Scale The Summit’s new album will be titled V, due out this summer via Prosthetic Records. They have completed the recording of the album with Jamie King (Between the Buried and Me, The Contortionist) and he will begin mixing duties shortly. This also marks the recording debut of new drummer J.C. Bryant.
The Prog-Sphere label and website is accepting submissions from unsigned bands for their first ever Progstravaganza CD edition. They will review all submissions and then select 11 songs (up to 7 minutes in length) that will be sent for a final master. The deadline for submissions is September 10th, 2014.
The roots of Progstravaganza started as a compilation series from their label in 2010, and in the past have included such notable names as Astra, Scale the Summit, The Wrong Object, Exivious, Blotted Science, Soft Machine, Fughu, Galahad, and many more. The twentieth edition will be called Landmarks and besides new bands it will feature some of the artists that were featured on the previous samplers. Prog Sphere is also starting a mini-documentary series titled The Story of Progstravaganza, where some of the artists that were featured in the past will be talking about progressive music today.
On top of that, every band is showcased with an interview on the Progstravaganza website and is also featured on ProgSphere’s Progify streaming service. Baddass!
Besides the inclusion on the sampler, Progstravaganza CD also brings features in a special printed Progstravaganza magazine, 6-month promotional campaign, interviews, reviews, lyric/photo videos, polls, commentaries… More features will be added.
Artists interested in taking part on the first physical Progstravaganza edition can get in touch with Prog Sphere at email@example.com, with included link of a song and short biography.
One of the more underrated tours this summer so far that definitely should be getting a bigger buzz is the Cynic headline tour. On the strength of their excellent new album Kindly Bent To Free Us (Season of Mist) the band is embarking on coast to coast jaunt and taking with them some exciting bands to boot. Ghost Cult will be catching this tour in a few weeks near our HQ in Boston. Lucky for us Bostonians we have an abundance of great progressive music in this town with Berkelee School of Music and several prestigious local conservatoires. The second leg kicks off soon, so we will truly have a Prog Metal party in this town on the night of August 9th.
Kindly Bent To Free Us was our Album of The Month for March this year. As Cynic main man Paul Masvidal told Ghost Cult in a wide ranging interview for the cover of Issue #16, Cynic was never intended to be a band that re-made their seminal Focus album over and over:
“I mean it’s funny, because it’s the same attitude I have right now, the mindset I have right now, this is the same person that created Focus. They want us to to recreate a sound would have never happened had I not been this person. It contradicts the very nature of the band to try and play it safe, do something familiar, repeat a pattern, stay in a cocoon, of “we found a sound, let’s just recycle it”. That goes against everything this band represented. Especially at the beginning with Focus, we were going against the grain. Everyone was offended and everyone was confused, we had a really hard time back then. It took a while for people to come around and realize there was something there. And now they want to keep you in the same place. It’s the eternal dilemma that every artist goes through, that has a work that maybe it’s received well. It represents a time and place, and has a sort of historical reference, and people want to keep you there. They are forgetting, we change too. We evolve. Art is not a static thing. It is alive. The very nature of Cynic is to honor that process of being open and having skill as a musician, enough to develop a voice that keeps expanding and exploring. For me anything but that, would be the death of this project. It is all about a platform for freedom and exploration. Art is not a thing, it’s changing. That is how I view it. I can’t imagine it any other way.”
Cynic is not to be missed live and still pulls out many an old gem live from the Focus era. In addition to drummer Sean Reinert, Cynic is joined by bassist extraordinaire Sean Malone who rarely has toured with the band, in spite of playing on every recording the band has made. Joining Cynic that night will be three other bands. The atmospheric, piano driven jazzy alt-rock of The Reign of Kindo will surely mellow out the crowd ready to rock out. Meanwhile Lesser Key will thrill fans of bands as diverse as Failure and Pelican. Lesser Key has among its ranks former Tool bassist/co-founder Paul D’Amour. And last and not least, local Boston prog metal heroes Protean Collective are opening the bill. They are still supporting their recent epic album The Red and the Grey and are calling your name if you like Scale The Summit and other modern prog bands.
Like a bat out of hell……Ghost Cult #18 is here! The new issue features none other than Down on our cover.We interviewed Jimmy Bower about the changes in the band and their amazing new EP, Down IV, Part II. Issue #18 also includes interviews with Lacuna Coil, Beastmilk, Sevendust, Sabbath Assembly, Kyng, Amenra, ReVamp, Lord Dying, Anciients, and Dragged In To Sunlight. We also have complete coverage of the legendary Roadburn Festival, and a recap the 16th annual New England Metal And Hardcore Festival. Plus concert reviews from the likes of The Dillinger Escape Plan, Carcass, Red Fang, Scale The Summit, The Ocean, & The Atlas Moth. We also have special feature with the late Dave Brockie, as well our largest section of album reviews to date. Made especially for your tablet device or smartphone! Check it out and tell a friend!Twice!
