Thursday, September 19, 2013

REVIEW: EP -- Demon Haunted World -- Brighter Than A Thousand Suns

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

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:
To hear Demon Haunted World

BRIGHTER THAN A THOUSAND SUNS is...?Angelika: Screams, Clean Vocals
Alex: Bass, Clean Vocals?Matt: Drums?Randy: Guitars, Programming

Some videos:

Self Made Soul - Artist Of The Week

Self Made Soul Update March 2010 Brighter Than a Thousand Suns

Walls Made Of Glass

Interview Part 1
Interview Part 2


Review By Bill Gallagher

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