Trioscapes Announces Release Date For Sophomore LP

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

Officials with Metal Blade Records announced today that Trioscapes will release its sophomore album this summer.

Trioscapes will release its second full length studio effort Digital Dream Sequence Tuesday, August 19th. Tenor Saxophonist/flutist Walter Fancourt and bassist Dan Briggs explained the difference between the band’s upcoming release and its debut record. Fancourt noted of the band’s debut, “after hearing the debut album, that was the first time I felt like I knew what we sounded like.” Briggs expanded on Fancourt’s thoughts adding, “For the first record, the three of us came together just to write music for that album, not even really knowing we were writing for an album.” He added, “After two years of touring, playing together, and casually working on new music, we really gelled and established more of a sound.”

Audiences can get a glimpse of what to expect on the band’s new album with the album’s lead single, ‘Stab Wounds’ now online in its entirety. It can be viewed via Metal Blade Records’ official Trioscapes page at http://www.metalblade.com/trioscapes/. More updates on the upcoming album, and all of the latest news from Trioscapes is available online now at http://www.metalblade.com/trioscapes and http://www.facebook.com/trioscapes. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

No Kidding, Destrage’s New Album Is A Metal Masterpiece

Courtesy:  Metal Blade Records

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

Metal Blade Records has never been a label to rest easy on its laurels.  Every year, it proves to be one of the leaders in the world of hard rock and metal.  The only other label that measures up to Metal Blade is its counterpart, Century Media Records.  Metal Blade has consistently released some of the music industry’s best hard rock and metal albums in recent years.  This year is no different.  And that is especially evident with the release of the new album from the Italian experimental metal act Destrage.  Are You Kidding Me? No is the band’s Metal Blade debut.  And it is quite the aptly titled record, too.  That’s because every single track will leave listeners asking those words.  For those that have yet to hear Destrage’s music, the best comparison that can be made is a hybrid of Between The Buried and Me, Slayer, and Mr. Bungle.  Front man Paolo Colavolpe even sounds like Slayer front man Tom Array at more than one point throughout the course of the album’s nine tracks.

Destrage—Paolo Colavolpe (Vocals), Matteo Di Dioia (guitar), Gabriel Pignata (bass), Ralph Salati (guitar), and Federico Paulovich (drums)—exhibits so much creativity right from the album’s opener, ‘Destroy Create Transform Sublimate.’ The only term that can best describe this song is controlled chaos. The song goes from full throttle, shredding guitars to a more jazz-influenced sound a la its Metal Blade label mates Trioscapes to an almost symphonic metal sound complete with a slight dubstep finale. Colavolpe’s vocal style changes from one movement to the next to match each portion of the song, too. He switches between his seemingly Tom Arraya style vocals to something more akin to Hellyeah/Mudvayne front man Chad Gray and back again over the course of the song’s near six-minute run time. Add in the song’s lyrical side and audiences get in this piece an even more complex song. Colavolpe sings and screams through this song, “We are all here to witness the indomitable power of creation/As creative energy spreads like a relentless force/infecting every single atom/Art in all its manifestation conducts us close to God/And the struggle of our thinking/into uncontaminated imagination/Pure imagination.” Yes, this is rather metaphysical thinking. And that’s why it works so well with the songs musical side. Those words are a direct mirror image of what the band presents with the song’s music. And together, the two sides make the song title all the clearer and the song itself all the more enjoyable.

For all of the frenetic energy exuded by the band in the first half of its Metal Blade Records debut, the band actually does slow things down in a manner of speaking at the beginning of the album’s second half. Where The Things Have No Colour,’ is the band’s most radio friendly single. Interestingly enough, as much as this song is pulled back and more radio friendly, the band doesn’t sacrifice too much. That’s evident in the song’s lyrical side. Colavolpe sings in this song, “You won’t take this moment away from me/And make me a silent slave of yours/You won’t put me down on my knees/I will make this time as I always meant it to be.” If properly interpreted, Colavolpe’s words come across as being rather defiant. If they are meant to be interpreted in such fashion, one must admit that it is one of the most original lyrically defiant statements ever made. The guitar work of Matteo Di Dioia and Ralph Salati adds so much more depth to the song. The pair shines and soars alongside drummer Federico Paulovich and bassist Gabriel Pignata to complete what is easily one of this album’s most powerful pieces.

