Vitalij Kuprij Reviews

Also see: Artension

From: "upnsm0ke" <>
While we're on the subject of keyboard-shredding, a disc I highly recommend is "High Definition" by Vitalij Kuprij. HD also features a drummer and 6-string axeman Greg Howe on gtr/bs, and (of course) is all-instrumental ("Extreme Measures" is Vitalij's second, with George Bellas on guitar, but I prefer HD). "High Definition" is available from The Laser's Edge  VK is classically trained, and his playing somehow (since it's hard to) stands out from the styles of, say, Toshio, Keiko, Di Cola, Rudess, Johansson, Emerson, Wakeman, Simonetti, etc. He leans toward digital sounds for his leads; it seems he likes Korg synths (while Jordan Rudess now performs exclusively on the Kurzweil K2000W). Nevertheless, "High Definition" is an exciting listen, and Greg Howe's guitar orchestrations are superb.

From: "Mark Fonda" <>
Vitalij Kuprij 'High Definition' - keyboard Ninja!!  This guy's hand-speed is incredible!!!  I can't really get into it though because it is just too much to handle... he needs to slow down and develop some finesse.

From: "upnsm0ke" <>
Incidentally, Vitalij resides in the USA, and is a member of the Deep-Purple-esque prog-metal band, Artension. I only have their 2nd, 'Phoenix Rising.' Not very engaging, it has its moments. The final track, however, is a stunning solo piano tour de force by Vitalij, unmarred by vocals.

From: "Jeff Marx" <>
He really cooks though and injects enough Hammond and piano into HD to make it more accessible than some other high speed prog metal folk.  It's like listening to instrumental Yngwie Malmsteen, except here you've got the keyboards and guitars swapping leads constantly.  Amazing stuff, I can't think of many better shredders, especially on the black and whites.  Maybe Eagawa E-Man?

From: "upnsm0ke" <>
Egawa, and Jens Johansson & Jordan Rudess can rip it up like Vitalij. Anyone have Vitalij's 2nd, 'Extreme Measures,' with George Bellas on guitar? I have HD, but haven't gotten around to getting EM.

From: "Andrew J. Rozsa" <>
Whenever I rush upstairs and grab my wife with the words "c'mon downstairs...this will blow your mind" it means I am hearing something unusually good and my excitement (beyond just the normal Hungarian flair for drama) MUST be shared. Haven't heard High Definition, yet..... that's next after Johanson's "Fission" (which is fine, quite good, but nothing I want to write home about), but "Extreme Measure" is extraordinary! I guess I am impressed mostly by what I understand, and keyboards I do. There is this story about Niccolo Paganini... apparently he had some enemies or rivals who tried to sabotage one his concerts and cut the strings on his violin... as he played on, the strings broke one by one, eventually leaving Paganini with only with one string...which was sufficient for him to finish the concert....he was labeled 'the devil' and provoked much hatred and fear in the hearts of the population. I heard this story about 40 years ago and have no idea whether it's lore or fact,...but. anyway, listening to Kuprij, I remembered that story. I can't even describe the daredevil technique this man uses. He must have the hands of a basketball player and fingers of steel.... how can he sustain that intensity of play, that virtuosity...is beyond me. George Bellas, on guitar, John Onder, on bass, and Jon Doma, on drums, match him perfectly, creating an album that left me with my heart beating so hard it felt as if it were in my throat. Wow!  My favorite tracks are "Extreme Measures" (no. 2) and "Intrigue" (no. 9), although, the alternating classical and mellower tracks are also wonderful and they give you a break so you can catch your breath... also they demonstrate how truly talented and well-trained this keyboard player really is. The word that comes my mind is "wizardry," not unlike Kollar Attila's flute playing. Like Mark said earlier, it can get a bit too intense.... therefore a warning: this album is not for the faint-hearted! :-) I suggest turning the volume down a bit from the usual 90 dB level, otherwise your spouse may have to call 911.  Luckily, the album ends in a totally satisfying Back improvisation (Wendy eat your heart out), which helps settle the nerves... now where are that bottle of Tokaji Aszu and my Nat Sherman cigarillos?

From: "upnsm0ke" <>
Keyboard shredmeister. Vitalij Kuprij's latest disc, _VK3_, will be released in the US on Oct 19th on Shrapnel Records. This time out, guitar duty will be handled by the legendary Tony MacAlpine (who's now also in Derek Sherinian's Planet X), so hang on to yer cummerbunds!

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