Ethan Brosh has become one of the most talented heavy metal guitarists in the field. I hesitate to call him a “shredder” because of all the negative connotations the term brings. But, most likely, he will be categorized as such. So if you a going to buy and listen to one shred album this year, let it be Brosh’s latest, Live the Dream.

Megadeth bassist David Ellefson helps out on this one, and it adds to the flavor (of course), but it really blows me away how Brosh can compose an actual decent song without the help of a vocalist. Take “Bottomless Pit,” for instance, easily one of the best heavy metal numbers I’ve heard this year — with its jumpy groove and pounding pulse — and no belting or growling or cookie-monstering, and all the better for it.

Thirteen songs, all with quality guitar playing, from acoustic to shred. Brosh is an easy winner to put your money on.

BTW, is the cover art a reminder of a  ’80s Chastain album or what?

Label: Rocker Records