Following the same outline of his previous two solo instrumental albums, 1993's Introspection and 1994's Uncertain Terms, Greg Howe's Parallax doesn't offer any surprises, but delivers mind-blowing guitar performances by the truckload. Howe continues to explore the more "outside" chromaticisms heard in fusion more often than rock, while his guitar tone has evolved from a brash, metallic sound (heard in his earlier work) to a smooth, compressed signal, which suits his extended legato forays quite well. Although the production values are rather clinical-sounding (especially those triggered drums), there's plenty of spirited playing here. The wah-wah-inflected funk soloing of the opening track "Howe 'Bout It" is frenetic and fun, and is the most accessible stuff on the album. Elsewhere, Howe's ability to cover sheer chromatic yardage in a single bound is nothing short of astounding; combining melodic arpeggio ideas, atonal passages, and unbelievable wide-interval phrasing, he is a virtual catalog of all modern guitar techniques. Each solo, while delivered with jaw-dropping speed and stamina, has a logical sense of phrasing behind it, making it more than just pure flash. It all gets a bit samey after a while, especially to the average listener. But guitar geeks will revel in the over-the-top decadence of this highly indulgent instrumental shred-fest.