Godsticks announce new album ‘Inescapable’ and Share first single ‘Denigrate’ feat. TesseracT’s Daniel Tompkins

Godsticks open 2020 with their new and most accomplished studio album, Inescapable. Their mix of heavy rock, progressive and alternative metal with a dynamic range of angular riffs and emotional depth will leave listeners reeling. The band’s sound has refined over their releases on Kscope, beginning with the technically astounding metal on Emergence to the more industrial and progressive-influenced Faced With Rage. Now, with Inescapable, the band have channelled their energy and technical ability into the melody, phrasing and vocal performance, allowing emotion to take centre stage.

The band found themselves wanting a definitive theme running through Inescapable, without turning it into a concept album, of being more open, more personal and ultimately one that shines an inquisitive light on Charles’s struggle with inner demons which gave the songs a new level of intimacy.

“Lyrically, I’ve always shared personal thoughts, feelings and experiences but in a very ambiguous way. For Inescapable – in a conscious effort not to repeat ourselves – I thought I’d be a little more self-reflective and perhaps examine some of my inner demons. I have a strange relationship with music, and especially playing guitar. I would struggle to survive without either, but equally they have made my life mentally torturous because my own self-worth is completely wrapped up in them. I used to be very much a perfectionist in my early years, and whilst some people may wear that as a badge of honour, I eventually viewed it as huge heavy weight dragging down. It was a long time before I arrived at the realisation that perfection was impossible to achieve.” elaborates Darran Charles.

Perfectly highlighting the album’s leitmotif, the band reveal their first single “Denigrate”, “the writing of this song was a sort of analysis of my ongoing battle with perfectionism and the general feeling that nothing you do ever meets the impossibly high standards you set for yourself”. The songfeatures additional vocals from TesseracT’s gifted vocalist Daniel Tompkins to record vocal harmonies, adding an extra layer of aggression and energy.

The shoot for the quirky video, directed by George Laycock (Blacktide Audio/Visual) proved to be a memorable day for the band as Godsticks drummer Tom Price recalls “Everyone in the band was so excited about the concept, but when we arrived on set and saw a large table full of cakes, sweets, chocolate, sugar, sprinkles, honey and all manners of confectionary, the magnitude of what we had all let ourselves in for finally dawned on us! By the end of the shoot we were completely covered in everything – it was like ‘The Great British Bake Off’ meets ‘Apocalypse Now’! It was so much fun to make, but despite several spins in the washing machine I still can‘t get that sweet sickly smell out of my jeans!” Charles chimes in “It wasn’t fun, it was horrible!”

Inescapable was produced by James Loughrey (Skindred) and recorded at the famed heritage Monnow Valley studio.


Godsticks are supporting the new material beginning in April with a UK tour followed by summer festivals

2/4/2020 – Cardiff – Fuel Rock Club
3/4/2020 – London – Black Heart
4/4/2020 – Edinburgh – Opium
5/4/2020 – Manchester – Gullivers
Tickets available https://www.facebook.com/godsticks/

Inescapable will be released on CD, LP & digitally. (“Denigrate is available as an instant download on digital pre-orders) on 7th February through Kscope and is available to PRE-ORDER HERE NOW

Godsticks are:

Darran Charles: Vocals, guitars, keys, synths

Dan Nelson: Bass

Gavin Bushell: Guitars

Tom Price: Drums

Backing vocals on ‘Denigrate’ – Daniel Tompkins

Follow Godsticks:

Website: www.godsticks.co.uk

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/godsticks/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/godsticksmusic/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Godsticks

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/godsticksmusic

Review – Godsticks – Faced With Rage – by James R. Turner

Here’s a bit of that old serendipity doo dah that we often talk about. A few months ago at the behest of Good King Martin of Progradarshire I ventured forth on a cold wet Bristol Sunday evening to see Gavin Harrison and Bruce Soord steal pineapples in a German themed drinking den (which I’m reliably informed is larger than the feast) in the ensuing review which I am sure Martin will cleverly link to here, I discovered Godsticks for the first time.

(Read James’ review of the gig here…)

Live Review – The Pineapple Thief (featuring Gavin Harrison) and Godsticks at Bristol Bierkeller – by James R Turner

My definition of a great support band is one where you enjoy the set so much you want to buy the album, I have discovered bands like Tilt and Jemima Surrender amongst others like this, and the only regret at the Godsticks gig was the fact that their set was heavily dependant on their next album ‘Faced With Rage’, which hadn’t been released yet.

