Michael Lessard (The Contortionist) Debuts “Use The Rest” Single and Video, Debut Solo Album Incoming

Michael Lessard (The Contortionist,  Last Chance To Reason) has released a new single and music video today titled ‘Use The Rest,’ his first solo debut single via Good Fight Music. The music video, directed by Lessard himself, is impactful upon a first viewing. “I’m beyond excited to announce the release of my debut song to the world!” says Lessard. “I’ve worked very hard to make a song and video that I thought would be the best representation of what is to come.”  Continue reading

The Contortionist – Clairvoyant

The transformation The Contortionist have undertaken since their inception has been quite simply staggering. From their heavier but still progressive-nuanced Deathcore-like début album Exoplanet (Good Fight), they evolved and changed (considerable line-up changes aside) into a much more melodic, post-rock and even jazz influenced outfit by the time of 2014’s Language only two albums later. Venturing even further down the rabbit hole, latest album Clairvoyant (both eOne) branches even further from their early Tech Metal roots, thus showing even further expansion and breaking of limits. Continue reading

Video: Caricature – Stampede Lyric Video

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Ghost Cult brings you the new lyric video from New England’s Caricature today. ‘Stampede’ is a 27 minute long progressive metal epic about Caricature front man Joseph Spiller and his cat, Parmesan.  You can watch the video at this link or below:

The Stampede EP is available  for purchase from Caricature’s Bandcamp. Front man Joseph Spiller, who also produced the video and graphic design for the project, detailed the origin of the track and his relationship with Parmesan for Heavy Blog Is Heavy:

“Some people might be wondering why I made a song that is almost a half hour long about my cat. Well, he’s awesome. That’s why. Bands go out and write about a lot of stuff like quantum physics that they don’t actually understand, murders they would never commit, women/men they will never get up on, so why not pay tribute to a member of the family that gives everything he can at all times, had a rough start to life, and who’s story intertwines with my own?

I was really sick and in and out of the hospital/seeing doctors weekly/all around having a real dumpster fire of a time back in 2014 and start to finish there was over a year and a half where I was battling some complications from Crohn’s Disease that were further complicated by a not very ideal environment. I don’t remember a lot due to how sick I was and the different types of meds the doctors had me on, but I do remember hearing this tiny kitten in the middle of the road in front of my house crying as if his life depended on it who was blind and couldn’t walk. I was using the walls and my wife to hold myself up and get places, but even though I was home alone, I got myself outside to get him before a car hit him. From there it was the both of us fighting to get better. When I would pass out for 20 hours at a time, he would lay on me and watch over me then lick me to wake me up. I don’t remember a lot for a good 8 months, but I remember him.

I wanted to create an “Experience” track. Something that wasn’t just told by the lyrics but by the tone of the instruments and how they were being used; overall moods in the music. Having a song as epic as my cat, Parmesan was only fitting. The song turned into this 27+ minute jam. Long to the point where it doesn’t fit on our upcoming album The Fiction We’ve Become, so it only made sense to make it a stand alone release. Evan Sammons [Last Chance To Reason] had his hands full with the album plus running his own studio, So I took the reigns and played almost everything on this one and even built a custom 8 string guitar that i call the “Parmcatster” for this one. Gerry came in and played some awesome leads and killed it on the mix. We wanted it to sound clean, but not overly edited. Real people playing real music and to top it off, there are samples from videos that I took of Parmesan while he was growing up that we have sprinkled throughout the song. Ken Sorceron [Abigail Williams, The Accuser, Lord Mantis, Ex Aborted] came in and saved my ass at the end and made sure the master was sounding right too. We hope people enjoy this one and go home and give their furry friends a big hug.”

 

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Featuring Evan Sammons (Last Chance To Reason) on drums, ‘Stampede’ was produced and recorded by Spiller, mixed by guitarist Gerrard Vachon, and as has contributions from Ken Sorceron (Abigail Williams). It is the second new track to appear in advance of Caricature’s next full-length album,The Fiction We’ve Become due later in 2016.