‘Where The Things Have No Colour’ isn’t the only radio ready song that Destrage boasts on its new album. ‘Before, After and All Around’ This song comes across as a song based in the topic of relationships. That interpretation is made through lines such as “Speechless, smileless/Smilesless, hopeless/Haven’t got you yet/Maybe you understand me better than I know/I’ve got this feeling we are going nowhere/Stupid, don’t you see/Why the f&*% do you deny it/I feel wrapped up in pain/Because we are going nowhere.” However, as Colavolpe writes, “At this point/A girl lives in a dream/In a little fairy house/At the following point/She lives surrounded by sweet things/Hers. Mine./At the same point/A few months ahead/she looks forward/She realizes she wanted a man/But was a boy/I should have built a fairy house/In the same time a few miles away/But what would I have missed?” he leaves the song wide open to interpretation. The ability of Colavolpe to generate so much discussion from this song is another sign of the importance of this album. He writes so cryptically and metaphorically that his writing creates discussion without even trying. It makes the song—much like the album’s other works—more than just a song. It makes it a true musical and lyrical work of art. It becomes something to discuss and truly appreciate, again much like the other songs noted here and those not noted here.

All of the songs noted here each play an important part in the overall enjoyment and success of Destrage’s new album. That isn’t to take anything away from those songs not mentioned. The album’s remaining seven songs each play their own part in the album’s success, too. Regardless of which song one chooses, one thing remains true about this album. That one thing is that there is no kidding that this is one of the best hard rock/metal records of 2014.

Destrage will perform live May 10th in Legano, Italy in support of its new album and then in Moncalieri, Italy at the Audiodrome on June 1st. Audiences can find out about Destrage’s upcoming tour dates and general information online now at http://www.facebook.com/Destrage, http://www.destrage.com, and http://twitter.com/destrage. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Trioscapes Announce Final Performances For Year

Courtesy:  Metal Blade Records

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

North Carolina based experimental jazz act Trioscapes has announced a new pair of live performance dates coming up very soon.  The band will be performing next Saturday and Sunday, December 15th and 16th in Winston-Salem and Charlotte, respectively.  Next Saturday’s performance will be at Krankies in Winston-Salem.  The band will follow up that performance with a live show the next night at The Milestone in Charlotte.

These new live performances will be the last shows of the year for the band.  This final pair of shows for the year cap off quite the year for Trioscapes.  The band saw a very well received tour with Prosthetic Records band, Scale The Summit post album release.  The band’s debut album, Separate Realities was a Top 10 debut on Billboard’s Traditional Jazz Charts.  That album is available now in stores and online.  It can be ordered http://www.indiemerch.com/metalbladerecords/item/14052.  After ordering the band’s CD online, fans can also get all the latest news and more including a live performance of its latest song, ‘Curse of the Ninth’ from Trioscapes on its official Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/trioscapes

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it or its companion page http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reel-Reviews/381028148587141.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Trioscapes, Gypsyhawk Announce New Tour Dates

Metal Blade acts Trioscapes and Gyspyhawk have announced new slates of tour dates. 

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

The North Carolina based Trioscapes is set to perform this Thursday in Raleigh, North Carolina at the annual Hopscotch Festival.  It’s also scheduled to perform September 21st in Greensboro.  The band’s debut album, “Separate Realities” is currently doing very well on the charts, charting on both the Traditional Jazz and Current Jazz cahrts, as well as on the New Artist chart and Top Independent Album charts, too.

Fans can get a full fun down of Trioscapes’ latest tour dates, as well as check out a video for the band’s song, ‘Curse of The Ninth’ online at http://www.metalblade.com/trioscapes.

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

In other tour news, fellow Metal Blade band Gypsyhawk has also announced a new slate of tour dates.  The band’s new slate of tour dates is already under way.  It will perform at Eli’s Mile High Club this Friday in oakland, California.  Friday’s performance will be followed by a handful of West Coast dates and Midwest dates later this month.  After its Midwest dates, Gypsyhawk will make its way back to the West Coast by way of the Pacific Northwest.  To get a full rundown of the band’s upcoming tour dates, fans can on online at http://www.facebook.com/Gyspyhawkusa.  Fans can also order the band’s new album, “Revelry and Resilience” at http://www.metalblade.com/Gypsyhawk

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it or its companion page, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reel-Reviews/381028148587141.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Trioscapes To Tour With Scale The Summit

Trioscapes, the brainchild of Dan Briggs (Between The Buried and Me) has made huge waves since releasing its debut album, “Separate Realities.”  The album went as high as #2 on the iTunes Jazz Chart, and #80 on Billboard’s New Artist Chart.  It has also reached as high as #9 on Billboard’s Traditional Jazz Chart, #12 on the Billboard Current jazz Chart, and #197 on the Billboard Top Independent Albums Chart.

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

Now the band will head out on the road in September for a week-long tour with the metal instrumental act Scale The Summit.  The seven-day tour starts in Dayton, Ohio on September 15th.  It will wrap up September 21st in Greensboro, NC.  Along with the Trioscapes tour, Briggs is also touring with Metal Blade label mates Between The Buried and Me.  Trioscapes’ fans can get the latest news and more from the band online at http://www.facebook.com/trioscapes.  A video for the song ‘Blast Off’ is now available online at http://www.metalblade.com/trioscapes.

