"Inventive, fresh, elegantly fluid guitar magic."
Armed with a killer tone and a reflective and soaring energy,
Mike Fillius burns with a style that can't easily be likened to
shredders we know. He's just too musical, too versatile,
too fluid and elusive.
Zakk crossed with Satch crossed with Petrucci...
it's all here and the result is a spiritually replenishing
exploration of the guitar.
Martin Popoff www.martinpopoff.com
Folks who are into artists like Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, and John Petrucci should be aware of a new guitar hero on scene. His name is Mike Fillius, and this dude handles his guitar like he was born with it in his hands and hasn't stopped playing since. On his first solo album, Fillius presents a set of ten tunes that tread just about everywhere a shredder can go. Take the artful melodies of Vai, the rockin' anthems of Satriani, and the heavy metal roar of Metallica all rolled into one neat ball, and you'll be close to what many of Fillius's compositions sound like. Being a metalist, though, doesn't stop him from taking a stab at surf rock and rock-a-billy, albeit his own revved up versions.
While most of the album is high-octane metal shredding, Fillius never forgets the melodies and always manages to come up with inventive riffs. The album remains interesting from start to finish, with each track having its own signature. We're not talking 100% metal here, though. Once in a while, Fillius turns off the distortion pedal to work his grooves with a clean tone. In these cases, he sometimes sounds a bit like the late and great Danny Gatton. Even in these more conservative tracks, though, it's not too long before he's back wailing out a dozen notes a second, with the amp cranked to 11. Metal is definitely in Fillius's heart.
I should mention that this is a self-produced CD
The tracks on the album are expertly performed and produced,
you will definitely want to listen.
[you'll see that Mastermind's Rich Berends sits in on drums -ed.]
www.progressiveworld.net Closer to the Edge
Reviewed by: Clayton Walnum, June 2002
Mike Fillius is a North American shredder who puts the same
efforts into his songs as he obviously has with his chops.
Filliusí main influence is Satriani to my ears.
Fillius has the more unusual almost ambient tone of
Not of This Earth yet his more metal inclination pops up
on a track like Trespassing,
great riffage with the intro and uber leads.
There is great attention to texture in this disc and
that is so important when it comes to an instrumental disc.
Interesting shades of Eric Johnson appear tone-wise
(Spillway Jam notably) but are subdued to the near ambient
early Satriani vibe with Mike Filliusís own unique mix of styles.
Great idea to cover Pipeline shred style,
Iíll have to show this tune to my ageing surfer dad.
Some cool little twists in it, gotta love it.
Nice bass work is also a feature of the disc
and the drum contributions have a good solid groove.
This is the best indy CD I have received yet for review,
good focus and total dedication to the music.
This is possibly even an album for non-instrumental lovers
to try out due to the textural detail and
shred fans must check Mike Fillius out,
Faves: Pipeline, The Nomad, Trespassing, Spillway Jam
Review by King In Crimson New Zealand
The Surfing Alien's Music Reviews www.thesurfingalien.com
Mike Fillius is a very unique guitar player blending aspects of
jazz, fusion, blues, metal, jazz, surf and more.
a real interesting platter of sound.
He is a very well versed guitar player and knows his stuff.
These songs are really cool and are a recommended for
and fan of versatile guitar playing.
If your into different styles of guitar playing
I know you'll fall in love with Fillius's music.
He writes real interesting melody lines,
and shouldn't be put on the same plane as the normal shred till you die players.
Click here for the track by track review
Looking back, Fillius is a great player and I could just imagine what
his playing would sound like in a band with vocals type format.
His leads are tight and well written and his song writing is sharp.
His chop work is very diverse and you'll soon find that out.
If your into players that aren't afraid to go outside the box,
then Mike Fillius is your man.
He covers all grounds, jazz, blues, fusion, rock, and metal.
Mike will overload your brain with great guitar playing and interesting song writing.
Another plus to this recording is that Fillius used a real life drum and
not a drum machine or sampling. It gave the album a more real feel.
The sound quality is good and you can tell he put lots of work into this release.
So please check out Mike Fillius's work,
Reviewed by Nick Martinelli
Mike Fillius is a guitar player from New York
who debuts here with a ten track album.
Instrumental CDís are cool but most start to bore me after a few songs.
Mike made however an album that does not
sound the same from the beginning to the end.
He puts a lot of variation in his playing
and the songs are also very diverse.
He goes from flat out power metal over rock to blues,
and add a bit of jazz and surf for good measurements.
