Allan Holdsworth (guitar); Gary Husband, Mac Hine, Chad Wackerman (drums); Jimi Johnson, Gary Willis (bass); Alan Pasqua (keyboards); Paul Williams, Paul Korda (vocals).
Allan Holdsworth is among the most elusive and enigmatic of guitar heroes: as important to rockers such as Eddie Van Halen and Steve Vai as he is to renegade electric jazzmen like Frank Zappa and Dave Fiuczynski. Yet for all his overwhelming technical command, his albums have been wildly uneven. On Metal Fatigue's title track and "In the Mystery," Holdsworth's sensual chordal backdrops and bold, expansive rhythmic changes are mitigated by sappy "If I Were King of the Forest," vocals, a pointless nod to the faux song-form posturings of progressive rock bands, which are meant to justify all the "musicianship" but serve only to steer listeners away from some rip-roaring solos. Still, if you can filter out the odd bits, Metal Fatigue offers a bite-sized freeze-frame of Holdsworth's essential artistry. Holdsworth's digitally delayed chordal raindrops on "Home" serve as a churchy backdrop for some simple, expressive acoustic guitar. But for devout pilgrims, Holdsworth's anthemic solo on "Devil" is the full monty. Holdsworth's canny use of whang-bar vibrato and rapid hammer-on effects give his fleet, soaring lines a horn-like aura that transcends the instrument itself, bordering on the realm of pure speech and song.