Earthside is a New England-based creative collective that plays an absorbing style of modern progressive music they call “cinematic rock.” Across their widely acclaimed debut work, A Dream In Static, the seasoned group displays a wild stylistic diversity and creative hunger that jams the mental machinery of comparison. Through organic layers of living, breathing orchestra (courtesy of the Moscow Studio Symphony Orchestra), and an eclectic arsenal of world music-influenced instrumentation, Earthside fashions an ever-changing sound that is equally engrossing alongside a work of cinematic art as it is resonating throughout a densely packed concert venue.
A Dream In Static, the group’s conceptual mission statement, is a story of purposeful sacrifice and existential yearning told across sweeping instrumental movements interwoven with adventurous vocal compositions featuring guest performances from premier voices across the rock and metal worlds (Lajon Witherspoon of Sevendust, Björn Strid of Soilwork, Daniel Tompkins of Tesseract, and Eric Zirlinger of Face The King, Ex-Seer). The inherently collaborative cross-continental project was recorded in Stockholm, Sweden under the watch of renowned producer and mix engineer David Castillo (Opeth, Katatonia, Bloodbath) and additional mix and mastering engineer Jens Bogren (Opeth, Soilwork, The Ocean, Leprous).
In Fall of 2015 Earthside joined Soilwork and Soulfly on the ‘We Sold Our Souls to Metal’ tour and will be touring throughout 2016 in both the United States and Europe in promotion of A Dream In Static. Earthside recently supported Leprous and Voyager in Europe this spring on the “Congregation Part 2 Tour.” See the tour section for other live dates and additional details.
Industry Acclaim for Earthside
The reviews are in, and Earthside’s ‘A Dream In Static’ is one of the most acclaimed and buzzed about debut albums of 2015!
“Their ingenious and frequently jaw-dropping epic “A Dream in Static” is one of the best prog metal albums in recent years … God be with them trying to follow this one up.” – Blabbermouth.net 10/10
“A Dream In Static is a magnum opus of infinite proportions.”– Sea of Tranquility 5/5
“Earthside score highly because their ambition is nothing short of deranged: Mob Mentality would be an extravagant 10 minutes of intricate bombast even without the input of the Moscow Studio Symphony Orchestra, but thanks to this band’s joyous devotion to pulling out all the stops, the wild contrast between bursts of rugged riffing and waves of sumptuous strings makes most similarly inclined fare sound anemic and lazy by comparison. – The Guardian
“The arch stands complete and magnificent, a monument to the different voices, tones and efforts that were poured into this creation. It’s hard not to be moved by such a collaboration and move us it does.” Heavy Blog Is Heavy 4.5/5
“The most ambitious of debuts” – Metal Hammer UK
A Dream In Static- the debut album by Earthside. ORDER NOW! http://earthsideband.com/shop/ (Vinyl, CDs, Bundles, Merch) https://earthside.bandcamp.com/ https://itunes.apple.com/album/id1044… Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/6mRDR… Also on Apple Music, Tidal, Google Play, Amazon, and most streaming platforms. http://www.earthsideband.com http://www.facebook.com/earthsidemusic http://www.twitter.com/earthsidemusic http://instagram.com/earthsideband
A Dream In Static:
0:00 The Closest I’ve Come
8:02 Mob Mentality (feat. Lajon Witherspoon and The Moscow Studio Symphony Orchestra)
17:56 A Dream In Static (feat. Daniel Tompkins)
25:35 Entering The Light (feat. Max ZT and The Moscow Studio Symphony Orchestra)
40:27 Crater (feat. Björn Strid)
46:31 The Ungrounding
52:06 Contemplation Of The Beautiful (feat. Eric Zirlinger)
1:03:57 Album Credits
Earthside is: Ben Shanbrom – Drums, Backing vocals Frank Sacramone – Keyboards, Programming, Additional Guitars, Additional Percussion Ryan Griffin – Bass Jamie van Dyck – Guitars, Backing vocals, Programming, Additional Keyboards Produced, Recorded, and Engineered by David Castillo at Ghost Ward (Stockholm, SWE) Drums recorded at Soundtrade Studios (Stockholm, SWE) Drum editing and assistant drum engineering by Henrik Gennert Additional recording, engineering, editing, and production by Angelo Quaglia at AQ Creative Production Studios (Chicopee, MA) and Northfire Recording Studio (Amherst, MA) MSSO Producer: Yuri Sazonoff Artwork & Design: Travis Smith All music composed by Earthside All lyrics and melodies written by Earthside Produced by David Castillo at Ghost Ward Co-produced by Earthside members Frank Sacramone and Jamie van Dyck Tracks 1, 6, and 7 mixed by Jens Bogren with Johan Örnborg at Fascination Street Studios Tracks 2, 3, 4, 5, and 8 mixed by David Castillo at Ghost Ward Mastered by Jens Bogren at Fascination Street Studios
The rising success of prog-behemoths SCALE THE SUMMIT has opened the door for young contemporaries with vision, including Connecticut-based EARTHSIDE. If you’ve had your fill of contemporary prog metal, in particular symphonic metal, dig in and discover EARTHSIDE.