His playing can be very aggressive and shredding and often
within the same song he changes to gentle melodic playing.
Mike is without a doubt a great talent who is developing his own
distinguished sound and I am sure he will have no problem
finding his place between the other guitar heroes.
If youíre into instrumental guitar CDís then check this one out.
Bruno Van DeVelde Undertow Metal Reviews Belgium
Mike Fillius "Volume 1"
Here's one of those guitarists that have been around the circuit awhile
travelling from state to state with numerous bands, solo efforts and tons of venues.
This CD is a diverse and really good one if you like it a bit heavier;
which I do and this guy don't slouch and stick to one set genre.
This is obvious when you get to songs like "Pipeline"!
Mike also has other material available but mostly for TV, radio and the sort.
As far as his playing, many styles come to mind but he stays to his own most of the time. I could throw a more Metal influence at you like
Skolnick, Sykes, Moore (Vinnie) and "Satch",
but very little doses of these guys and a subtle blend before bashing you
with monstrous rhythms and as quick as that happens,
a harmonious section comes in making this as unpredictable as the band
Tourniquet without the vocals.
Mike is currently working on a heavy metal project with vocals
and I'm hoping he keeps up with his instrumental stuff
as he could be the next ground-breaker for sure.
Hear it for yourself on mp3 and tell me this guy has no potential..
I highly doubt you'll come to that conclusion!
Reviewed by Wayne Klinger
Quintessence Metal Webzine
Mike Fillius Volume 1
An instrumental guitarist from New York City,
Fillius brings to mind artists such as Satriani and Blues Saraceno,
but flashes a raw and heavier edge in some places.
Some thicker Gary Hoey is brought to mind as well.
A very professionally done release.
"Halls to Hell" is a strong track, and "Down to Dirt" is good as well,
with some distorted vocals mixed in.
"Trespassing" is a heavy piece, "Bad Wiring" has a carefree feel,
and both "Pipeline" and "Spillway Jam" are good.
Ultimate Metal Reviews
Once it seemed that there would be no more great enchanted guitar
debuts. The kingdom of said guitars had fallen into a terrible state
because so many of the fine instruments had fallen dumb from overuse.
The people of the kingdom cried until it seemed that their eyes, like
so many of those magical guitar necks, had been wrung dry. The king sat on
his bed day after day and even contemplated smashing his throne into
tiny pieces. There are so many other new kingdoms out there now, he
said. They donít care much for anyone except for Jimi and Neil
anymore. He wept and wept and then, on a very sad day, the king and
his kingdom seemed to disappear. Those who approached the kingdom to
deliver news or goods were surprised when they could not find it and
those who had gone on quests believed they no longer had a home. Other
kingdoms rose in the next ten years but the people of the great land,
the land that fell all around these kingdoms, never felt the joy they
had when the kingdom of the great enchanted guitars could be visited by
all throughout their vast land.
But there was hope: one day a young man whoíd been quiet and alone during the time of
the great enchanted guitars sat down to practice in the woodshed behind his mother
and fatherís modest home. Itís no use,Michael, his father said.
All the great notes are gone. Father, said Michael,
I know what you are saying but I also know better than to believe you.
I have to do something to keep hope alive.
The young man practiced and practiced for a year,
running through scales and modes and licks heíd heard men named Satriani and Beck
play as they traveled through with their enchanted guitars.
And for that first year and the year after the notes were nothing close to enchanted:
they were mere lifeless chunks of reported speech.
Then, one day, while his father chopped wood and his mother sewed a pair
of black leather trousers, the young man (who preferred to be called Mike)
began playing a song called Pipeline, a standard in the kingdom.
Great Gilmour! his father shouted, nearly dropping his axe on his foot.
The boyís got fluid! Heís got flare.
Itís like Joe and Jeff but a little bit rawer around the edges,
itís very European sounding. Weíre going to have to get him to see the king.
The father ran into the shed,embraced the boy,
and told him that they would have to go and see the king immedietly.
The boy brought his guitar and his humble amp and the
two marched off together to the castle.
Although the king did not at first wish to see them and although
the boy and his father grew tired of waiting, they stood there
three days in all until the young man finally said, Father,
my chops will suffer greatly if I do not practice soon.
Very well, his father said. Perhaps that nice merchant
over there will allow you to plug into his outdoor outlet.
The merchant, when asked, said he would, though, he added,
he doubted whether the young man had what it took.
The young man tuned up, plugged in, and said to his father,
Iíd like to start with something called ĎBad Wiring,í if thatís okay with you.
