Age of Heroes Guests

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So, Age of Heroes finally has a release date. In case you missed it, it’s February 3, 2017.

I thought I’d write a short piece on why this album is kind of exciting for me, and differs from my earlier ones. This won’t be the last post on the album. I’ll probably do a song-by-song run through with stories at some point. This, however, is the post about the people who feature on the album, and for me these people are a really big deal. If you don’t like reading, and just want to watch a video, there’s a song from the album at the bottom of this post.

This album saw me realize a dream. I have always wanted to have people I consider influences appear on an album of mine. I dreamt of playing with Steve Vai or Yngwie Malmsteen (the list goes on and on…), and on this album I saw that happen. I got Derek Sherinian (ex Dream Theater, Yngwie Malmsteen keyboard player who also toured with Billy Idol, Kiss and Alice Cooper) to play a killer solo on one of the tracks. One of the best feelings I’ve ever had was listening to his solos. It was like listening to a classic guitar versus keyboard solo battle a lá Yngwie Malmsteen, but with me taking the place of Yngwie. Here I was on the same track with a guy whose albums I have in my CD collection and who I’ve listened to for ages.

The second artist to feature was none other than Viking guitar maestro Mattias IA Eklundh of Freak Kitchen. He’s a guy who has truly influenced my playing. I did my solos after he sent me what he’d done, and that was downright terrifying. His technique is so clean and he’s so creative that I sat there thinkin: “Damn! He’s from another planet. What do I do now?”. The end result was great. Absolutely smashing stuff.

In addition to those two I got the extremely talented Janne and Emil to feature on one song, where we did a three guitar battle. That was really fun. They pulled out all the stops and so did I. Sasa Opacic, who mastered the record, and who is also my old guitar teacher, sat there listening to it shaking his head, going: “You guys are nuts!”

Those are some of my proudest moments as a musician, but this album also features other things I consider better than anything I’ve done before. Just one example is the song “Three Days of Peace”. I don’t know what happened there, but it came out all magical (at least for me). I didn’t even have a melody for the B part when I was supposed to record it, but the whole thing just came together into something that’s absolutely beautiful. It’s the kind of thing that I can’t even take credit for, because I don’t know what I did. The song and the performance kind of just happened with me as almost a spectator.

So this is definitely the best album I’ve made to date (OK, one can’t compare it to the acoustic album, as it’s so totally different). I’m really proud of it, and excited, and I hope you enjoy it. I think you just might…

And here is the video. It’s me playing the song “The Grassy Gnoll” (this is the version I didn’t enter Guitar Idol with, the competition which I didn’t win). Many people think it sounds a lot like Joe Satriani, which is really odd to me. I don’t think it does too much. Most often I agree with people’s assesments of what I sound like, and most times it’s quite out in the open. But this one baffled me. Well, you be the judge…

Pre order the album at


  • Christina Avila says:

    It’s great.sounds like a yngwie tune mix of dragon force mixture of joe satriani it’s Fantastic how awesome to have those artists wow Incredible.I’m looking forward to hearing the whole album.Thanks for sharing with me.

  • Christina Avila says:

    It rocks Elmo WOW

  • Craig says:

    Sounds awesome, Elmo. No doubt about it, I can definitely hear the Satch in there, shades of “Surfing with the Alien” in some parts. I think it has to do with the way you have your tone set up, but I can’t put my finger on it exactly.

    At any rate, fantastic job!

  • Calvin Okelley says:

    more like Steve Vai,if we are comparing stuff,lol all Elmo

  • Calvin Okelley says:

    Steve Vai or maybe

  • Annica Å-O says:

    Sounds very good…….wonder if you are going to play in Sweden 2017 ?Would be nice if you do 🙂

  • Sorry Elmo…. I’ve been getting free songs sent to me by you for over a year now. I liked most of what I heard. This song makes it even easier to like you. Sounds a little like Satriani & Malmsteen, but not a lot. You have your own way of doing it. I like your heavier songs that were sent to me. This song isn’t really heavy, but it sounds great! 🙂 You definitely have a mastermanship with music! Keep up the great work. I’ll buy an album or some songs off of you yet. I’m always just so dang broke. Will do better. Cheers: Shane. 😀

  • Lou DeMarco says:

    Killer track, Elmo! Most of all, it is very original and sounds like you… but if I had to pick an influence for the composition, I think it is more reminiscent of Steve Vai than Joe Satriani, although I heard a few lines where some listeners might hear a Satch influence. You definitely add a sense of humor and playfulness to this that reminds me of early steve Vai. That being said… The phrasing, articulation and dynamics are top-notch. Can’t wait to hear the album!