EARTHSIDE structures their compositions with a cinematic mindset, and their ingenious and frequently jaw-dropping epic “A Dream in Static” is one of the best prog metal albums in recent years. So powerful is the music that they have managed to lure participation from not only the Moscow Symphony Orchestra, but also guest vocals from Lajon Witherspoon (SEVENDUST), Björn “Speed” Strid (SOILWORK), Eric Zirlinger (FACE THE KING) and Daniel Tompkins (TESSERACT), along with a dulcimer performance by Max ZT.
The eight-minute opening instrumental, “The Closest I’ve Come”, is immediately representative of how resourceful and gifted EARTHSIDE is. The engrossing experience, as any emotive prog should be, is like opening a portal that allows the audience in to tread cautiously amidst enticing paths and spirals. The guitars and keys carefully wait the first few bars before stepping in, teasing the listener, and dropping sensuously back letting EARTHSIDE take command. In some ways, the feel to this composition is ROSETTA-like. Yet, EARTHSIDE goes to an altogether different plane, pulling their listeners airborne and leaving them suspended a moment with twittering key chimes, before clubbing them back down to the ground with all-encompassing chords before reprising the original melody on its hammered-down way out.
Lajon Witherspoon and The Moscow Symphony Orchestra join EARTHSIDE on the ten minute “Mob Mentality”, a track at times reminiscent of THE MOODY BLUES‘s “Days of Future Past”. Witherspoon chimes in at close to the two-minute mark, and as he proved on SEVENDUST‘s recent album, “Kill the Flaw”, he’s ready to take on something beyond the metal spectrum, even if metal parts figure greatly on “Mob Mentality”. With the Moscow ensemble sparkling behind Lajon, one almost forgets to hone in on EARTHSIDE until they wedge their slow-moving electric parts into play. The composition weaves back-and-forth between heavy and soft measures, within which Lajon Witherspoon gels beautifully. “Mob Mentality” crescendos often, without ever releasing its grip.
TESSERACT‘s Daniel Tompkins hits such gut-socking high notes on the title track (a bit more conventional compared to its predecessors) that he becomes the focal point for much of the ride until the band whumps their way in. Frank Sacramone‘s frolicking keys gracefully dance over the band’s punchy chords as the shift moves to the 5:27 “Entering the Light”. The latter is perhaps even more epic in shorter form than some of EARTHSIDE‘s other tracks. This says a ton, considering “Skyline” and “The Ungrounding” have so much poured into them. The Moscow Symphony Orchestra returns on “Entering the Light”, along with the ticklish dulcimer by Max ZT, and drummer Ben Shanbrom gradually ushers the band in with a pounding rhythm. The orchestra and Max ZT rightfully garnish the most attention, and their unified march to the finish is grand.
“Crater” leaves listeners to question how heavy it’s going to be with SOILWORK‘s Björn Strid leading the way. The answer is, pretty danged heavy. Strid shows off his full clean regimen, flirting with a growl here and there until pushing his throat to the max later in the track as EARTHSIDE revolves between soft and hard progressions in response. Caught in the band’s craftsmanship, Strid, like Daniel Tompkins, strikes gorgeous apexes. As does FACE THE KING/ex-SEER vocalist Eric Zerlinger on the eleven-minute trek through “Contemplation of the Beautiful”, albeit his darker tones manifest more so than Strid or Tompkins.
“A Dream in Static” is one of the most exceptional releases this year, and even SCALE THE SUMMIT themselves are likely to be overwhelmed by it. This album requires plenty of time to behold its majesties, but it’s one of the rare marathons worth taking. EARTHSIDE has just about set a precedent with “A Dream in Static”, and God be with them trying to follow this one up.
Posted in: CD Reviews