'I Am Anonymous'
Headspace are a Prog Metal band consisting of keyboardist Adam Wakeman (son of Rick Wakeman), guitarist Pete Rinaldi, vocalist Damien Wilson, bassist Lee Pomeroy and drummer Richard Brook. Each and every member of the band has done more project/session work than I can list here but as you would expect they are at the top of their game.
Headspace started as a way for and a close circle of musician friends to reconnect. There was no clear musical direction at all to start with. It was a case of getting back to the basics of forming a band, calling upon the roots laid down as teenagers, enjoying just making music. Given those roots, it became clear rather quickly that Headspace was going to be a prog Metal band.
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The album is an eighty minute concept album about the idea of us as individuals and our relationship with humanity. It examines the battles and turmoils that we go through in our minds and all the way through our lives, and how things settle and chaos clears, and then it cycles back around and life is thrown into chaos again.
As I understand it it is based on Kübler-Ross model, commonly known as 'The Five Stages Of Grief'. The album opens nice and simply – we hear a helicopter and some slow picked guitar. Quietly building behind this is some chugging Metal guitar... then bang, the band kicks in with a Metal riff and some piano work swirling around it. The song settles down to a piano line and in come Damien Wilson's vocals. This track is a perfect opener, it has heavy riffs, quite sections, key changes and vocal harmonies. It sets the listener up well for the rest of the album.
'Fall Of America' comes next and starts off at a nice fast pace with some great playing. It twists and turns thorough key changes and some quieter sections keeping the listener interested through the whole ten minutes.
Next up is 'Soldier' which opens with a tolling bell which continues throughout the song. All we get now is a piano and vocals and it's the best track on the album for me. It's slow, beautifully written and sounds stunning.
Things pick right back up with the next track, 'Die With A Bullet'. It's full of technical guitar lines, driving drums and some stunning vocals. As with the previous tracks it slips from heavy to soft effortlessly with some great guitar riffs throughout.
'In Hell's Name' opens with a church organ and some choral style harmonies but soon shifts in a heavier riff laden track. This track offers no real change to the format and again switches between times and tempo throughout.
'Daddy Fucking Loves You' is next and is the longest track on the album coming in at 15 minutes! It opens with a fantastic acoustic piece that alters a few minutes in to a more complex rhythm and time signature. It builds to a heavy section then back to acoustic, then back to heavy and alternates throughout the song. As the song fades out we hear a rather disturbing sample of a child singing 'Hush Little Baby' which then gives way to a short acoustic ending.
Next we have 'Invasion' and it's more of the same, which is no bad thing. It opens with some great bass guitar and drum work. As with the other tracks it slips between styles effortlessly and the musicianship is fantastic.
The album finishes with 'Big Day', opening up slowly it builds over a few minutes to a fantastic middle section before dropping back to a quieter section then down to an acoustic ending.
Overall this is a fantastic album you can hear influences of Yes, Dream Theatre etc but only influences the band are skilled writers and take the music off in a different directions.
At 80 minutes long it may test some listener's attention spans but the band do steer away from the standard verse/chorus/verse writing and this, along with clever time changes and changes to style keeps the album interesting.
I'm really hoping to get to see the band on tour and that this is the first of many albums from them as it's a brilliant debut.
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