The Parallax Method’s debut EP, The Owl, is a wonderful assemblage of angular riffs, head-scratching time signatures and crunchy grooves, wrapped up in a bundle of technical virtuosity.
The band were formed by Danny Beardsley, Dave Wright and Daniel Hayes after the demise of their previous outfit, Isolysis, whose chop-tastic, twisting arrangements drew inspiration from Tool. And they don’t shy away from experimenting with their songtitles either – just what’s up with all the owl and squid references? Honey I Shrunk The Squid is just one example…
An ‘explanation’ can be found on their website: “Conceptually, The Parallax Method lean on the themes of space and a perpetual battle between the owl and the squid to convey their unique subgenre of modern prog. Space signifies the vast and epic nature of each track. The owl; wise and powerful, manifests itself in the music in its confident and strategic build-ups. The squid; sneaky and sly, embodies itself in the surprising twists and turns. And the battle between them often ends in violent stalemate and often betrays the band’s humble standard tuning…”
Polyrhythms, unusual scales and chord voicings – we’re aiming to push our music to the limit to see what we discover.
After Isolysis split, the siren call of prog was too strong to resist, and Beardsley suggested they form “a band with no boundaries”. Thus The Parallax Method were born in 2011, and the trio decided to forego the need for a vocalist. “We chose to pursue an instrumental approach because we wanted to experiment with our instruments and not rely on the more traditional use of vocals,” says Beardsley. “We try to start at one destination and travel as far away from that as possible, the way classical music has different movements.”
Going instrumental has freed the trio to explore more challenging song structures. “We don’t have to accommodate a verse/chorus layout, but we try to drop in as many little melodic passages as possible along the way,” explains the guitarist. “It allows us to really think about the composition from a different angle. It forces you to think deeper into every riff and section – you have to pull it apart and try every possible avenue it could go down before settling. This tends to be something people overlook. For example, leaving a section as it comes out first time around and just saying, ‘There will be vocals over this…’ – that’s too easy. Time signatures, polyrhythms, unusual scales and chord voicings – we’re aiming to push our music to the limit and see what we discover.”
The Owl was written in the studio and the trio have just begun the process of taking it out live to see what sort of reaction they provoke. “With us spending so much time writing it, we tend to forget how obscure some of it actually is!” says Beardsley. “We wrote what we wanted, without worrying about what people’s opinions would be, but the feedback so far has been surprisingly positive, even from people who wouldn’t typically listen to instrumental or even progressive music. That’s a massive compliment!”
|Dave Wright (drums), Daniel Hayes (bass), Danny Beardsley (guitars)|
|The members of Tesseract and Karnivool having a jam while their singers sit this one out. With a side of calamari|
|The Owl is out now|