Guild Of Others is a new project put together by drummer Tom Wallace and guitarist Steve Potts being the core of the band with the template being that they bring in other musicians as and when required. This is their self-titled debut album and they have brought in some stellar guests to produce a most excellent progressive metal delight. They sent some demos to keyboard player Derek Sherinian (Sons Of Apollo, Black Country Communion, Dream Theater) and he was immediately impressed with their ideas and came on board. They then turned to the much in demand fretless bass player Tony Franklin (The Firm, Blue Murder plus so many others) and they then decided that they needed multiple vocalists so they brought in a local singer they knew for six of the songs in Mark Hammond with Michael Sadler (Saga) singing on Elysium and Henrik Bath (Darkwater) singing on Balance. The final part of the jigsaw was the addition of a Craig Goldy (Dio, Resurrection Kings) solo on Veil Of Insanity.
The music is progressive metal for sure but there are equal elements of prog rock and elements of jazz fusion to make this an album with an intriguing difference. The level of playing is exceptional which is only to be expected with Sherinian revelling in his roll and his wondrous dexterity does give an element of Dream Theater to the proceedings but the album has many other influences to including very early Rush, Saga, Fates Warning and Redemption. The songs are not overlong but as is usual with progressive metal they all have the feel of epics but without some of the excesses that can propel a 5-minute a song upwards of 15 minutes. It seems that the band is happy to reign in all of the long solos to keep the songs tight and compact but I guess they will be expanded when it comes to playing live on stage.
The vocals of Hammond are incredible and his is a name to watch out for and his work on the closing track Spirit Ghost is outstanding. Of course, both Michael Sadler and Henrik Bath add their own magic with Tony Franklin showing just how good a bass player he is and it is understandable why he is in such demand and much of his delivery has that smooth jazz feel that does actually work so well with hard rock. Tom Watts excels on drum with Potts being a fabulous metal guitarist and his work really does make a huge difference to the work. In truth, the standout musician is Derek Sherinian and I would not be too surprised if he does not soon become the third full time member of the project.
It is going to be interesting to see what the future brings as this new album is sure to generate enough positive feedback to warrant further releases and then the guessing game will begin as to who will be involved on the next project but one thing that can already be guaranteed is that it is going to be another thrilling album!
There is a new progressive metal band in town and they mean business.
Guild Of Others
- Other Side (4:25)
- Balance (feat Henrik Bath (6:49)
- Always There (4:53)
- Memento (5:35)
- New World Disorder (4:24)
- Elysium (feat Michael Sadler) (7:23)
- Veil Of Insanity (feat Craig Goldy) (4:55)
- Spirit Ghost (7:04)