Words cannot adequately describe the immensity of the impact Richard Wagner's music has had upon me. Before I experienced Der Ring Des Nibelungen, I was all about the guitar, my only goals involved becoming progressively better on the instrument, to the virtual exclusion of anything else regarding music. Interestingly, I first got turned onto Wagner's art through my exposure to Manowar, in particular their epic album Gods of War, and I remain heavily indebted to that band and album, for my subsequent initiation into Wagner's last four operas brought with it a dire compulsion to teach myself everything I could about music composition, arrangement, and orchestration, carrying on into today with my obsessive studies in music production and engineering. One could say my eyes, ears, and heart were opened to regarding music from a far bigger perspective...just as Tony Iommi first compelled me to fall in love with lead guitar, Wagner, from a similarly visceral level, motivated my understanding of and passion for music as Art.
His music is, for me, a wonderful adventure, a gift that literally keeps on giving, for the care and attention he gave to his art yields unlimited rewards upon repeated appreciations. Though I have little regard for the composer as a man, as an Artist I hold no other in higher regard. To me he was the Shakespeare of opera, the greatest pioneer of my most beloved musical genre. Here's to you, Ultimate Maestro of Metal.