Time", and "Ballade Pour Elle" are quite decent Bach rock originals. What intrigues and wows me are the tunes that obviously integrate Serbian folk song structures into shred rock. Now that's more my speed. On "Mystic (Part I and II) this first appears.

After very tastefully subdued intros Mitic explodes in some virulent riffs and great scales and modes that had me seeing veiled beauties writhing in gold and silk. Mitic broke some fretboard speed limits here. Mitic handles nicely the music of the Isles on "Celtic Legends (Part I and II)". Ah, Horslips came to mind here or Steve Morse's Celtic tributes.

"Bird Dance" was an intensely fun ride in the Flight of the Bumblebee mode of 64th note madness. Too fast! That has got to hurt. Bravo to Jacques Roy on bass and Marc Bonneau on drums in keeping up with Mitic! "Light of 7 (Part I and II)" feature acoustic meanders and drones of Mitic's homeland that then supernova into a balls2dawalls Jeff Beckian/Steve Vai-ish wah-wah
drivin' tune mid-speed, heavy rocker.

My fav song of Mitic's was "Southern Wind" which was drenched in the sweet folk dance rhythms and ancient Slavic riffs. Man, I could do a whole CD's worth of this eccentric rock! Mitic is in his unique element here. Bring on the handclaps and the whirling dancers! Ooh, ahhh. We melt away in a heroic rock ballad, "Fairytale's End". Recommended axe rock.

Review of "Borislav Mitic" (Shrapnel) by Lennart Hedenstrom, 1999
Hedenstrom

Alrightey. Yet, another longhaired dude with fast fingers playing neo-classical hard rock put out bye Mike Varney on his Shrapnel label, or what?! You bet. Borislav Mitic hailing from Belgrade (the former Yugoslavia) where he had been working quite a long time with several different bands and artists plus doing work for TV and whatnot. His biography tells us Beatles made him pick up the guitar and then he grew up with a healthy diet of classic hard rock (Deep Purple, Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Van Halen etc).In the mid-80s Yngwie Malmsteen's music changed his life apparently and turned him into a guitaroholic working like a madman during daily 12 hour session to learn the entire book of fast a flurry guitar playing. Boy did he succeed. Mitic now resides in Montreal, Canada, and he has eventually done exactly what Yngwie once did when he invented the neo-classical hard rock genre, ie he sent a demo to Mike Varney who immediately signed him up to his label and here we have the first result of all this.

Backing Mitic on the album are Jaques Roy (bass) and Marc Bonneau (drums). This album is a showcase for Mitic's guitar though from start to finish since most of the songs are vehicles for him to show us his enormous talent as a guitar wiz with super chops and the ever so fast technique you get from guitarist of this genre. Mitic is not just the regular neo-classical metal shredder though as his eastern European heritage is very much present and is displayed throughout the album. In the CD insert he puts it like this: "I come from Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, a country lying on the crossroads of east and west. It is also a meeting place of various religions and cultures whose influences left a mark on the music I make. My desire was to take you on a mystical guitar journey through this diverse world that I drew my inspiration from. I hope that you will find moments of bliss on it".

And indeed, listening to the album you are treated to music with influences from Balkan/Serbia ("Mystic" and "Bird Dance") and the Middle East ("Southern Wind") as well as stuff with influences from Celtic music ("Celtic Legends"), classical music (""Sky Rider" and "Waltz of Time") and Indian music ("Light of 7"). This guy sure know it all. Mitic handles the guitar incredibly tasteful and although this is a "guitar hero" type of album I think he stays on the right side of the line where it says: "cross this line and you are simply trying to show off". He is of course an amazing guitar player and the CD is very much about guitar playing but Mitic is respectfully handling every song and the music as a whole.

It's a long time since a guitar album grabbed me like this one, an album where there is very little blues influence too. This is probably because it is very easy to listen to the album with its hugely melodic and warm content. Highly recommended if you are looking for an instrumental guitar dominated CD! I wonder what he will have up his sleeve next time around!?

Review of "Borislav Mitic" (Shrapnel) by Jeff Dennis, April 1999
Harder Beat


Guitar players listen up. Here we have a first - Yugoslavian guitar god, Borislav Mitic. And though he comes from afar, his sounds are familiar with some very good stuff. On Shrapnel Records, with Mike Varney as co-producer, it had to be special because both represent authority in guitar playing. Though an all instrumental release, the album is never boring as Mitic lays his soul out on the frets, hoping someone is listening. Up-and-above spirit launchers include the speedy “Sky Rider” and mesmerizing “Mystic”. On the CD's coolest riffs is in “Waltz of Time”… or maybe it's one in “Bird Dance”. Each song and melody will remind you of the techniques of Vai, Satriani, Hoey or Yngwie. But with a cast like that, who cares!

Review of "Borislav Mitic" (Shrapnel) by Christopher Thelen, May 1999
Used by permission of Christopher Thelen, Daily Vault
RATING: A


Borislav Mitic has got to be one of the luckiest people around today. He got out of his native Yugoslavia last year, missing out on the little presents that are raining down on his birthplace of Belgrade every night. He has escaped the outrageous artistic license that the Yugoslavian government had - which practically gave them the right to use any music they wanted without paying the artist.Now, he's put out this self-titled release - his debut in America - and adds himself to the list of those who would take the throne of guitar king away fromYngwie Malmsteen, one of Mitic's idols. If Mitic isn't at the top of that list, he's real close, 'cause this is a solid album through and through.

Mitic's playing style, like Malmsteen's, is a mixture of classical structire with modern day flash - though, to Mitic's credit, he doesn't allow the flashier side of his playing to take over. With the help of his bandmates - bassist Jacques Roy and drummer Marc Monneau - Mitic comes close to creating a new style of classical music while making sure things stay exciting for the listener of today.

The classical influences are clearly heard on such pieces as "Sky Rider" and "Mystic", the latter divided into two movements. Mitic's playing is clean throughout, though there are times I wished there had been a little more raw emotion put into the playing. It's a hard thing to explain, but in some cases, it seems like even the complicated riffs that Mitic is playing are like second nature to him. I