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Demon Haunted World
28 Nov 2010
REVIEW: EP -- Demon Haunted World
by: Brighter Than A Thousand Suns
Formerly Self Made Soul
One of the coolest things about the internet is this: not only is there really good music here, and lots of it, but you can also see what other people are listening to. Hearing new music is no longer a matter of being subjected to some Little Tin DJ whose uncle is a big record company exec, or whose mommy owns the radio station. You know, like the thousands of daily schleps who only play certain tunes over and over again, because the price is right and the FCC says so. Those days are going away finally, and we do hope its forever. Independent Music is here to stay, and that is a wonderful thing.
Yes, things are really shaping up here on the net, and I sometimes compare the world wide web to a favorite bay or lagoon, where I can go and fish and listen to music, and relax and listen to music, and occasionally visit and do commerce with others, all the while listening to good new music. I have a few places I regularly throw my digital fishing line, as I angle about for stimulating sounds, and these virtual lily pads or underwater structures where the good fish hang out are my favorite spots, places which usually produce something new and interesting, even exciting, and on occasion positively delightful.
One day recently I was fishing about over at Myspace, and one of my regular fellow-listeners added some stuff to his playlists. I pay attention when he does that, because he has turned me on to some really good things in the past. I checked out a couple of his recommendations and found one I kept close. The groups name is Brighter Than A Thousand Suns, and though it was somewhat a departure for me, I was into it immediately, and loving it all the more because of its newness. The band seems really young, and their listeners too, and though I am not of the age group, the cohesion of the sounds, the intricate beginnings, and bodies filling the void with orderly completeness and melodic meat, which finalized with near perfect closure...yeah, I am into all that, and became a fan immediately. I bought the bands EP "Demon Haunted World" and its been in my personal listening stream ever since. When those songs show up I smile.
Perhaps the best thing about Myspace is that you can actually contact many of the musicians with questions or kudos. I wrote to Randy, leader and spokes person of Brighter Than A Thousand Suns, and told him I would like to review the work. Randy is not just a very talented musician but a really cool guy, and smart too. He is being kept very busy with the response from Demon Haunted World, and also with a very tight schedule. I found what I needed in the several videos done by this band, and the BTATS blog at MySpace. What you are reading is a synopsis of that information, along with my personal take on it all. What a lucky reader you are, too.
Brighter Than A Thousand Suns began as a band called Self Made Soul, which, early in its existence, had experienced a rather fluid line-up except for the two founding members, who are Randy and Alex. These two young men had met during High School, and have been performing together ever since. Randy plays lead guitar for the band, and he does it with accomplishment and a confident attitude that is a joy to hear; and Alex plays bass guitar and sings. Alex' vocals are exceptionally good sounding, and were the main vocals until the band gained Angelika who calls herself Angel. It was discovered that Angelika has quite a talent for screaming vocals, which are a growing part of modern music, and she was therefore moved to the front, with Alex as secondary vocals. Angelikas voice is signature though not restricted to just really hard screaming output: her regular, ehhhhh...shall we say "Normal" voice is very good too. The final line-up of Brighter Than A Thousand Suns fell into place with Matt on drums, and together these four people make a nice, compact, and highly mobile engine of unique and powerful music. Yes, engine. Thats the best word for it, I think. En. Gine. Power. Full. Imagine a really large motor. Or, as the Japanese are known to say: Power Plant.
The bands original name, Self Made Soul, was derived from a work of literature by Ayn Rand. The change to Brighter Than A Thousand Suns came about just recently, and in my research I see that this term has been used in Music before. The band Killing Joke, a favorite of mine, produced a CD by that name, and the band Iron Maiden had a song by that name as well. The earliest reference I came across was a book entitled Brighter Than A Thousand Suns which was a personal history of the first Atomic Scientists, published in English in 1958. Be all that as it may, this band which hails from Connecticut USA has a sound that is at least as bright as a thousand suns, so the name is apt and truly descriptive.
The self admitted high points the band Brighter Than A Thousand Suns strives for are integrity, and honesty, and this shows in their lyrics: "Take this burning home, our blood runs hot, but our hearts are cold: These blackened skies and poison seas stain our souls, yet our hands are clean...This is our legacy? Money matters most, to buy us demons, to turn us into Gods, but if money mattered most, our bottom line should buy us hope; Instead we leave you all alone, to take this burden off our fragile bones, we hand down this mess, to the heirs of our indifference, we pass this torch with shame, for you to put out the flames...." From: The Inheritance.
The information is lucid and significant, and yes it is loud. Perhaps this is why this band has had real opposition to their music. The worst setback the band has suffered, not to mention the inevitable tour gruel and hardships on the road, was when they recently had their band trailer stolen; it was loaded with their equipment and gear, and its been extremely difficult for all of them in their attempt to get back to the point where they can make their music.
Not only are Brighter Than A Thousand Suns extra adept at what they do, and appealing in a big way, but their message is one of importance and strength. They have won several awards and musical competitions, and done a lot of hard work which really comes across in their audio demeanor, their bearing. They have not lost the ability to keep it going and they remain relatively unscathed in spite of sometimes diabolical turns in events. That is the sign of their true strength, their determination and basic ability to deal with whatever it takes in order to make their music. In one of the videos by Brighter Than A Thousand Suns it is illustrated graphically how a message of great importance came to them, in a very odd way. The way does not really matter. The message does:
"How people treat you is their karma. How you react is yours."
Words To Live By.
Expect great things from this band. You will not be disappointed.
Go here: myspace.com/brighterthan1000suns
To hear Demon Haunted World
BRIGHTER THAN A THOUSAND SUNS is...
Angelika: Screams, Clean Vocals
Alex: Bass, Clean Vocals
Randy: Guitars, Programming
Self Made Soul - Artist Of The Week
Self Made Soul Update March 2010 Brighter Than a Thousand Suns
Interview Part 1
Interview Part 2
Review By Bill Gallagher
This work is in the public domain