Thursday, April 16, 2015

Native Construct - Quiet World (2014-2015)

I'm unclear how good this album is/will be as it's not released yet anyway, dropping next Tuesday April 21st I noticed.

But the video below with "Mute" definitely holds some optimism. Props to a friend of mine  named Jason on Facebook and Mike Portnoy's forum for recommending this song/band to me.

This is a 3-piece band as the info below shows, comprised of musicians who met at Berklee College of Music. Style-wise, it is progressive metal, that I suppose isn't exactly reinventing the wheel, but I do like the textures and symphonic elements. This doesn't sound like progressive metal trying to be Dream Theater really, but more just highly influenced by Between the Buried and Me and perhaps Mr.Bungle and some others (both are mentioned in the comments and some other places online).

I guess I hear this track "Mute" as sounding rather refined and the use of strings working quite well. In just checking out the 1 track on their Bandcamp Page from 2012 (embedded at the bottom), they clearly have an interest in using textures and strings? (even if they are just programmed). That along with composition could allow my feelings about this band stand out among so many "prog metal" bands who may be heavily influenced by BTBAM (or Dream Theater I suppose).

I guess if there's a band who I am most reminded of in that using that influence and doing cool thins with it, it'd probably be Painted in Exile, who, after that great EP in the late 2000's, have been rather quiet (1 new track recently), so perhaps Native Construct will bring that kind of thing in more quantity (at least they are signed to Metal Blade).

PiE and I suppose I am reminded a little of that newest The Contortionist album/style.

Perhaps Native Construct could do a tour with either Painted in Exile or more likely, The Contortionist?

I guess we'll see, but this album should be something cool to look forward to next week, post-Record Store Day even.

Purchase Link

1. Mute
2. The Spark of the Archon
3. Passage
4. Your Familiar Face
5. Come Hell or High Water
6. Chromatic Lights
7. Chromatic Aberration

Robert Edens: Vocals
Myles Yang: Guitar
Max Harchik: Bass

Native Construct is the product of collaboration between several students that began in 2011 at the storied Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. Fueled by a desire to breathe new life into the modern metal genre, Native Construct artfully blends a wide spectrum of compositional influences, ranging from classical all the way to prog metal and musical theatre. The result is a wonderfully unique sonic texture, made up of extended-range guitars, theatrical vocals, and a full complement of symphonic instrumentation. Guitarist and composer Myles Yang's passion for innovation, coupled with his extensive academic study of arranging and compositional techniques, makes Native Construct a truly distinctive up-and-coming metal act.

In 2014, the band's music caught the ear of Brian Slagel at Metal Blade Records, and led to a recording contract and a worldwide release of the band's debut album, Quiet World. The album promises to be a rich, vibrant, and aurally engaging musical experience. While following a musically programmatic approach to its storytelling, the album demonstrates a fascinating unification of numerous musical styles and provides an emotional journey through the vast and imaginative world Native Construct have envisioned.

Quiet World was largely self-produced and written between 2011 and 2013 in between the individual band members' studies at the Berklee College of Music. What began as jam sessions simply for fun eventually turned into a full-fledged musical endeavor. All tracking and programming was done at the band's home studios in Boston, MA, with the exception of vocals, which were recorded with Jamie King at The Basement Studios in Winston-Salem, NC. The album was mixed by Rich Mouser at The Mouse House Studio in Los Angeles, CA, and mastered by Jamie King.

A brief listen to Quiet World is enough to make it apparent that there is a concept, here. Though it's best to let the band explain the album in their own words: "Quiet World is about a guy who loves a girl. The guy is a bit of an odd and eccentric person - an outcast. He's also a mute, and a little unstable, as it turns out. The girl doesn't return his feelings, but he can't bring himself to let go. As his unrequited passion for her devolves into obsession and eventual resentment, his mind begins to slip further and further away. He convinces himself that he can't be loved because of his condition and abnormalities. So he decides to create for himself a new, fantastic world of which he has complete control - a world where there are no oddballs or outcasts. A world where everyone is surrounded by people who are just like themselves: a much quieter world.

"It's at this point that the first track of the album, "Mute," begins. And it turns out that many of the subjects of his new world are not as content living this way as he is. In the second track we see a new character, the Archon, rise up and unite his people in the clouds with the once distant people in the sea. He leads an opposition to "Sinister Silence," as the people come to call him. The rest of the album unfolds with events within the "Quiet World" and manifestations of the enduring struggle between the Archon and Sinister Silence. The lone exception is track number four, "Your Familiar Face," which steps out of this world for a moment to give a closer look at the events prior to the first track and the tragedy of Sinister Silence."

What is impressive about Native Construct is not necessarily an involved concept on a debut record, it's that they wrote, produced, and recorded the album while balancing school work and on a college student budget. It's the epitome of "self produced." And what Native Construct wants fans to know is that "the composition process for this album was intensely meticulous from top to bottom. Each note, each lyric, each twist and each turn were arrived at with the utmost care. As such, we were able to weave rich, often subtle layers of meaning into the music and text. We're very excited for you all to experience the result of our efforts!"