REVIEW by Sea of Tranquility

What do you get when teacher and student get together to a make an album? An instrumental concept album of course. Bill Lubera has been playing guitar for a long time (started at the age of five) and has been a student of multi-instrumentalist George Bellas so it only made sense the two would make an album together and a good one it is. Global Warning is Lubera's first album and judging from the sound of it there will hopefully be many more to come. Most instrumental albums are not tied to a concept but Global Warning is built upon extreme weather events, a relevant topic indeed. Lubera is an outstanding guitarist and his craftsmanship is on full display. His leads, whether fast or slow, bordering on neo-classical shredding or revealing a more leisurely pace, are always tasteful and melodic. This album is not about a 'see how fast I can play mentality', no, it is more than that. It is all about strong songwriting, something which can be lost with instrumental guitar albums especially ones where tempo changes and musical change ups are prevalent. The album opens with "Blizzard", a solid, heavier piece with fiery solos and more languid guitar parts. The guitar playing is relentless and the layers of guitar add that much more texture to the sound. "Earthquake" starts with a whimsical keyboard intro, a sort of medieval/circus melody before the guitar joins the fray making for a lush and melodic soundscape augmented with crisp and dramatic rhythmic flourishes and superb string bending from Lubera. In the keyboard heavy "Firestorm" softer moments turn into intense riffage and Eastern tinged soloing and in "Icebergs" keyboards are again an integral component adding a symphonic backdrop upon which Lubera lays down chugging riffs and melodic fretwork. The album ends with the short and classically influenced "Silver Lining", an all keyboard excursion that I only wish was a little longer. With Global Warning Lubera has created an excellent album that should appeal to both musicians and non-musicians and shows that technically superb playing and melody go hand in hand.

REVIEW by Sea of Tranquility

Although he is a veteran of the Chicago rock scene, Global Warning is the debut release from guitar virtuoso Bill Lubera, who first picked up his instrument of choice at aged five. What really made me sit up and take notice though is the involvement in this project of a certain George Bellas, who has tutored Lubera for many years. Bellas has released many excellent instrumental albums through Lion Records as well as playing in Mogg/Way (basically UFO under a different name), Ring Of Fire and with Vitalij Kuprij, among others and he "guides" and produces Lubera on this album as well as contributing some instrumentation. Broken up into ten tracks, there's no prizes for guessing the theme of the songs on an album named Global Warning, with Lubera taking us through instrumental songs that illustrate different extreme weather conditions. Employing, on the whole, a neo-progressive style to get his point across, I'm pleased to say that the whole album is not an excuse for the stereotypical "guess how many notes I can play" style of guitar instrumental album, although Lubera does treat us to some jaw dropping fiery fret fancies of the highest order. That said this disc is as much about creating atmospheres and emotions that illustrate the concept behind the music, with the well thought through use of keyboards adding weight to the impressive guitar work. I can't say that the music always represents what I would expect from songs called "Hurricane" or "Earthquake", but I suppose that is all subjective and in truth a bit picky when the results are hugely enjoyable. Bellas has created a rich sounding album that really gives Lubera the space to stretch out, while never leaving him isolated from the rest of the music. My only complaint would be the cymbal sounds which dominate much of what goes on at times and in certain songs a constant "wash" proves to be quite a distraction. That however is a minor quibble and on the whole the sole focal point is the guitar work which ranges from the restrained, angular slow build of "Hurricane", the million miles a minute of "Blizzard" and the classically inspired "Tornado". If you are a devotee of blazing fret work from a truly top class player, then I would happily add an extra star to the rating for this album, as there can be no question that Bill Lubera is a master of the art. For those who need a more song based album, then there is still much to really get your teeth into, due to the strength of the compositions that the guitar playing is based round. Some guitar albums are impressive to listen to, but not something you would really return to often, however with Global Warning Bill Lubera has managed to create something that will resonate with music lovers in general and that in itself is rather impressive.

