Genre-fluid alt-proggers Flummox premiere epic The Unibirth Suite - check it out now!

Flummox group shot
(Image credit: Keith McQuarrie)

Tennessee alt-proggers Flummox have shared their 14-minute prog metal epic, The Unibirth Suite, and it's bound to get your feet tapping. The "genre-fluid" shredders release their new album Rephlummoxed on April 1 via Needlejuice.

Says guitarist Max Mobarry, "The Unibirth Suite is a long, winding progressive psychedelic epic, and one of Alyson's [Dellinger] best vocal performances to date. I've played in a lot of bands, and I've had my share of 15-minute prog rock epics, but this piece of music is so powerful. Chase [McCutcheon, guitars/production] did a magnificent job making it breathe and speak as it does."

The band, whose 2020 album In Hindsight included the trans-rights anthem Trans Girls Need Guns, have taken a fresh approach on their latest record. It includes new versions of material from their previous albums and The Unibirth Suite, in particular, has a significant history for two of the bandmembers.

"It comes from the first piece of music me and [co-founder/guitarist] Drew [Jones] ever wrote together when we were 14," explains bassist/vocalist Dellinger. "Me and Drew have been friends since we were 11, and we picked up our respective instruments at the same time, just a couple years later."

The middle section of the three-part song was originally inspired by a poem written by Dellinger's godfather Bill. When he passed away, the band decided to pay tribute to him with a long-form version of the song that he'd sowed the seeds for.

Says Dellinger, "The song as it exists now is the same four chords we used back then – we've twisted and turned the dynamics a lot, but it’s essentially the same song. We'd made an attempt to record it before, but we just didn't feel it. This time, though, we really restructured things. We had a lot of fun rearranging it and turning it into something that, while not completely unlike what it had been, was an improvement on every level.

"Toward the end of the sessions, Max added orchestration to the end of the song, and the first time I heard the string section, I literally wept. Never before has music I’ve been a part of hit me in that way. I really did cry, all day, on and off. Because it’s such a heavy song for me, with my godfather being gone now 10-plus years. As much as I'd always wanted to make that song speak, and make it this big cinematic experience, I never thought I would actually hear it realised in this way. I couldn’t have imagined it any better than it turned out. Of all the songs on the new record, I’m most proud of that one."

Judge the results for yourself and stream The Unibirth Suite below:

Natasha Scharf
Deputy Editor, Prog

Contributing to Prog since the very first issue, writer and broadcaster Natasha Scharf was the magazine’s News Editor before she took up her current role of Deputy Editor, and has interviewed some of the best-known acts in the progressive music world from ELP, Yes and Marillion to Nightwish, Dream Theater and TesseracT. Starting young, she set up her first music fanzine in the late 80s and became a regular contributor to local newspapers and magazines over the next decade. The 00s would see her running the dark music magazine, Meltdown, as well as contributing to Metal Hammer, Classic Rock, Terrorizer and Artrocker. Author of music subculture books The Art Of Gothic and Worldwide Gothic, she’s since written album sleeve notes for Cherry Red, and also co-wrote Tarja Turunen’s memoirs, Singing In My Blood. Beyond the written word, Natasha has spent several decades as a club DJ, spinning tunes at aftershow parties for Metallica, Motörhead and Nine Inch Nails. She’s currently the only member of the Prog team to have appeared on the magazine’s cover.