With winter’s frozen spirit finally broken we got out on drizzly, but not too awful Sunday night to see some of sludge and prog’s finest bands at The Sinclair for the last night of this trek. Before the show we hung out at a local dive/diner Charlie’s Kitchen, where we sipped beers with buds, and our contest winner, who won two free tickets to the show, Mike Vargus, courtesy of Prosthetic Records. Thanks guys! Good times!
With the popularity of prog, especially local to Boston with Berklee School of Music right nearby, it was a confluence of music nerds, “girlfriend metal” types, hipsters, crusties, vest wearing mofos, and our usual army of Boston metal types in the house. It’s funny to me sometimes how clique-ish groups of people are at metal shows these days, in many way reminding me of the early 90s again. Silver Snakes from L.A. hit that stage first and sounded tight, but were a little uneven musically at the start. I think it was their set list because they got stronger as they played on. They play an energetic mix of post-hardcore and alt-metal that you can definitely get into. They had their fans in the house, so that helped.
The Atlas Moth came next, and when we last saw our mid-western sludge heroes, they blew our brains out opening for Gojira and Devin Townsend last year. In the meantime they have been hard at work recording their highly anticipated new album, The Old Believer (Profound Lore), due this June. The Atlas Moth has always been a humble bunch, willing to open for anyone, stick to their guns and slog it out on the road in vans for a long time. Judging by tonight’s performance, including three new songs, I think their days as an opening band are numbered. Doing what they do best, a slow-burn and churn of layered riffs and waves of sounds, and just bludgeoning the crowd sonically with songs like ‘Coffin Varnish’ and ‘Holes In the Desert’. The interplay of the band, especially Stavros Giannopoulos and Dave Kush who alternate guitars and vocals, just kills. Of the new numbers in the set, ‘Halcyon Boulevard’ was a real face peeler, and you could tell the band has advanced their sound once again. I was impressed with the quality of the volume tonight too, since sometimes the band is so loud, it hurts. Basically never trust a fart at The Atlas Moth show! You might regret it.
The Ocean was next and I was beyond excited to see them.. The co-headlining tour has afforded this musically adventurous troupe the ability to add a little more production value to their show now, which is great. Awash in blue lights and with a cool video screen full of quirky images synchronized to their set, the band put on a great show. Playing Pelagial (Metal Blade) in its entirety was a magical experience to witness. Granted, it was my personal favorite album of the year for 2013, so I have probably spun it more times than anyone except Robin Staps’ mom, but this heady masterpiece of an album was meant to be enjoyed complete, not unlike Dark Side of The Moon by Pink Floyd, or even more recently Crack The Skye by Mastodon. The band is very purposeful in their performance and definitely feel the heavy emotions of the music they play. Vocalist Loic Rossetti definitely plays to the crowd, although atypical of many singers, he spends most of his time lurking toward the back of the stage, except when singing. It was a masterful performance and as far as I could tell the music was played to perfection. I ended up missing the last quarter of their performance to do some interviews I had to conduct back stage, but I did catch the unexpected highlight of the night. Stavros from The Atlas Moth came out to do a lead vocal turn towards the end of the set. It was a pretty killer and the crowd was a little stunned. Some folks filed out after The Ocean, which is always a little disappointing.
Last up, Scale the Summit were due to hit the stage. With a little sparser set up that The Ocean, STS is a band I respect a great deal. Some instrumental prog bands and even some of your post metal bands like Rosetta and Pelican) try too hard to “put on a show” rather than just let the music do the talking. They set up quick with the lights up and started to play without so much as a word to start things off. Like their co-headliners, Scale the Summit made great use of the video screen behind them. I had seen the band as an opener, but never for a headlining set and certainly not on as big. Each man played their instrument to perfection as they had the audience entranced with their music. Well, most of the audience. I definitely saw a few put upon girlfriends and spouses who were dragged out tonight, likely against their wills. Meanwhile the band, fairly oblivious to the audience for them most part, played with a lot of passion and not really machine-like perfection, but with a lot of soul. STS is heavy, but a different kind of heavy. They definitely leaned on The Collective and The Migration for the set list, but there were few complaints. It was a very enjoyable show and the again, staying true to what the band is about: simplicity in style, and outstanding musicianship. After the show the band hung out and signed autographs and took pictures with fans, which was really cool too. We caught up with Chris Letchford to thank him for the show, and talk about their upcoming prog cruise show opening for Yes.