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it or its companion page, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reel-Reviews/381028148587141.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

One on One with Trioscapes’ bassist Dan Briggs

1)  Trioscapes and Between The Buried and Me are as opposite as two bands
can be. So as metal as BTBAM is, you must have been a fan of other forms
of music for a long time.  Have you always been a fan of the Mahavishnu
Orchestra, or was that one song just something that’s always caught your
attention?

-I got into John Mclaughlin and Mahavishnu when I was in high school
browsing through my dad’s cd collection. “The Inner Mounting Flame” and
“Bird of Fire” albums were so appealing to me because of the sheer force
of the playing and how raw the unison lines between the guitar and violin
were.  MClaughlin’s playing with Mahavishnu has been an inspiration for
years, and more recently his playing in Shakti is proving to be a whole
new level of inspiration and motivation to constantly pursue new way of
reinventing my playing.

2)  This one’s for all three of you.  The band’s bio states that Dan
actually contacted Walter and and Matt.  When Dan told you two his plans,
what was your first reaction to his proposal?

-Only Dan on this interview, but I had talked to both separately at
different times about playing together, so I dont think it was much of a
shock. The main shock was probably when we were all in the same room
together playing for the first time and realizing how tough some of the
material was.

3)  Trioscapes is being marketed as a jazz fusion band.  But I personally
get a prog rock feel, too.  So how would you guys classify yourselves?

-Yeah I’m not big on thowing a lable on everything under the sun, and with
this group in particular I feel like every song is kind of its own
different thing. I dont think you can really lump the song “Separate
Realities”, which is 11 minutes of mayhem and high energy in the same
category as “Gemini’s Descent” which is kind of “Discipline” era King
Crimson like with a bass drone and a miriad of lush textures thrown over
top. But then I can see how  a song like “Blast Off” lends itself to being
considered more of a fusion song. I dont know, the jazz thing is funny to
us, fusion seems to obvious, progressive rock is a huge part of our make
up…it’s just burst of creative explorations.

4)  The album’s opener, ‘Blast Off’ is a perfect way to open the album.
It really mixes prog rock and jazz fusion seamlessly.  Can you guys expand
on how that song came to life?  Which one of you came up with the original
skeleton of that song? Did it just grow naturally?

-“Blast Off” and “Curse of the Ninth” were two songs I brought in early on
that were pretty much finished compositions. When I went to Georgia to
play with Matt for the very first time, he played me this crazy beat that
he had written, I jotted down the time signatures and wrote a line to go
along with it and it became the post-solo section outro for the tune.

5)  Speaking of a prog vibe, I noted in my review that I felt a kind of
Liquid Tension Experiment/Attention Deficit feel.  Are the three of you
fans of progressive rock?  If so, do you have any favorite prog bands?

-All of us have connections to different progressive rock bands. Alot of
my favorite music falls into that category, so there’s quite a few…to
name just a couple though, obviously King Crimson, Genesis, Gentle Giant,
Yes, Dream Theater. More recently, Astra, Unexpect, Sleepytime Gorilla
Museum, Field Music, Pain of Salvation, etc…Matt’s a huge King Crimson
fan, Bill Bruford is one of his main drum inspirations. We all obviously
love forward thinking, interesting music.

6)  Getting back to Dan for a moment.  You’re also a member of Between The
Buried  Me.  they’re going to be out on tour this Summer.  Has it been
difficult trying to balance that tour with potential new dates with
Trioscapes?

-Nope, it’s very easy. BTBAM’s year gets laid out way in advance so I’m
able to fill in the gaps whne I can.
7)  Staying on the subject of BTBAM, it’s an N.C. based band.  Did that
play a role in Trioscapes recording “Separate Realities” in Winston Salem?
What led you to record it at The Basement Studios?  How did you come to
your choice of producers?

-Jamie King has had a hand in every record that I’ve done since 2005. All
the BTBAM stuff, my other band ORBS, and now Trioscapes. It’s a comfort
thing recording with Jamie, and I was curious to see what he could do with
Trioscapes. We wanted to keep it simple and present like how you would
hear the band live. The only real overdubs we did were a few layered bass
distortion lines and doubling a few sax parts with flute. Aside from that
though, it’s just the songs the way we’d play them live and Jamie captured
it really well.

8)  “Separate Realities” has been received to pretty positive feedback
from every direction.  Considering that, do the three of you see the band
working on another record any time in the near future, or do you see this
simply as a one-off record?

-In the near future, no because we will be touring on this record for a
while. We all have a few little things written though. I’m sure we’ll
start throwing around ideas before too long. And no, this is not a one-off
record.

9)  What would you say is your favorite song off of this album?  Songs
aside, do any of you have any favorite moments from the recording process
for this record?

