Introducing the talents of Stefan Petanovski! Here we have a young guitarist on the rise from Macedonia. Just from watching him play, it’s abundantly obvious he’s been hard at work for a few years now and it’s all come to this… The release of Stefan Petanovski’s debut full-length album going by the name “Architect of Reality”!

The album was just put out for the masses this week and is currently available on just about all major music platforms online with a base through CD Baby. This includes the likes of Amazon music, Deezer, Spotify, iTunes, Google play music, etc.

This is a guitar driven effort to be sure. 12 tracks build the framework of this listening experience. You can give a listen for yourself through the streaming links provided across this page!

It’s an experience that could easily be placed under the umbrella of Progressive music but it also draws from metal, rock, fusion, and more as Stefan flexes his creative side through this instrumental medium. With that being said, the sound could easily be recommended for fans of Dream Theater, Steve Vai, Plini, and the like.

Now, how does the architecture of this particular reality hold up? Let’s give it a good knock and see!

It beigns with a ~30 second “Introduction” track which soon dips into the chugs of an “Awakening”. At this point, the record takes off like a rocket to space with nimble guitar work. This is merely the beginning of the full blown listening experience that is “Architect of Reality” and serves as a worthy introduction when push comes to shove.

Every track put forward is chalk full of quality moments. Some of my personal favorites would have to be “Tricky Maze” with it’s complex riffing and overall creativity, “Hot Coffee” as an awesome side step into very interesting territory both in terms of percussion and delivery, “Timelapse” is equal parts smooth and heavy, “Multifacted” is quite literally multifacted, and the duo “Banquet of Life” tracks close things out rather nicely with combined ideas over a 20 minute spread. In reality, that’s barely scratching the surface of what “Architect of Reality” has to offer.

On the downside, the record could do with some more real instruments. The drums, while functional, lack the lust of life that many music loving ears desire. Furthermore, the production of the album also leaves something to be desired. That’s not to say this is a bad sounding record by any stretch… it could simply use more polish to stand with 2019 contemporaries in this particular field. Also certain decisions like the snap and hi-hat stutter percussion on “Isolation” and the cowbell on “Altered State of Mind” are questionable.

Some sections of the composition could also be tighter. The majority of the time, Stefan hits well but there are some misses present. This is apparent from the first tracks onward. However, as said and said again, Stefan typically does a great job on this front.

Honestly, whatever shortcomings are on this album are mostly made up for by the sheer skill and ideas behind the primary performance. It’s also notable that Stefan handled not only the guitar playing but bass, programming, engineering, mixing, and more all by himself making this a truly DIY effort from just about head to toe.

He only handed off mastering duties to Damir Puh who was also a guest on the album with a guitar solo on the track “Remember”. Other guests included Viktor Zahariev with a guitar solo on “Multifacted”, Pellumb Qerimi providing a guitar solo on “Timelapse”, Slavko Gorgiev laying down a saxophone solo on “Bound By Blood”, and Ana Petanovska with the vocal segments on both “Banquet of Life” tracks. The album art was done by Nasko Dzorlev.

More than anything, when listening to “Architect of Reality”, I can hear raw potential. This is the kind of high octane DIY record that a blooming artist should put together to learn and create before they explode to greatness. We’ve seen it countless times before from some of our favorites. It’s an exhibition of throwing ideas at the wall to see what sticks and ultimately build up a sound. I would definitely say there is potential for said greatness in Stefan Petanovski. We’ll just have to wait and see how it ultimately blooms.

To bring it all to conclusion, this is a good album. It is flawed in some ways but it’s not enough to deny the experience as a whole. I’m sure a great number of you will end up enjoying the raw talents of Stefan Petanovski with interest in seeing him grow further. In the end, my thoughts about this record hovered at a 7 out of 10 so that’s the score we’ll stick with.

Just to repeat, you can give a listen to the music yourself through the streaming links provided on this very page! You can also add the music to your personal collection by paying a visit to CD Baby. Amazon music, Deezer, Spotify, iTunes, and Google play music are all options as well.

If you’d like to keep up with Stefan, he has an established presence on social networks like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. Show some love!

That’s all we have for today. Enjoy the music!

Links: Facebook // Instagram // YouTube // CD Baby