Ghost Cult Magazine, in collaboration with Prosthetic Records wants to send you and a friend to the last date of the upcoming Scale The Summit tour stop at The Sinclair in Cambridge, MA on March 30th. The tour also features The Ocean, The Atlas Moth, and Silver Snakes. The Sinclair is the perfect setting for the musical magic that is going to happen that night.
The contest starts at 5 PM EST on 2/25 and runs until 3/7 at 5 PM. To win simply visit Ghost Cult on Facebook and answer the contest question with a comment in the post. The winner will be chosen at random to win the pair of tickets. Share our page with all of your friends to increase your chance of wining and going to the show! To get ready for the show, pick up The Migration which is out now from Prosthetic.
This contest is intended for our readers who live near, or can travel to Cambridge (MA) and attend the Scale The Summit show on 3/30. Please do not submit an answer if you cannot attend. Ghost Cult reserves the right to choose another winner in case of fraud or misrepresentation of an entrant. This prize is non-transferable. The prize in its entirety is two (2) tickets for entry to the show and does not include transportation, lodging or any any other costs associated with going to the show. Entrants must also be 18+ and have proper government ID to enter the venue. Anyone not 18+ can be accompanied by a parent or Legal Guardian with an ID, as per the venue rules. Winners are chosen at random, but the senior staff at Ghost Cult Magazine reserves the right to award the prize to a participant who properly fulfills the contest rules and meets the requirements set out in this disclaimer. Good luck!
TesseracT recently toured the US along with Scale The Summit and openers Anciients, and I was fortunate enough to catch them during their stop in Atlanta, at the very packed venue Drunken Unicorn.
Anciients opened the night with their fantastic blend of Mastodon-meets-Opeth brand of metal. Intense and engaging, they played a monstrous set of music that would convert just about any metal fan. If you love the aforementioned bands, and dig the sonic landscaping of Tombs and Neurosis, Anciients is definitely worth checking out. They are touring hardcore off their release Heart of Oak (Season of Mist), and their string of high-profile gigs is beginning to pay rewards.
Scale The Summit has gained notoriety as young prog metal upstarts, and it is deserved. Boasting young musicians with an average of 22, this group of technicians impress with their energy and passion for their organic blend of music they call “Adventure metal”. Completely instrumental, they managed to keep the audience hanging on every note, cheering on the band’s clean, musical execution. True to prog form, the songs are epic in length, but are very well-arranged so your ear never tires. One can hear the Dream Theater influence, and certainly Between theBuried and Me, the band that connected three of the four members from their inception. To this listener’s ears they reminded me of BTBAM (who I like) but with a huge dose of Animals As Leaders too. The music never gets too dark; it seems as though their youthfulness has not yet experienced the negativity in life that can filter into an artist’s songs. There is a brightness, an exuberance to their sound that is uplifting without being cheesy, and stops just short of overindulgence. All the members, guitarists Chris Letchworth, Travis Levrier, and drummer Pat Skeffington are great musicians, but special mention is in order for newest member Mark Michell. Not only is he a joy to watch, but he is front and center, a place usually not reserved for a bassist.
Due to the length of their songs, they played only 8 in their set, inclusive of “Glacial Planet”, “Whales” and “The Olive Tree”. Occasionally, Guitarist Chris Letchford would address the crowd, but this was an otherwise vocal-free, exciting musical trip. I commend Scale the Summit for bringing their brand of thoughtful enthusiasm to a genre that can be stuffy and overwrought. Well done!
The crowd was very respectful and appreciative of all of the acts, but they saved their biggest roar for TesseracT. It was quite a switch from a purely instrumental band to a band led by the soaring, bombastic vocals of recent addition Ashe O’Hara. O’Hara is a strong front man and is good foil for the intensity of his band mates and their driving djent/prog metal sound. TesseracT played a nice selection of songs from their 3 full-lengths that had the audience singing along from the front of the stage to the back of the venue, pacing the set list so there was very little room to come up for air. There was much fist-throwing, head-bobbing and body-rocking, so even if you aren’t a fan of the band you couldn’t help but be moved by the love shown to them by the crowd. I will admit to not being familiar with this band at all before tonight, but I left much impressed by their performance. It was a great lineup for lovers of metal with a proggy bent, and each band brought their own unique taste of it.
Instrumental music is often a tedious affair at best. Many bands over indulge themselves in overly complex music and instrumental masturbation. Prog/fusion outfit Scale The Summit are a rare breed, because they actually care about writing memorable compositions. Their considerable technical prowess serves to cement their music, instead of taking centre stage. Guitarist and main composer Chris Letchford is more than happy to provide some insights on everything Scale The Summit…Continue reading →