REVIEW by Danger Dog

An American guitarist doing a his first instrumental album? There's a double-edged sword that Bill Lubera should not have to die upon. Sorry for being overly dramatic, but the fate of most guitar virtuoso's albums are solemn indeed. On the one, and positive, side the album is an intimately personal expression of the artist's devotion to his craft. On Global Warning, Mr. Lubera wears his musical heart on his sleeve for all to see. We are better for it. His guitar mastery is brilliant, creative, and deeply emotional. This work is his blood, sweat and tears. Lubera invokes neo-classical and progressive strokes throughout as he puts musical color to climate conditions. To put it out there for critical commentary can be akin to letting yourself by raped by the unforgiving unappreciative Philistines lurking on the sidewalk. Offering complex time signatures and modal changes, Lubera exposes his immense talent. Some arrangements are peculiar, suggesting something more than what a song title suggests. While Blizzard reveals, in composition, a snowy onslaught, Earthquake begins so mildly you wonder when the earth will truly quake. But it does in the end. Earthquakes can sneak up on you, and Lubera's arrangement captures that mystery. This may be the overall description of Lubera's Global Warning: efficient and innovative creativity that both intrigues and entertains the listener. Global Warning has both profound genius and subtle accessibility. You could pop this disc into your player during a casual party with friends and you're guests would be charmed, entertained, and wondering where they could pick up this title. If you think this belittles Mr. Lubera's expertise, I would strongly disagree. Every artists wants recognition and appreciation, even in the most pedestrian sense (without the Philistines, of course). On the other side of the sword (remember the analogy), Global Warning is still an instrumental recording by a guitar virtuoso. While brilliant and entertaining as it is, this work will probably go unnoticed, except by guitar fiends. If anything Bill Lubera's Global Warning is perfect material for Lion Music, the nearly last international label for guitar heroes. After all, Lubera was guided by and Global Warning was produced by Lion Music's guitar legend George Bellas. Thankfully, Lubera is not as neo-classical wiggly as Bellas can often be. The bottom line is this: the sharper side of the double-edged sword is the simple fact that instrumental guitar albums garner little interest or sales. This may be a difficult to understand, but it's the sad reality. Let's hope for better for Bill Lubera. Therefore, I encourage you, faithful Dangerdog reader, to check out Bill Lubera's Global Warning. You will be immensely satisfied.

REVIEW by Metal Express Radio

The strange thing about music is that there is so much to choose from, and the numerous artists/musicians/bands out there seem to increase from one day to the next. It’s good to treat yourself every so often and give your ears a different sound that they have not grown accustomed to hearing. The concern when choosing what to stray with is to decide whether to stay with what is known and proven or to get risky and shoot for the new artist. With Bill Lubera, it’s the best of both worlds. Even though Lubera is enthralling music lovers with his debut release entitled Global Warning, he has been around for quite some time -- laying low in the background and waiting for just the right time to make his move. Not only is Bill Lubera ardent and passionate in his playing, one can’t help but notice his composing skills and abilities from the musicianship perspective. His playing is brilliant and his technique is just as flawless. The sounds he produces with his guitar makes you wonder where he’s been hiding all these years. If you are a fan of the Chicago-area music scene, then you might have had heard of him from his affiliation with the bands Jinx and RipChord. While listening to Lubera’s debut album, you'll notice some very strong George Bellas subtleties from beginning to end. Lubera, who’s been playing since the ripe ‘ole age of five, has been tutored by none other than George Bellas himself for many of those years. This is an Instrumental album for the most part, but has some Prog/Rock overtones with a hint of Classical thrown in there for good measure. If that’s your cup of tea, then this debut album will do the trick for you, and if you love strong guitar albums, then you'll hit the jackpot. You'll hear numerous leads congruent in nature to the modal changes, and intricate rhythms that are paralleled and fused in with an almost exponential number of time signature changes. Global Warning was composed solely by Bill Lubera. It was produced, mixed, and mastered by George Bellas and recorded at Bellas Music Studio. Believe it or not, all of the sounds created and heard on this debut album are made possible by only two musicians -- Lubera and Bellas. That is quite an accomplishment in itself. Musically speaking, there are no bad songs anywhere from start to finish. This is one of those rare treats where the listener can put this CD in his player and hit start -- no disappointments anywhere along the way or the need to skip or fast-forward through any of the tracks. This is a very powerful debut release by Bill Lubera that any music fan would be fortunate to own.

