Sunday, November 09, 2008

Halcyon Way blew me away!

I saw metal band Halcyon Way do a Halloween show (thanx to Reverend Su) in 2007, and was very impressed. Their sound is described on CD Baby as "combining the heaviness of bands like Slayer, the technical prowess of Dream Theater, and with vocal melodies reminding you of Ronnie James Dio's best work", and I think that's pretty accurate. Besides being very competent musicians, they put on a good stage show and were even in costume. Beyond that they were funny - my favorite thing in a live performance, which is part of why I love The Tubes. But the mix was muddy, and though I could see guitarist Jon Bodan's fingers moving I could barely hear him. (Too bad, as the trained eye can clearly see how disciplined and educated his playing is, whether you hear him or not)

Sometime in 2008 I saw them again, opening for Circle II Circle, at the same venue. Again the performance was good, had even improved, but the mix was still muddy. When Circle II Circle came on, they put their own guy on the mixer and it cleaned right up.

Last night I attended their CD Release Party (Nightmare Records) at 3 Bears in Marietta, a much better venue, and the sound was much better. This performance was stunning! I saw what appeared to be an arena-level act, complete with wardrobe and synchronized video, crammed into a local-level stage. I got myself a seat directly on-axis with Jon's amp, near the sound booth, where the sound is always best. And I enjoyed the best show I've seen in ages. The sound was deep and ballsy (they tune to drop-C#) but full spectrum and amazingly good, making the other local acts on the bill sound like a wagonload of pots & pans on a rough road by comparison. I suspect they reinforce their sound with some studio tracks, but because they play so tightly it's not obvious, it's just very very rich.

I highly recommend this band and their new album, "A Manifesto For Domination" which you can preorder now on Amazon.com. Or, apparently cheaper at CD Baby. Or you can go buy a CD, shirt, and other merch at an actual Halcyon Way show which I'm sure you'll enjoy. You can find some sound samples on their MySpace page and probably on the CD sites soon.

Oh, and in the process of interviewing Jon Bodan on my radio show (hear it here), I got to know that he's very into science fiction books, and enjoys all things steampunk. And that, for some reason, he wants to hire midgets, which we learned you can do at HireAMidget.com. Who knew?

1 comment:

the su said...

i never knew Jon was a steampunk - now i like him even more. i was SO glad you liked the band the first time - and i know they love getting their props from a master such as yourself...
i am LOVING the cd, by the way - amazing, as i knew it would be :)