St. Louis-based progressive metal outfit THE GORGE is pleased to unveil their video for their latest single, “A Decision Was Made” live session video. Now playing at Metal Injection, the track comes by way of the band’s Mechanical Fiction full-length, set for release via Pelagic Records on July 28th.
Born from their shared love for heavy music and twenty years of experience in playing together, THE GORGE consists of four jazz musicians who use the project as a creative outlet besides their day jobs as session musicians and music educators. Triangulating the chaotic yet groovy energy and the guitar masterclass of Botch with the riffage of Mastodon and the nimble instrumental intricacy of Animals As Leaders or Intronaut, Mechanical Fiction is an immensely ear-pleasing collection of tasty riffs and complex compositions that are nonetheless free-flowing like a river smoothly carving its winding path through a rugged landscape.
Offers guitarist/vocalist Phil Ring of their latest single, “The themes of this song, and the whole of Mechanical Fiction, explore an acceptance of loved ones leaving this existence of their own accord. While tragic and heartbreaking, I have tried to work through my own grief by seeking a sense of understanding and empathy. I’ve always had a soft spot for music that pits upbeat or major key-sounding themes against more somber lyrical ideas. For this song, combining heavily personal subject matter against the odd-time bounciness of the main tapping theme presented a creative challenge.”
Watch THE GORGE’s “A Decision Was Made,” courtesy of Metal Injection, at THIS LOCATION.
THE GORGE’s Mechanical Fiction will be released on CD, LP, and digital formats. For preorders, go to THIS LOCATION.
Straddling a wide range of musical influences, Mechanical Fiction is an affair between four lovers of complex and heavy music. From the dazzling math rock complexities of album opener “Synapse Misfre” to the tapping acrobatics of “A Decision Was Made,” the whole of Mechanical Fiction exudes the pure joy these musicians must have felt while composing these tracks. Just following along the fast-chugging mid-section of “Beneath The Crust” which leads to the beautiful surprise of a glorious choir hailing the sunrise, or just rocking out to the glorious riffing that kicks in after some blistering blast beats on “Presence” are just a few of the ample examples of memorability and pure face-melting bliss on Mechanical Fiction.
“Mechanical Fiction refers to the mundane ways in which we proceed through our lives,” explains guitarist/vocalist Phil Ring. “Living out routines because that is what we are supposed to do, we constantly go through the motions, telling ourselves that everything is okay.” Scratching the surface, THE GORGE protrude pure fun combining tasteful guitar wizardry with giant grooves and a keen sense of songwriting, but delving deeper into the record and especially into the lyrics will lead to the discovery of unexpected emotional depth. “Dealing with the loss of loved ones to mental illness weighed heavily in the lyric writing process for me,” continues Ring. Shifting across the lyrics in his massive baritone growl, THE GORGE frontman brings to life pure desolation and grief on songs like “A Decision Was Made” or “Earthly Decay” making them not only pack a punch musically, but also emotionally.
Nevertheless, among the scattered ashes these musicians always manage to find a spark of hope that ignites a fame of joy. The title track hearkens back to that time when fusion solo guitarists like Tosin Abasi and Plini became big names, but in contrast with these skilled axemen, THE GORGE are less concerned with virtuoso soloing and more with repetition and structure. The statically pounding mechanisms of Meshuggah-style riffing and singing are artfully interspersed with surprising moments of pristine melody, which refect the two-faced nature of this record. The low-key “jazzy” midsection of “Earthly Decay” is a subtle moment in which the band’s musical pedigree shines through, but it’s actually in the artful buildup through the different sections towards a gnarly finale that really shows their collective compositional skill.
“Rousing, muscular prog metal…” – Everything is Noise
Phil Ring – guitar/vocals
Joe Bowers – guitar
Chris Turnbaugh – bass
Jerry Mazzuca – drums