Well, the good news for all you Godsticks fans, and all those who enjoyed their sets on the recent Pineapple Thief tours is that it’s now out, and I have been listening to it all week on my commute in, good job really, otherwise this would be a terribly pointless review (what’s new? Ed.).

Bit of history, Godsticks were formed in Cardiff back in 2008 the band has Darran Charles at the front, his guitar sound and vocals are an intrinsic part of Godsticks (and his work as touring guitarist for the Pineapple Thief also showcased his versatility) and he is ably accompanied by guitarist Gavin Bushell, bassist Dan Nelson and ‘new boy’ – drummer Tom Price.

Live, Godsticks are a mixture of power, aggression and melody, and the new material they played sounded like it had been part of the set forever.

On record there is obviously a more subtle dynamic at work, and it is refreshing to hear a four piece traditional style guitar band sounding on record like they do on stage, there is no technical malarkey tampering with the songs, these are songs designed to be played full tilt in the context of a concert, and the fact that they work so well in both arenas is a testament to the writing and production.

This is the bands 4th album, and they weren’t a band I had ever heard of prior to seeing them rip the stage up on tour with the Pineapple Thief, and I’ll hold my hands up here and state I had seen them described as prog metal, which to this listener is a bit of a turn off. A lot of the new prog metal stuff is just loud music that goes on too long.

I would not describe Godsticks as prog metal, they have the knack for writing a catchy tune, they have a dynamic twin guitar sound that propels the music forward, and they are probably at the heaviest end of the music that would appeal to me, but prog metal? No.

In layman’s terms Godsticks Rock! They have an impressive musical armoury, and certainly live having an extra guitarist to do some of the heavy lifting allows Charles to be the front man he so obviously is. His exceptional vocal range and guitar playing, in tandem with Gavin Bushells guitar work, is one of the many highlights of this album, and tracks that they powered through live, like Open Your Eyes or Guilt are superb examples of the finest hard rock sounds, whilst on longer pieces like the excellent Everdrive, this is the sound of a band pushing themselves and moving forwards.

Godsticks live are an energetic and impressive prospect, on record they reinforce that opinion and to their credit have created an album that wholly reflects who they are as musicians, with what sounds to me like no compromises.

Based on the live show I saw I was expecting to enjoy this record, having heard it, I absolutely love it, and it has snuck in under the radar at the end of the year as what could be one of the top ten albums of 2017.

Released 13th October 2017

Buy ‘Faced With Rage’ from Burning Shed here…

 

Review – Magenta – We Are Legend – by Progradar

Longevity in the music business is almost like the Holy Grail and those that find it do so because their music has the ability to endure, to evolve, to develop and to progress. In this internet age that is becoming harder to accomplish, every man and his Mac Book can produce music and have it playing around the world in no time at all.

I feel that the best music will always outlast these mountebanks and pretenders and rise to the top, it is just a case of weeding out the middle of the road releases to find the creme de la creme or, if I’m lucky, for it to find me.

Stephen Lambe (he of Summers End Festival fame) also represents some of the best acts in progressive rock today through his 1973 Artist Promotions and I have been fortunate that Progradar is one of the review websites that he has chosen to work with. Stephen’s latest offering was the hotly anticipated new album from British prog stalwarts Magenta. Did I want to review it? Do bears sh… you know the rest!

The long overdue new Magenta album ‘We Are Legend’ will be released on April 20th 2017.

Main man Rob Reed says:

“It was time to try something new, musically and lyrically. I’ve always kept to a small music pallet with the previous albums, but I felt that we’d reached a crossroads and wanted to try something new. Magenta have gone through a lot since the last album, especially Christina our lead vocalist, so we feel that we have something to prove with ‘We Are Legend’. So be prepared.”

‘We Are Legend’ features 3 tracks, opening with the 26-minute Trojan and two 11 minute pieces Colours and Legend. As well as Christina Booth, Rob Reed and guitarist Chris Fry, the album also features new drummer Jiffy Griffiths and long-term live bassist Dan Nelson.

