'In the Shadows of Madness,' the debut solo EP from guitarist Jake Dreyer, has been getting a lot of play at Noisecreep headquarters. Influenced by shred-beasts like Jason Becker, Jeff Loomis and Paul Gilbert, the 3-song collection features some of the most adventurous fretboard work we've heard in years.

"My dad was always playing music in our house. I started playing guitar when I was 6-years old and I remember he played 'Hells Bells' from AC/DC one day. I instantly knew that I wanted to do that too. I was hooked," says Dreyer during a recent conversation with Noisecreep. "Like anyone else, my tastes broadened over the years. So once I started progressing in my playing, I looked for heavier bands like Megadeth and Testament. But once I got into high school I discovered all of the Shrapnel Records guys, but Yngwie Malmsteen was the first guitarist I heard that really changed my life. There was something about his playing that just pulled me in," remembers Dreyer.

The 19-year old axe wizard was playing in a speed metal band in high school when he first heard 'Rising Force,' Malmsteen's 1984 groundbreaking album. "The other guitarist in my band was more into guys like Joe Satriani and Steve Vai, but I remember when we first discovered Yngwie at the same time. We were blown away by the 'Rising Force' album. From there we wanted to get better. While the other kids we knew would spend their Saturdays trying to get chicks and nerd it up listening to Green Day, we were in my bedroom trying to shred [laughs].

"I didn't know that many people in my age group that liked the kind of guitarists that I did when I was younger. It wasn't till YouTube exploded that I found all of these other freaks like me. It felt good to know that I wasn't alone. I think the shred stuff is coming back," says Dreyer.

Listen to 'Beyond the Tranquil Descent' from Jake Dreyer

That doesn't mean Dreyer is all flash and no substance. His playing style reveals a mature balance of dexterous soloing and tasteful compositional skills. Noisecreep wouldn't be surprised if an established band scooped up the young guitarist. "That's something I'm totally open to. The ideal situation would be something where I can write and show off my personality. You look at Gus G. joining Ozzy Osbourne's band and that's the kind of thing I'm talking about. That would be my personal goal. Something established, but heavy."

Noisecrep asked Dreyer if he's gotten any offers yet. "I'm currently talking with a couple of bands, but that's all I can say for now." We tried.

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