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"Rising Force with A touch of Evil: The saga of a young


 Today the world of Heavy metal begins to tremble anticipating the great invasion of a higher force bound to unleash. Hold on to your swords and raise hail, mighty warriors of rock n' roll, I'm speaking of no other than the knight of the "Rising Force-with A Touch of Evil", the only and only guitar maestro Tom Birkenmeyer.

Every fairy tale unfolds with "Once upon a time" and has its ending. This intriquing saga of a young guitarist's dreams and musical journey will focus and obey rather by the laws of a beautiful beginning who's fate is eternal.

Once upon my time I came across a 24 year old rising guitar warrior from Kenosha, Wisconsin. Immediately struck by his great talent, skill, and ambition, I knew that I was gazing at the future star predestined to claim his "Rising Force". Tom's music cast its powerful spell from the very first note. Highly influenced by guitar gods such as Yngwie Malmsteen, Andy Laroque, and many other great classical virtuosos, his music spilled from the strings in the dazzling cascades combining both drama and light. Tom's solos simply intoxicating, intricately weaving patterns of striking arpeggios and baroque motifs escaping his keyboards.

This warrior went through the endless hours of practice, recording, composing, never stopping and always believing in his dream along the path. His band was only a one man's party but Tom's greatest dream was to create original music with professional musicians who shared in that same ambition, passion, and tastes. being a musician myself I completely shared in Tom's urge and passion to come through, embracing much of frustration and hopes as we spoke discussing our musical futures.

Fairy tales and dreams do come true and I'm a firm believer in this. However, fairy tales and dreams have a greater chance to come true for those who strive and work hard to achieve their goals, never giving up their hopes. Today i'm honored and proud to write this column for Tom, a rising guitar star who's now a lead guitarist of a marvelous band "A touch of Evil". Expressing my excitement and extending my good wishes in my latest conversation with Tom our tongues touched on the subject of "Confidence vs. Ego". The issue of Ego that strikes so many stars swallowing their talent and true inner goals, as well as the word by crowns name stars by the audience.

The maestro stated some very strong opinions regarding this matter. he believes that every individual should strive to grant something unique to this world while developing and shining with each's talent. A person that possesses a great skill or a talent and works hard at his dreams endeed has a right to be proud of himself. Some people claim this to be a snobbery, confusing confidence and pride over a great achievement with an ignorant individual who merely likes to bost and show off his talents or the lack of such. Often such statements come from the individuals flooded with jealousy or not lacking any ambition and strength for a higher achievement, becoming a failure and therefore feeling the need of calling others a failure or a snob. As the great maestro Yngwie Malmsteen wrote in one of his ballads " Only the strong will survive, stand tall and reach for the sky, don't wait for no one". Tom's feels very optimistic and happy about his music and has much to be proud of. I also know that this warrior will achieve much more to be proud of in the future. Hail to you mighty knight of arpeggios!!!".

Ylayna, "Eye of the Fire"


My Guitar playing and song writing is influenced by metal gods like Yngwie Malmsteen, Randy Rhoads, Jason Becker, C.C. Deville, John Sykes, Marty Friedman, Dave Mustaine, Kirk Hammet (Pre-load days of course), Rex Carroll, Oz Fox and Paul Gilbert. My song writing inspirations don't just stop at the mighty axe men I have just listed. I'm also very much inspired by virtuoso's in other styles of music as well such as blues legend Jeff Healy. Classical music also plays a great role in my inspiration for writing my more euphoric blend of melodic metal guitar engaged in intricate but passionate dialogues between shredding and slow moving guitar lines, keyboards and medieval/baroque like organ solos. Johann Sebastian Bach is mainly responsible for this, along with scattered pieces by Ludwig Van Beethoven, Pachelbell, Antonio Vivaldi and Paganini. I'm also inspired by great singers such as Sebastian Bach (X-skid row), Geoff Tate (Pre-here in the now frontier), Rob Halford, Steven Pearcy, David Wayne, Mike Howe, Michael Sweet and Blackie Lawless. My own personal sources of inspiration doesn't just stop with musicians. I have my favorite musicians of all instruments and many styles of music, however, inspiration comes from everywhere. It can come from a beautiful sunset over the ocean or a violent thunder and lightning storm in the night. Sometimes the way I may feel about someone or something could inspire me to come up with expressive ideas that will enlighten my life.


King Diamond & Andy LaRoque

When talking about my inspirations, what more could be said than King Diamond and Andy LaRoque? King and Andy have inspired me more than ANY other source of inspiration I have ever had before. These two masterminds in my opinion have always been the MOST underestimated individuals in the ENTIRE music industry. Pioneer's of metal and all music. Genius composers, producers, live entertainers, performers, musicians etc etc... Though Andy isn't quite the "live" entertainer that King is, he has a certain humble quality about himself that perfectly suits his personality to a T! It's amazing how he can be so unbelievably talented and yet so humble about it. I have NEVER seen such a humble musician put on such an EXCITING show before. I don't believe anyone can pull it off quite like Andy can. A humble "live" performance is usually a boring "live" performance. That is the very magic of the one and only Andy LaRoque. King and Andy are both magical, impressive, humble, eccentric, inspirational, mysterious and amazingly talented as individuals and as a team!


My Vision.

I like to combine both drama and light and deliver the two extremes in a message that's both powerful and positive. I write all of the compositional parts by myself, today my project still remains a one man band, however, my greatest dream is to turn this project into a band with musicians who share the musical vision as well as a vision for a Live show which will consist of Alice Cooper, Wasp, King Diamond and Mercyful Fate like theatrics and masquerading to bring out the music even more. A live show that is not only audio stimulating, but VERY visually stimulating as well to create a more than complete and overwhelming experience for seeing a live band. I am from the Kenosha Wisconsin area, about half way between Milwaukee WI and Chicago IL. If you or someone you may know might be interested in this please write to me at [email protected]. I also have a flier at http://www.eyesoffire.net/advert.html . You have my permission to send it, print it, distribute it etc. etc. to however many people and places you want to. The more exposure the more likely it is for the world to see my vision come to life!


Eyes of Fire 1995. laws #1 , laws #2


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