Video: Caricature To Release 27 Minute Song About A Cat

Carciature Stampede cover ghostcultmag

Caricature has teased a brand new song, reported to be a 27-minute long epic progressive metal song titled ‘Stampede’, due for release at the end of the month. Moreover, the song is based on frontman Joseph Spiller and his friendship with his cat, Parmesan. You can watch the teaser at this link or below:

 

 

Metal Injection reported the story and interviewed Spiller about the track:

“Long-ass song about a cat. Crazy, right? I wanted to do a longer song and have parts that breathed naturally, that get inside you and that build. Too often in heavier music, I find that artists will have these incredible parts that crop up and vanish so fast that they never get a chance to go develop properly. I didn’t set out to make a super long song, but as I wrote, a longer song just felt right. When it came to finding inspiration for lyrics, my cat Parmesan was always sitting next to me or trying to play. He’s my number one guy and after singing songs to him for fun and being tired of heavy bands telling completely fictitious stories of acts of violence that they themselves would never commit, fake ‘scientific’ dissertations, tall tales, and the like, it felt right to tell his story instead. I was very, very sick when I brought this tiny blind, dying kitten into my home. His mother, who was a stray, led him into the middle of the street in front of my house then left him crying and unable to move. I could barely get out of bed, but I heard him and rushed out as fast as I could and that was the beginning of a broship for the ages. This is the tale of both of us fighting to get better, set to music that was fueled by listening to Symphony X, Steven Wilson, ISIS, and Ihsahn.”

 

In addition to Spiller (Too Late The Hero, The Binary Code), Caricature’s current lineup features Last Chance to Reason drummer Evan Sammons. ‘Stampede’ will be the second new track made available from the forthcoming new full-length Caricature album The Fiction We’ve Become later this year. The first track was the recently released ‘Eat shit And Die’, which you can see the video for at this link below. To celebrate the release of these tracks, you can buy it and the entire Caricature discography (Shadows (maxi single) release, The Sound Of One Man’s World Collapsing and The Birth By Sleep EP) at a 20% discount via Bandcamp. 

 

 

 

Caricature on Facebook

Caricature on Twitter

Caricature on YouTube

 

 

On The Road… with Tesseract and The Contortionist

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Progressive metal stars Tesseract have hit the ground running hard since the release of their new album Polaris (Kscope) in 2015. Re-energized by returning vocalist Daniel Tompkins and new horizons to reach for musically, the band has been slaying out on tour. Will a huge headline run of dates in their native United Kingdom, as well as the rest of Europe, rabid fans were in a froth. Especially to see Tompkins, who is truly a great conduit vocally and lyrically for what the bands lays down. Most of the shows on the tour are already sold-out, attesting to the greatness of this band; already a modern legend. On this night at Rescue Rooms in Nottingham, the band was supported directly by like-minded US proggers The Contortionist and Nordic Giants (not pictured). The Contortionist themselves are another great young band, with a similar career arc of the headliners. Now fronted by Michael Lessard (Last Chance To Reason), the band is touring hardcore behind their own recent release the “Rediscovered” version of their album Language (eOne). As for the headliners, if you have ever seen them live, they are masterful performers. On this night they crafted a set list highlighting their newest work, but always remembering the moments from older albums that got them here in the first place. Captured here for Ghost Cult by Luke Denham of Luke Denham Photography, you get a glimpse one of tomorrow’s best band, today.

TesseracT set list:

Phoenix

Messenger

Concealing Fate, Part Two: Deception

Concealing Fate, Part Three: The Impossible

Of Matter: Proxy

Of Matter: Retrospect

Of Matter: Resist

Dystopia

Hexes

Survival

April

Of Mind: Nocture

Concealing Fate, Part One: Acceptance

 

Tesseract, by Luke Denham Photography

Tesseract, by Luke Denham Photography

 

Tesseract, by Luke Denham Photography

Tesseract, by Luke Denham Photography

 

Tesseract, by Luke Denham Photography

Tesseract, by Luke Denham Photography

 

The Contortionist, by Luke Denham Photography

The Contortionist, by Luke Denham Photography

 

The Contortionist, by Luke Denham Photography

The Contortionist, by Luke Denham Photography

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Audio: Caricature Releases New Single – Eat Shit And Die

Caricature Eat Shit And Die Album cover

New England progressive metal outfit Carciature have released their long-awaited new single ‘Eat Shit And Die’. You can hear the track and see a mind-blowing visualizer at this link or below:

 

Led by guitarist/vocalist Joseph Spiller (Too Late The Hero, The Binary Code, System Divide ) and featuring drummer Evan Sammons (Last Chance to Reason), ‘Eat Shit And Die’ is the first track from their next full length album, The Fiction We’ve Become, due later in 2016. To celebrate the release of the track you can buy it and the bands entire discography (Shadows (maxi single) release, The Sound Of One Man’s World Collapsing and The Birth By Sleep EP) at a 20% discount via Bandcamp. 

