Good morning/afternoon/evening fellow progheads! Regardless of what time of day you check in--thanks for taking the time to venture over and do just that! 2016 has opened with a barrage of new prog music here in the Concert Closet--my frequent flyer miles bear that out. This week I chose to keep the search for all things prog a little closer to home so as to take NYC by (snow) storm...and become wholly absorbed in the sounds of Moonlapse.
Self-described as "...Experimental/Cinematic/Progressive Metal..," Moonlapse reaches across acreage in the prog garden that almost defies definition and explanation--and that ain't a bad thing. Many a band makes an attempt at unique--and a high percentage of those brave souls fail miserably. Moonlapse takes avant-garde era prog and "not-so-gently" folds in some of today's extreme technology to create a sound that lifts you out of your skin without splitting you open. So...let us venture into the maelstrom that is New York, trust our prog senses, and wander where the music takes us...
The first offering from the buffet this week is a terrestrial piece called "The Old Kingdom." The song opens as if you are on a roller coaster that intermittently picks up speed and slows down...no rhyme or reason and no pattern to discern. Moonlapse throws a vibe of Chick Corea playing jazz standards with Dream Theater on this particular cut. There is a sense of wonder that flows through the entire piece, much like your first date with that cute girl from English class--and it plays out just like you hoped...
Moving back to the buffet for a follow up course, I come away with a heavier, more morose serving of "Shadowform." The drumming on this tune is velvety smooth, and the keyboards echo through your auditory canals like a fading passenger train. Synthesizers add to the mystique; the top notes emitted are heavy on Steve Reich, Philip Glass, and Tangerine Dream, with aromatics of Adrian Belew and Bill Bruford wafting in the air. Moonlapse leaves a mark on the inner lining of your cranium, much like windswept impressions on winter's first snowfall.
Liner Notes...Moonlapse currently calls New York City home, although its origins appear to be somewhere near Chicago. The "band" is comprised of and comes completely from the heart and soul of one Ben Strick. Yes, Mr. Strick lays down all the sounds you hear--and paints a vivid picture while doing so. Moonlapse released its debut "Conscious" in May 2015 and followed that with the recent release of a five song EP called "Fade Construct." Ben bores deep, going under layers of epidermis, enabling him to drill into your inner emotional foundation. Moonlapse can be as profound and absorbing as Peter Gabriel one minute, then come off as flippant and casual as Happy Graveyard Orchestra the next...the key is staying dialed in to find out what mood is about to permeate the headphones.
Searching the buffet at the moment for something strong and robust; something that will sate my appetite for experimental, cinematic, progressive metal...and just like that my plate is filled with "Primeval Nature." This cut is from the debut album and hits hard--but with what seems to be the trademark jazz fusion hammer. The drums are more solid and forceful and the keyboards/synthesizers are in lock-step, taking the listener on a journey through the space/time continuum. Moonlapse has a tinge of Jean Michel Jarre on this cut as the canvas is filled with a wide variety of colors intended to tantalize and mesmerize.
I chose the song posted below to thrust a full dose at you; another cut from Moonlapse's debut called "Ever." The piece opens slowly--almost deliberately so--as it builds an energy that flows from the disc like white water rapids swallowing a kayak cascading over the falls.
While Moonlapse tills acreage in the experimental/metal section of the prog garden, this is a band that stretches its roots across the entire farm, drawing nourishment and inspiration as it goes. Listening to Moonlapse brings a flood of images to the inside of my eyelids, most of which equate to alternating states of ease, ecstasy, acute awareness, and simple laid-back relaxation.
Learn more about Moonlapse at http://www.moonlapseofficial.com/ and of course on the band's Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/moonlapseofficial/. You can also follow Moonlapse on Twitter @MoonlapseMusic, where you will discover new music and other information. Moonlapse can also be found on Spotify.
OK fellow progheads, that wraps up another exciting week in the never ending search for all things prog. Moonlapse flows deep through the soul of the prog garden with a sound that inspires. I know I have said it before, and I am sure I will say it again...one of the wonders of progressive music is its ability to transcend other genres with chameleon-like prowess. While I would never mistake the music of Porcupine Tree for that of Moonlapse, I can appreciate both artists on a level other genres of music cannot attain.
Progressive rock--and the artists who produce it--by definition should be evolving with each new release. That is the motivating force behind the Concert Closet and my search for all things prog...the reason I re-visit bands and post interviews. Prog artists seem to be on a different "wavelength" if you will, and I simply aspire to tap into that process. So onward once again fellow progheads, as the search for all things prog continues...until next week...