REVIEW by Illinois Entertainer

It’s not clear where high-wattage amplifiers and towering effects racks fit into the ecological discussion, but Bill Lubera has plenty of fuel to burn on Global Warning. His metal-rooted excursions smack of Steve Vai and Gary Hoey, filled with legato runs, finger tapping, and complex time signatures. Whether moving in tandem with the core riff or speeding on the backs of the double-bass drums, Lubera’s flawless ability justifies his sprawling compositional vision. The insistence upon accuracy and the relentless procession of notes occasionally grows mechanical and cold, which works if the world’s only getting hotter. – Steve Forstneger, Illinois Entertainer

REVIEW at Truth In Shredding

I just got done listening to Bill Lubera "Global Warning" and I am very impressed! Intricate compositions that are woven together in a very tasteful way; dominant and multiple guitars in each song (except the last one, which is a string quartet piece); and, very noticeably, a theme throughout- which is VERY uncommon in the instrumental genre. Every track on this cd is the name of a weather catastrophe or natural extremity. Sound effects combine with the music to take you on a ride through all of the horror that Nature has to offer. You get no "Sunshine" or "Pleasant Rain" on this cd. Instead you get track names like "Hurricane", "Tornado", and "Icebergs". When I was over at his house, Lubera made several mentions of the weather calamities that residents of my state (Wisconsin) are faced with on a regular basis. He shuddered at the thought of our weather predicaments. The sincerity of this album is evident in (among other things) the fact that the album's theme is one which he expresses through dialogues in his daily life, as well. The message he preaches is one of warning: Natural calamities are coming our way, and we'd best beware and take precautions. A mad composer, obsessed? Or a musical prophet attempting to illuminate the world with true wisdom? Progressive from the very beginning, this cd holds no bars in the area of composition. Lubera did not put in any "filler" tracks; nor did he attempt to lower the quality of his product to make it more mass-marketable. Instead, he created an album that will only appeal to the elite listener- the connoisseur of progressive music. Changes in time signature, and the use of extremely odd time signatures are some of the hallmarks of "Global Warning". I had the treat of hearing a few segments of a purely classical-metal flavor, as well. All-in-all, diversity in style- both of playing and of genre- run rampant throughout this work. Produced by George Bellas, the sound-quality is excellent. Bellas also created the album art and design, which look great and are a very fitting visual accompaniment to the music. Is Bill Lubera the new force in progressive instrumental music? Some say it is so. -Ben Kuzay

REVIEW by Concrete Web

Having started to play his instrument at the age of 5, Bartlett (Illinois) based guitarist Bill Lubera is a longtime student of George Bellas, and a virtuoso in his own right! During the '80s Lubera was the lead guitarist for successful Chicago based act Jinx, and during the '90s he displayed his guitar skills with the band RipChord. He's a prolific songwriter with a publishing company of his own, and has written material for other artists: in the '80s his song “1,000 Years” was featured on Cincinnati (Ohio) based band Prizoner's debut album Young And Rejected. He also guested on Michael Riser's album Rise. Since hooking up with Bellas in 2002, Lubera has devoted all his time to learning advanced guitar and compositional concepts. Eventually, it became unavoidable that he would express these new skill on a multi-layered instrumental solo album, using the latest technology of sampler instruments and Logic Pro Tools to program all sounds besides the guitars, creating 10 tracks around weather events (as suggested by the track's titles, with the exception of the album closing shortie “Silver Lining”). Helping out in the programming (and also mixing and mastering the album) was Lubera's tutor, George Bellas. Stylistically, Lubera's music on this album can be categorized as melodic Progressive and Neo-Classical/ progressive Rock compositions with complex time and modal changes, soaring lead solos, and dramatic interludes having to do with the catastrophic weather event the track is titled after. Exceptional tracks are the Baroque-styled (harpsichord piano) “Earthquake” and the lengthy (just over 9 minutes in length) “Tornado” (due to it's being the only track with vocal samples in it as well)...but really each and every track on the album is exceptional in its own right. Whether it's because of some wacky time signature break, the nicely interwoven layers, a great “keyboard” passage, or the sometimes neck-breaking speedy solos...each and every track gets the listener's immediate attention, and one is compelled to continue listening until the end of the album. Those fortunate enough to have thought of pushing the “continuous play” button at the beginning of a listening session, will probably take a short breather when the first track is begun again...allowing for further analysis of the album's melodic complexity. To get an idea of what the album's like, Lubera put 30-second samples of 6 of the tracks (as well as two full-length “videos”) in the “Music” section of his own website (www.), and if you're looking for somewhat longer samples of those same tracks, check what's posted at (www.) If you're into instrumental guitar music, you'll know from listening to these samples that Global Warning is an album you'll want to have in your collection...or at least that's how I personally feel about this. Great stuff, worthy of a year-list nomination (should settle quite comfortably in the Top 10 or Top 5 of the “Instrumental Music” section!). Score: 98/100

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