Magenta have been around since 1999 and have released a litany of superb albums in their illustrious career to date, there high quality being one of the reason’s for the band’s longevity. Will ‘We Are Legend’ perpetuate that success? There’s only one way to find out…

It smacks of utmost confidence in your own ability to release an album with only three tracks on it, much like certain progressive rock legends from the 1970’s but ‘We Are Legend’ is every bit as fulfilling as a release with 10 or 15 songs on because every track is an immersive, involving journey of many parts and provides the listener with everything they need for forty nine minutes of intense musical pleasure. Opening track Trojan builds the atmosphere skillfully and artistically before blooming before your very ears into a wondrous piece of music with a myriad of subtle twists and turns. The high energy driving beat has things moving along at a hell-for-leather pace, the slightly distorted guitar taking an impressive lead and the stylish bass and drums providing the foundations upon which Rob’s keyboards guide us around this mesmerising musical tapestry. Christina’s voice has never sounded better, she has a powerful authority to her vocal delivery which grabs your attention immediately and never lets go. In fact, the first few minutes literally bowled me over with their energy and intensity. Just sit back and listen and enjoy the ride as these masterful musicians put on a breathtaking show for you to enjoy. All the time little nuggets of musical wonderment pop up to put a huge smile on your face, there’s a guitar solo about six and a half minutes into the song that I really enjoyed but you could pick out one of many moments of a similar nature. To be fair, this isn’t just a song, it’s a musical drama, a riveting narrative set to some rather impressive music and you will find yourself becoming lost in the whole captivating experience. Rob is right, this is a hugely expansive work that just gets better with each listen.

After the twenty-six minutes of musical spectacle that was Trojan there is no let up as the introduction to Colours storms into view, there’s an urgency to the music and tension and instancy to Christina’s voice and a whole melodramatic feeling of turmoil to the track. Where Trojan was a big theatrically inspired production, this song has a much more progressive feel to it. The calm, wistful interludes add a touch of class and style, the guitar playing is exquisite and just gives me a nostalgic shiver down my spine. Christina is, once again, showcasing her huge vocal talent on this track, she really is the epitome of her Twitter handle ‘Prog Queen’ and must have one of the best voices out there and not just in progressive rock circles either. Rob Reed’s elegantly languid keyboard playing is a delight to listen to and Chris Fry certainly knows his way around a six string, his guitar playing is tight, fluid and very absorbing. This song has some riveting, engrossing moments and then there are also some brilliant pieces where they seem to just go for it and the music takes over. Not once do you think that any of these tracks have gone on too long, in fact it is the exact opposite, you’re left wanting more and the the ending to Colours is a case in point, an uplifting, tumultuous overture that has prodigious amounts of raw emotion and soul, you can literally hear it in the Christina’s voice and Chris’ guitar and there, just in the background, the brilliant bass playing of Dan Nelson is the conductor bringing things to a refined close.

Adding a final climactic flare to the album Legend begins with a very serious undertone, the guitar all fire and brimstone and Jiffy’s drums a dominant driving force. There’s a lull and then Christina’s honestly heartfelt and yet slightly severe vocal joins in adding a sheen to this sombre tale. It’s a heartfelt and emotive track that has a darker underbelly, all mournful and forlorn. A ying and yang between the darkness and the light follows, the hauntingly memorable chorus trading shots with the more mournful and pensive verses. A fiery guitar solo lights up the darker elements and then a short-lived intricate,determined and resolute section takes centre stage before Christina’s delicate vocal adds an almost ethereal and engaging grace, added to by some elegant guitar playing, a moment of serenity among the drama and theatricals and yet one that emphasises just how good they are. Christina is centre stage on this song, she is the leader and the focus, her voice full of fervour and feeling and it just entrances you. Once again Magenta show they know how to close out a song with swagger and verve, an inspirational and almost spiritual end to what has been an incredible musical experience.

There’s a huge amount of pride in titling your album ‘We Are Legend’ but Magenta deserve to give that name to this excellent release. The longevity of nearly two decades in the business has given them well deserved kudos and they have built on that to give us three songs that inspire and stimulate the listener. This record is a sublime forty-nine minutes of musical bliss and sees Magenta back in the top echelon of progressive rock acts where they deservedly belong.

The CD will be accompanied by a DVD containing the whole album in 5.1 surround sound plus interview and performance videos.

Released 20th April 2017

Pre-order ‘We Are Legend’ in all formats from the Magenta webstore

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hVlSvmSpzRQ