Dinner Music for the Gods
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Dinner Music for the Gods

Las Vegas, Nevada, United States | SELF

Las Vegas, Nevada, United States | SELF
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By Jason Bracelin
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL
Posted: Apr. 14, 2011 | 2:02 a.m.

They shred, they swing, they pen epic jams about warring hydras: Hard rockin' instrumental quartet Dinner Music for the Gods is a band you need to know about. So pull up a chair ...

What does Dinner Music for the Gods sound like?

"Iron Maiden meets Al DiMeola meets '60s Santana."

Your latest disc, "Blood and Red Wine," has us playing a lot of air guitar. What albums inspire you to do the same?

" 'Back in Black' by AC/DC and 'Fair Warning' by Van Halen, to name a few -- always in the nude, of course, just like Tom Cruise did. Also, our bassist learned his high air-kicks from watching early videos of David Lee Roth."

You rework "The Godfather Theme" on your most recent record. What are some other film scores you dig? Any chance you dudes can tackle the "Ace Ventura: Pet Detective" theme next?

"Other music scores we dig include 'Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny,' 'The Good, The Bad and the Ugly,' 'The Incredibles,' 'The Life Aquatic' and 'Planet Terror.' Although we weren't aware of any music in 'Pet Detective,' Ace Ventura talking out of his butt was the comedic equivalent of Ella Fitzgerald's scatting."

Seeing as how you're experts on the subject, what dinner music would be best suited for the following gods: a) Zeus b) Apollo c) Glen Danzig.

"Zeus was the Greek god of the sky and thunder but loved seafood. While dining on Greek salad and olive oil-poached shrimp, Zeus would naturally want to listen to his once mortal counterpart: Ronnie James Dio and 'Children of the Sea,' from Black Sabbath.

"Apollo was the god of light and sun in Greek and Roman mythology. Apollo Creed from Rocky was 'The Count of Monte Fisto.' Apollo will be eating to El Duce's 'Roman Coliseum.'

"Glen Danzig, the king of horror punk. Beneath his tough muscular exterior lies a sensitive and caring soul with a penchant for show tunes. The most appropriate dinner music for a boy from New Jersey? 'Jersey Boys!' " - Las Vegas Review Journal


We didn't have high hopes for Dinner Music for the Gods's Blood and Red Wine. The metal hair, bloody cover art (Caravaggio's "Judith Beheading Holofernes"), anything using the phrase "for the Gods" -- all usually bad omens. But the quartet's instrumental work was a pleasant surprise. It carefully mixes world music (Flamenco and other Latin influences come out in spades on the track "Crushed Velvet") with straight-up metal guitar soloing -- and we mean soloing, not just shredding (even though guitarists Andy Heilman and Darrin Pappa can handle that, too, as heard on "99 Octane").

Probably the coolest track on the whole project is their rendition of "The Godfather Theme." We were worried it was going to be an overall metalhead joke/fail, but again, surprise: The song was artfully done. Any metal/Godfather fan would appreciate it -- and may even prefer it to the original. (Visit www.dinnermusicforthegods.com.) - Las Vegas City Life


The new album by Las Vegas-based instrumental heavy rock quartet Dinner Music For The Gods has streeted and the band's out for blood money. The line-up is intact: Darrin and Jimmy Pappa, the guitar and bass-playing brothers, are back with second lead guitarist Andy Heilman and drummer Matt Muntean. 2009's Black Candle Cafe was likened to "Carlos Santana and Joe Satriani mugged Adrian Smith and Dave Murray on the way into the studio, and Janick Gers and Bruce Dickinson spent the whole day on the golf course." There are ideas, riffs and solos to spare on Blood And Red Wine, and not-a-one of its ten compositions suffers from the surplus of shreddin.'

"Fighting Hydra" crashes a quiet Sunday luncheon with the kind of twin guitar intensity that used to distinguish Queensryche, the Seattle melodic metal group whose more recent output is shake 'n' bake compared to the brilliance produced in their '80s heyday. Darrin Pappa's and Heilman's lines are often intertwined to the point it's hard to pick up one where one guy ends and the other begins. This merely means they know how to play around each other, a concept many guitarists don't have the sense to embrace. The rhythm section of Jimmy Pappa and Muntean is about as proficient as any on the current rock scene, and they definitely have an edge up on the chowderheads pluckin' and thumpin' on FM and Fuse.

"Blood And Red Wine" and "Tijuana Werewolf" reprise the Al Di Meola-goes-metal vibe from Candle. The approaches to melody, rhythm and picking in these compositions are apparent in that regard and thoroughly enjoyable. It should be common knowledge by now, but Di Meola is a versatile jazz guitarist with a career marked by atmo & ensemble records, but is mainly known for a string of fusion albums that sport the ferocity of hard rock. Al Di would no doubt approve of the goings-on, and in case it already isn't apparent, this band is named for "Dinner Music Of The Gods" from Di Meola's classic 1980 double-album Splendido Hotel.

While there is nothing subtle about "99 Octane" and "Throes Of Hell," this is a band of many shades and shapes. A fondness for heavy fusion, classic metal or hard rock — or all three — can be addressed within the context of Blood And Red Wine. The album even betrays affections for Peter Frampton ("Smoking Jacket," which contains a nice bass solo) and The Doobie Brothers ("Fleeting Twilight") in the stead of its locomotive charge. And what is arguably the most clichéd major film theme of all time, "The Godfather Theme," is reinvigorated here by its arrangement and the players' ingenuity; an intensified yet wholly recognizable version. The album closes out with a return to full-blown metal, the aforementioned "Throes," complete with the best blistering solos and drum fills this side of Megadeth and Rush.

This album is recommended to all enthusiasts of hard rock, particularly those weary of the theater of symphonic progressive metal or the narcissism of the guitar virtuoso genre.

Reviewed by Elias Granillo Jr. on May 17th, 2011 - Prognaut


Discography

Black Candle Cafe'

Blood and Red Wine

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Bio

DMFTG’s sound is a sonic fusion of Metal, Jazz, and World music - driving, melodic, and exotic. Las Vegas based Dinner Music for the Gods is comprised of 4 long time friends. Darrin Pappa and Andy Heilman bring a dual guitar attack reminiscent of some of the best Classic Metal from the 80’s and mix it up with elements of gypsy flamenco. The rhythm section is comprised of Jimmy Pappa on bass and Matt Muntean on drums. Coupled with technique, energy and taste, Matt and Jimmy’s melodic styles do more than just hold up the rhythm. With their wide range of musical influences they can go from a soft idle jazz groove, to a full metal onslaught!