 

Caricature on Facebook

Caricature on Twitter

Caricature on YouTube

 

 

Progressive Metallers Caricature Release Maxi Single, Shadows Fall Gig Booked

Caricature Shadows maxi single cover 2015

Boston progressive metal band Caricature released their long-awaited new music in the form of Shadows: Maxi Single on June 23rd. The release is a preview of The Fiction We’ve Become, Caricature’s next album, due out later in 2015. The entire EP is available to stream as well as purchase from their Bandcamp page

Shadows (Maxi-Single) track listing:

1. Shadows

2. Leave It

3. Current State of Affairs

4. Saviors II (Oscar Nilsson Version)

Metal Injection recently streamed the premiere of the track ‘Shadows’:

The band has booked a show opening for the recently active Shadows Fall. More tour dates are incoming soon.

Caricature, by Meg Loyal Photography

Caricature, by Meg Loyal Photography

 

Caricature tour dates:

Aug 23rd: Mill City Basin – Lowell, MA – with Shadows Fall, Carnivora, Oath, Aversed and Still Well Angel

Caricature on Bandcamp

Caricature on Facebook

Caricature on Twitter

Caricature – Shadows: The Maxi Single

Caricature Shadows maxi single cover 2015

What does it take for a band nowadays to make a real impact with their music? This is the question everyone trying to make at playing music for a living has to answer. A band that left an impression on me a few years ago was Boston’s Caricature. 2013’s The Sound of One Man’s World Collapsing hit me like a ton of bricks, right as the current wave of progressive metal was starting to crest. After a two-year absence the band has returned with Shadows: The Maxi Single to inspire listeners and to reaffirm their place among the leaders of the prog genre.

‘Shadows’ itself is a beast of a track that has everything and the kitchen sink thrown in for fans of this music. Crushing guitar riffs, percolating beats, great melodies all make it sizzle and pop. The chorus is a guaranteed earworm that I’ve already been singing for days. Caricature’s master and commander Joseph Spiller (System Divide, Too Late The Hero, The Binary Cody) is well-known for his deft touch when it comes to writing intricate prog and tech death, but there are some amazing subtle parts to be discovered with each listen in just this track alone. With drums provided by powerhouse Evan Sammons (Last Chance to Reason), the combination of the two is a potent one. The sweetness of the chorus of ‘Shadows’ carries over to the breezy ‘Leave It’. The uptempo djent-fest is flat-out uplifting.

‘Current State of Affairs’ comes in with jarring sound, not unlike a Bernard Herman vamp from The Twilight Zone. After that it’s straight to the serial murder brutality of guitars and whipping drums, capped with ungodly screams from Spiller. A lot of bands like to claim Meshuggah as an influence, half-mock their signature style, and then call it a day. With Caricature, the band can actually play parts like Meshuggah, but write catchy original songs that aren’t derivative. ‘Saviors II (Oscar Nilsson Version)’ serves as a neat final track, summing things up.

Shadows: The Maxi Single is a nice re-introduction to the band and will mint new fans from those who rep bands as different as TesseracT and Gojira. Their next full-length The Fiction We’ve Become, is due later this year and we’re already looking forward to it.

8.5/10

KEITH CHACHKES

Audio: Caricature Stream New Single Shadows, Pre-Order New Maxi-Single

Caricature Shadows maxi single cover 2015

 

Progressive metallers Caricature have released a new song, ‘Shadows’, available as a stream. Hear the track at this link or below:

‘Shadows’ comes off of the new full length album, The Fiction We’ve Become, due out later this year and produced by death metal producer/guitar legend James Murphy (Death, Testament, Obituary). The EP is the follow-up to the bands’ last full length The Sound of One Man’s World Collapsing in 2013. The new track and three more songs are available on the Shadows Maxi-Single, dropping on June 22nd. The EP was produced by Caricature mastermind Joseph Spiller and drummer Evan Sammons (Last Chance To Reason) and features vocal production by Greg Macklin (Jeff Loomis). The entire EP is available to stream and pre-order as well from the bands’ Bandcamp page.

Shadows (Maxi-Single) track listing:

1. Shadows

2. Leave It

3. Current State of Affairs

4. Saviors II (Oscar Nilsson Version)

 

Caricature on Facebook

Caricature on Twitter

Last Chance To Reason – Level 3

Last-Chance-to-Reason-Level-3Last Chance To Reason is essentially a dead band and Level 3 (Prosthetic Records) represents their final fling. For those new to the band this is the third interactive album that matches to a video game (which I haven’t played) and there’s plenty of game noises thrown in here and there to make sure you don’t forget. It’s progressive technical metal full of bass grooves and chugging, arpeggios and riffs from guitar, driving drums and rather quiet and highly-processed clean vocals sharing with a bit of harsh. There’s a large measure if synth building depth that contrasts with sparse moments and even some well-placed silence. Continue reading