-Walter and I tracked “Gemini’s Descent” together and that was really fun.
We turned the lights down and did about 5 or 6 different takes and then
that was it. We wanted to capture the vibe we had while jamming it at the
rehearsal space. I’m really excited to finally play the song live, we’ll
be playing our full album at our CD release shows coming up next week. I
can tell you that “Separate Realities” is maybe the most stressful song
I’ve ever played live haha, but it’s also one of my favorites. Super high
energy and just non stop. I’ve never had to be so locked in to every
single second of music like I am when playing that.

10)  The video for ‘Blast Off’ was so simple.  But it shows you guys
really getting into the groove of the song.  It’s proof that the K.I.S.S.
formula works.  So came up with the idea for the video?  How did you
decide on using Symmetry Studio for the video?

-Our friend Johnny Davis runs Symmetry Studios, he tracked Matt’s drums
there for the record and they sounded awesome. He’s a super talented
engineer and being that he’s a friend we knew it’d be easy to set up. We
actually went down and played the whole album, not just “Blast Off”. Those
videos will be available before too long. There were just no live videos
that had popped up that were a good quality, so we thought this would be a
good representation for people that haven’t been able to see us live.
Although, there’s much more energy live.

11)  I’ve got one last question before I have to go.  As well received as
Trioscapes is already what do you see the future of this band being?

-We’re going to go hard and do as much as we can when I’m free and not
busy with BTBAM. We have a tour confirmed for September that we’ll
announce soon, some stuff in June/July that’s being worked out, and
hopefully a full US in November/December. If we all exist past doomsday,
then I’m sure we’ll have alot more in our future.

Trioscapes’ debut another hit for Metal Blade Records in 2012

Lightning, it’s said, never strikes the same place twice.  But for Metal Blade Records, that old adage couldn’t be more wrong.  Metal Blade–pure metal’s flagship label–has already released one of the year’s best records with OSI’s fourth full length release, “Fire Make Thunder.”  Now, on May 8th, the label is set to release another of the year’s finest albums in the debut album from a band called Trioscapes.

Trioscapes was founded by bassist Dan Briggs (Between The Buried and Me).  He joined up with saxphonist/flutist Walter Fancourt and drummer Matt Lynch last year to work up a rendition of the Mahavishnu Orchestra’s “Celestial Terrestrial Commuters.”  The trio came up with some other original songs along with the way, intending to use the material for a one time only show.  Now those ideas have led to what is one of the best records of 2012 in its debut record, ‘”Separate Realities.”  The album is an amazing mix of progressive rock and jazz/fusion.  It mixes the experimental sounds of Liquid Tension Experiment and Attention Deficit with that of the legendary jazz/fusion group, Yellowjackets to make for an opus that defies all classification.  North Carolina fans will appreciate that “Separate Realities” was recorded and produced at the Basement Recording Studios in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. 

“Separate Realities” opens fittingly with the up-tempo, ‘Blast Off.’  The song’s title is perfectly fitting in that the music invokes images of an explosion of musical energy.  It “blasts” listeners with its seemingly improv style.  Drummer Matt Lynch shows his skill with ease playing constant polyrythmic patterns that would make even Mike Potnoy and Terry Bozzio proud.  Walter Fancourt’s sax playing is simply amazing.  His musicianship conjures up thoughts of the late E. Street Band saxophonist, Clarence Clemons. The dynamic control of all three musicians makes listeners feel as if they’ve been taken up with rapid fire energy and allowed to float in some ethereal musical stratosphere before being shot straight back to earth with just as much energy.  It’s the perfect opener for this release.

The band gives listeners just enough time to catch their breath after ‘Blast Off’ with the equally impressive title track to the album.  ‘Separate Realities’ has something of a Middle Eastern feel.  As with the album’s opener the band showcases its musicianship yet again with this piece.  As disjointed as it begins to feel at one point, that disjointedness is really controlled chaos.  The band eases its way through the whole thing without missing a beat.

Perhaps one of the best examples of this trio’s originality and ability is a song that’s equally bizarre both in its sound and its title, ‘Wazzlejazzleboff.’  That’s really the song’s title.  And as bizarre as this song is, it’s one of those pieces that demands the listener’s full attention.  Every note and every rhythm in this piece has its own life.  It all comes together for what is easily one of the album’s best songs.  Of course, it isn’t the only great song on the album.  Every one of the songs on “Separate Realities” collectively make a debut release that’s as solid as any of the metal that has made Metal Blade famous. 

The band already has a pair of live shows set to celebrate the album’s release.  North Carolina fans will be happy to know they’ll be among the first to see the band live as it will perform May 4th at The Broach Theater in Greensboro.  The band will share the stage with the Bronzed Chorus and Drag Sounds.  Fans can get an idea of what to expect from Trioscapes thanks to absolutepunk.net.  ‘Wazzlejazzlebof’ can be streamed there now.  For more information on Trioscapes, check out the band on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/trioscapes.