Master Boot Record – Floppy Disk Overdrive (Album Review)

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Proving that guitars aren’t really necessary to make great rock music, the Italian  project Master Boot Record has made waves in underground circles with Yngwie-inspired shred that boasts an almost complete lack of that Swedish meatball’s chosen instrument. Playing a decidedly different style from prominent guitarless rock bands of yore (I’m thinking of you, Cop Shoot Cop), Master Boot Record bears the marks of both studious Bach rock and frenetic metal that helped make groups like Children of Bodom as much fun as they were back in the day.

Fully instrumental and almost fully electronic, “Floppy Disk Overdrive” is a shred guitar album without the guitars. No fan of progressive or shred music could have possibly made it this far in life without ever hearing a keyboard solo, but I’d wager few would have considered creating metal songs with keyboards playing heavyass riffs conventionally played on very loud guitars. Master Boot Record makes this seemingly questionable move work admirably well, to the point that I was a good half hour into spinning “Floppy Disk Overdrive” in the background before I noticed the guitar parts were actually synthesized.

“Floppy Disk Overdrive” Album Artwork

Enigmatic by design, Master Boot Record is reportedly the baby of Roman multi-instrumentalist Vittorio D’Amore (aka Victor Love), but you’d never guess that by reading any of the bios. If marketing is to be believed, Master Boot Record is a sentient program that creates 100% synthetic music bearing titles you’d sooner type into a C prompt than a Spotify search bar. It’s a fun gimmick, but listeners would be wise to not let that obscure the fact that “Floppy Disk Overdrive” is a beguilingly charming record that answers the never-asked question: how would those Warmen albums have sounded if Janne Wirman had only had access to Commodores and Ataris?

Released by: Metal Blade Records
Relese Date: March 20th, 2020
Genre: Avant Garde

Musicians:

  • Vittorio D’Amore / keyboards, programming, guitar

“Floppy Disk Overdrive” track listing:

 1. ANSI.SYS
 2. EDIT.COM
 3.  FDISK.EXE 
 4. DISPLAY.SYS
 5.  CHKDSK.EXE
 6. DEFRAG.EXE
 7. RAMDRIVE.SYS
 8. DBLSPACE.EXE
 9. SMARTDRV.EXE
10. DISKCOPY.COM
11. EMM386.EXE

7.5 Very Good

Shred for Mooninites and those who worship them

  • Songwriting 7
  • Musicianship 8
  • Originality 9
  • Production 6
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