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April 20, 2023

Extreme continue their explosive comeback and highlight Nuno Bettencourt’s virtuosity in two scorching new singles



Hear the heavy riffs and mind-melting solos of #Rebel and Banshee – the latest tracks to be lifted from the band’s upcoming album, Six

Last month, Extreme returned for their first single in 15 years – titled Rise – which saw their resident electric guitar hero Nuno Bettencourt scale mind-boggling six-string heights that had just about every guitar fan talking.

Now, Extreme have followed up their explosive return with two hard-riffing tracks, titled Banshee and #Rebel – and, naturally, Bettencourt completely knocks it out the park once again.

If you thought Rise was good, you won’t be surprised to hear these two tracks continue its fine form, with each bringing to the table two of 2023’s finest guitar riffs and a pair of guitar solos that look to rival Rise in terms of both phrasing and technicality.

Banshee has an almost blues-rock swagger, with the punchy riffs of the opening exchanges giving way to some more sauntering progressions by the time the solo comes around, as Bettencourt traverses the fretboard by way of box-breaking runs and blink-and-you’ll-miss-them licks.

It’s joined by #Rebel, which doubles down on the hard rock direction and gives the Washburn-wielding titan greater opportunity to truly let loose on almost one minute of wailing bends, untethered tapping lines and soaring melodies.

Not only do these two offerings signal that Extreme’s upcoming album, Six, is shaping up to be one of the most anticipated guitar albums of the year, they also make good on the band’s word that listeners should “expect the unexpected” with the effort.

Likewise, Rise, Banshee and #Rebel all seemingly confirm Bettencourt’s tease that listeners will “hear a lot of fire on the record”.

Indeed, the three singles all highlight Bettencourt’s virtuosity, but frame it in slightly different sonic arenas, be it the swaggering blues-rock feel of Banshee or the no-holds-barred riff fest that is Rise.

“Whatever you think an Extreme album is after two or even three songs, it’s not,” asserted Bettencourt. “That goes for every record we’ve ever done. True Extreme fans know to ‘expect the unexpected’.

“I feel like we need a good old school rock album. Six is definitely modern, but you can put on headphones and go on a journey from top-to-bottom. It’s like ‘Extreme 2.0’.”

When Rise first arrived, it was accompanied by a telling admission from Bettencourt, who said he “felt some responsibility to keep guitar playing alive” following the passing of Eddie Van Halen.

This renewed sense of self-responsibility to keep the guitar god persona alive seems like it will be a constant throughout Six, which is set to arrive June 6 via earMUSIC. Six will be Extreme’s first album since 2008’s Saudades de Rock.

In an upcoming interview with Total Guitar, Bettencourt recalled the recording of Six – and specifically of Rise, during which he was paid a visit by none other than Eddie Van Halen.