His father, who had no idea what that meant, nodded yes and the young man began to play.
The king, who was sitting on his bed again,
staring at an antique copy of Guitar For The Practicing Musician,
heard something coming from beneath his window and went over to take a look.
It canít be live,he said.
It has to be a recording of something from the glory days of the kingdom.
But it sounds, he said and paused. It sounds so alive.
And indeed it did. While the king stood there,
his curtains obscuring his face,
he heard the young man slide with ease from pieces such as
The Nomad to the Billy Gibbons-on-jazz stylings of Spillway Jam
to the final graceful notes of something called In The Past.
But it was really the young manís version of Pipeline
that made everything come together and as the young guitarist
hit the climax of the song the king(tall, Italian, fingers for miles) began to weep.
This time his tears were not tears of sadness but tears of joy.
Hail! Hail! the king shouted.
You have saved the kingdom and there will be enchanted guitars once more!
And they lived happily ever after indeed.
Jedd Beaudoin ytsejam.com
Mike Fillius/Volume One
Simply, NY based guitar player's solo album, Mike
Fillius's volume one cd, contains high energetic guitar
instrumentals with various elements of metal, fusion,
blues, surf, and rock with unique way and interesting
approach. Even though it is released as independent
production, actually sound production is very crisp and
well-made. The formation of his band consists of Mike
Fillius (guitar/bass), Randy Gromley (bass), Lance Justis
(drums), and Rich Berends (drums) as you know that Rich is
a help from energetic prog rocker, Mastermind. Definately,
the focal point must be Mike's fluid and killer guitar
phrasings and performance. Esp., he is very careful to
choose the tones, sounds, and melodic lines for fitting
each song. It is evident that his guitar playing normally
does not go beyond what a tune asks for. Mostly, every
tune has distinctive hard driving and heavy sounds with
metallic energy. Esp., his tunes like "Trespassing" and
"Normad" have really heavy and crunchy directions. On the
other hand, a few songs of this album give different
atmopsheres, emotional, and calmer feeling; e.g., Volume
One has some strong surf-rock tones (on his cover tune of
Ventures' classic "Pipeline"), 12 bar blues-style exciting
rocking "Spillway Jam", and emotionally driven hot track,
"In The Past". Overall, His guitar performance should
appeal the fans who enjoy the tones and guitar playings of
John Petrucci, Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Vinnie Moore, Tony
MacAlpine, Eric Johnson, Mattias "IA" Eklund, and Torben
Enevoldsen. It is kind of hard to compare other guitar
instrumentals. Nevertheless, Mike Fillius - Volume One cd
is well constructed energetic guitar-oriented album for
enjoyment. Actually, driving rhythm & nice groove created
by his band is really rocking, hypnotic and comfortable.
Esp., drumming sounds really fat and gorgeously tight :)
What this album on the whole sets apart from other guitar
instrumentals is diversity and various elements blended
really well like nice fragrant and potpourri. His volume
one cd is really cooked well and balancing out pretty well
in the compositional department. His album's approach is
kind of similar to vocal oriented rock albums, so there is
no filler, nor boring moments at all. Every tune shines
and sings, just like a vocalist sings emotionally in a
vocal oriented track. Highly recommended for the guitar
music fans. Probably, if you read the word of
guitar-oriented instrumentals without vocals and
keyboards, most stuff might turn off such people who are
not interested in instrumentals. In the case of Mike
Fillius, volume one cd does not belong to such case. It is
quite enjoyable listening joyride for me with his music.
Perhaps, Mike Fillius is one of very few interesting and
unique guitar players not to show-off meaninglessly,
rather concentrated on making interesting hooks, good
vibes, fluid playings, and chunky sounds. He deserves more
attention. If you die-hard guitar freaks, you should keep
in mind his works. (4.25 out of 5)
Reviewed by Tetsu Hamanaka of PILGRIM WORLD Japan
Mike Fillius - Volume 1
Falling somewhere between Joe Satriani and Steve Vai with touches of Randy Rhoads, New Yorker, Mike Fillius. He's rather good to say the least. Highlights include a cover of the early 60's classic 'Pipeline' and
originals like 'Halls to Hell' or the hells at your door feel of 'Trespassing', the racing 'Bad Wiring' or the country 12-bar rock of 'Spillway Jam'.
This guy'll blast you with killer guitar riffs, and I wish Mike the
absolute best of luck - I think he'll go far. Mike fills you up with
6-string instrumental charm 'n' splendour.
Check out his website - for more info on this guitar guru.
By Glenn Milligan U.K.