This time, it's back to Norway again for some very technical stuff:
Genre: Progressive/Technical Thrash/Power Metal
Formed: 1993 in Oslo (Norway), still active
Øyvind Hægeland : Vocals, keyboards (also in Arcturus (Nor), Manitou (Nor) )
Steinar Gundersen : Lead guitars (also in Satyricon; formerly in Lunaris, King's Quest)
Andreas Jonsson : Guitars
Lars K. Norberg : Bass, programming (also in Satyricon)
Asgeir Mickelson : Drums (also in Borknagar, Vintersorg, Ihsahn, Enslavement Of Beauty, Scariot ; formerly in Lunaris, Highland Glory)
Kaj Gornitzka - Rhythm guitars (Twisted Into Form)
Leif Knashaug - Vocals (Twisted Into Form)
Sean Malone (Guest Solo on "Occam's Razor")
1996 - self-titled Demo
2000 - A Sceptic's Universe (album)
Spiral Architect was founded in 1993 in Oslo, Norway, when lead guitarist Steinar Gundersen joined the remains of a band called Anesthesia consisting of Kaj Gornitzka (guitar), Lars K. Norberg (bass) and Asgeir Mickelson (drums).
They are influenced by bands like Watchtower, Fates Warning and Psychotic Waltz. The overall idea was to, as genuinely as possible, mix Jazz and Fusion elements with uncompromising metal.
The first official recording showcasing Spiral Architect’s music was the compilation CD "A Gathering…" in 1995, featuring the songs "Fountainhead" and "Purpose".
These two songs were also released as an independent demo in February '96 and promoted heavily worldwide through magazines and the internet. The demo caused a stir in the progressive metal undeground scene, and many record labels were interested in signing the band, but they decided to take some more time and work more intensively on the new material.
The vocals on the 1995 demo were recorded by session vocalist Leif Knashaug. In 1996, they finally found a full time vocalist in Øyvind Hægeland (ex-Manitou), who had an influence on the development of their sound, as they claim.
They then recorded their first and only full length to date : A Sceptic's Universe.
"Spiral Architect opted for a holistic approach to the art of making a record (music, text, lyrics). The album and the philosophy behind it was to reflect the rational and sceptical world view held by the musicians involved.", so they comment on the process.
Signing a contract with Sensory Records in 1997, they recorded the album in June 1998 in Texas with Producer Neil Kernon (Judas Priest, Nevermore, Cannibal Corpse and many more).
Not much has been heard from the band since, as, due to their various other musical duties, they don't find much time to work on new material. But they do emphasize that the band still exists, so let's hope for the next effort to be released soon!
For everyone who isn't familiar with their first album: check it out! It is very technical, so much that it might disturb you at first, but give it a few listens. You'll find the quality of their music hidden. At first, it's just too much at once, I guess. But the album does not only offer some stunning bass work, but also interesting song and riff structures and some of the best jazz elements incorporated in Metal. The production sounds somewhat like the first and last Cynic album "Focus", also, they seem to have been an influence on Spiral Architect. So I guess this is for anybody who likes the more complicated side of Prog Metal and Death Metal, while also fans of bands like the aforementioned Cynic and Nevermore, as well as the likes of Watchtower, will find a gem in this.
Clips at youtube.com :
Playing some new stuff and the beginning of "Excessit":
Playing "Spinning" filmed from the drumset (watch this, it's really cool^^):
Bands already featured:
(just search this blog or look in the archive for the band you're interested in - scroll up to the top)