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Earthside: A Dream In Static

Progressive newbies gather friends in high places

When a band appears out of nowhere, seemingly without a label, and with a mediocre social following, and drops the most ambitious of debuts that features Tesseract’s Daniel Tompkins and Soilwork’s Bjorn Strid as guests, you have to give them credit.

Connecticut-based Earthside have been working hard on this audacious interpretation of modern prog that blends the transcendental uplift of bands like Skyharbor and Scale The Summit, plus some post-metal euphoria thrown in, with the bulk of the record (again, props to them) recorded with the Moscow Studio Symphony Orchestra.

We won’t worry about how they’re going to pull this off live, but as a largely instrumental record it takes technically weighted progressive sounds in a new direction that makes the guest appearances by-the-by – except perhaps for the mighty closer Contemplation Of The Beautiful, which presents Face The King’s Eric Zirlinger’s anguished performance against an equally forlorn, yet epic backdrop.