    • elmojk says:

      Thanks Lou.
      What you say is probably why I was so surprised by the Satch comparisons. I always thought it was more of a Vai style thing. And yeah, a bit of humour is always good 🙂

  • Kenny Baker says:

    Sounding great Elmo,sorta other worldly at times,speed shredding alernating as would Via and the slow melodic overture as ALA Jeff Beck[my favorite section of that track….. love to hear the rest man,as a guitarist I appreciate you since you make me challenge my skills.and humbled I feel after listening to that…..Thank you Friend…
    Kenny Baker

    • elmojk says:

      Thank you very much Kenny.
      I know what you mean about the overture. I think it’s my favourite section of the song too.
      Playing the fast shred stuff is fun though 🙂

  • Cameron Santa Cruz says:

    Good stuff Elmo!

  • Mark warren says:

    Very tastefully done I liked it. I’m a guitar player of over 25 yrs and I don’t really pick apart songs at first I really try to enjoy and follow the flow/energy. So yes I enjoyed the groove good job Elmo!

  • Eugene says:

    Your a wizard, sounds really good Elmo.

  • Brian Meek says:

    Absolutely outstanding, Elmo.
    I don’t know enough adjectives to properly describe this…
    Great work.

  • dominic jones says:

    in my opinion as a guitar fan elmo,de track is heavily influenced vai,also I luv it,and if de other trax on de album come up to its standard it will b listened by me a lot.gr8 to have the guests u hav amazing.domo.

  • Kevin Toller says:

    Love it…if the rest of the album is up to this standard it’s going to be great. Some Satch and Vai vibes going on here, and some lovely Uli Jon Roth moments towards the end. We’ll all hear influences, but its what you do with them that makes it special. Thanks for this.

  • Terry Augar says:

    Wow!…simply superb playing Elmo!!…yes I have to agree with the rest. It has definate Yngwie and Satch!!, but, also the more heavy chords and fretwork of Vai with a good dose of Ritchie Blackmore on Amphetamine !!! and yet it is totally You. you have a unique sound all of your own. With all the other players somehow mind melded into your persona. An Awesome Guitarist, and mighty fine tunesmith 12/10 for me.

  • John Mather says:

    So tell me Elmo…….why aren’t you world famous? Love it!

  • Andrei says:

    It sounds fantastic. Thanks Elmo and Happy New Year to you!

  • Steve MacArthur says:

    Hi Elmo – great stuff, as always. To be honest, in listening to the less “shreddy” portions of the song, it really takes me back to Mr. Vai’s old boss, Frank Zappa (Black Napkins from Zoot Allures is a particular reference point), particularly in your use of various tonal elements, but also a little bit of Steve Howe in the closing section (I am, and probably always will be, a bit of a prog-head). Outstanding musicality – I pre-ordered Age of Heroes and I can’t wait to hear the rest of it! Cheers and a most delightful 2017 to you and your family.

  • Benno says:

    Only the first notes remind me to Steve Vai, the rest I think is perhaps an influence mixture, I hear a little bit Dream Theater, but I think mainly this is Elmo. It’s a great tune man!

  • RC Stilwell says:

    Very good work Elmo.. Best wishes for the new year!

  • Zeljo says:

    Great,great work !!!!!
    I’m guitar player too and I’m really impressed when I see someone to play like you do.
    You are so confident and so accurate.You have great technique , great sound,
    I really enjoy listening you.
    Absolutely outstanding.
    Best wishes for the New Year !!!

  • Dan Strayer says:

    I love it! It, um, sounds like that guy from Finland, Elmo Karjalainen……

  • Dan Strayer says:

    Hmmmm, I thought I left a comment here, but I don’t see it.

    I like this a lot!

  • Megan says:

    It was really good. I think that every guitarist has their own was of expressing themselves in the way that they play. I also think that some people do sound similar but also every one is different and everyone play differently.

  • Ann Jurmain says:

    I’m a little late to the party here but excellent.
    I love the combination of concentration, sense of humor and technique.
    A bit less shreddy than some previous songs I have heard from you, but I like the melodic blended in. A style all your own.

    • elmojk says:

      Thanks Ann! Better late than never 🙂
      Besides, I wouldn’t say you’re late. The album hasn’t even been released yet 😀

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