Review of Electric Storm by Ilan Rosenfeld on Time to Live – The Rock and Metal Review site September 2003
Originally from Cape Town, Sean Mercer now resides in the U.S.A. where he, among other occupations, composes and plays some great guitar. “Electric Storm” is a collection of compositions by him, varying in styles and sounds.
I would say the guitar player whose sound is usually closest to Mercer’s is Vinnie Moore. However, there are several songs that would remind me of other guitarists, like Marty Friedman (“Ilana”) or Jason Becker (“Electric Storm”). Sean said he was deeply influenced by Yngwie Malmsteen but I could not find any protruding sign of that in his music (perhaps the intro in “Mushrooms Of Fire”), apart from the excellent technique and some really fast licks going on.
The classification of Mercer under the title “Instrumental Progressive Rock” is fitting. There are many progressive elements in his music, including interesting chord progressions and rhythmic changes. There many doubled (maybe tripled?) guitar segments that add a lot to the fun in listening.
Most tracks are rocky in sound, but there are more quiet ones, like the acoustic “Last Time”, and parts of “Opus 2”, for example. The diversity of sounds does not leave a moment of dullness.
Highlight tracks, or at least my favorites, are “The Festival” (in addition to great guitar, there’s a 70’s style keyboard solo here too), “Ilana” and “Last Time”. All songs are fun to listen to, and therefore we have a very cool album demonstrating good performance as well as excellent composition.