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New Slychosis Release : Mental Hygiene

“Mental Hygiene” is the third installment from Slychosis. Gregg Johns. Todd Sears, and Ceci Whitehurst return with Clay Pell on bass. Special Guests appearing include Jeff Hamel of Majestic on Guitar and Keyboards, Bones Joshua Theriot of Abigail’s Ghost on guitar, Bridget Shield on Vocals, and Mike Fortenberry on trumpet. This album adds dark and heavy undertones in conjuction with the melodic prog layers associated with Slychosis. The songs are more vocally-oriented on this venture featuring the vocal talents of Ceci Whitehurst and a guest appearance from Bridget Shield.

More Info here at Slychosis.com

Big Bang Music

Proximal Distance review from Big Bang Music

Source Link

We ran the article through Google Translator, the original text appears below the translation:

PROXIMAL DISTANCE

“Proximal Distance”

United States – 2010

Autoprod. – 74:19

In 2008, Jeff Hamel and Greg Johns, respectively leaders of the groups Slychosis Majestic and begin to work together on an album project, which ended in 2010 with the formation of the group Proximal distance and out of a self-titled disc, composed ten pieces for a total of 74 minutes. The presence of two multi-instrumentalists, while excellent guitarists, coupled with that of Jessica Rasche, singer in Majestic, and sharing drum scores between Todd Sears and Jeremy Mitchell (both from Slychosis), suggesting the creating a work technique, inventive and always ambitious, though modern and melodic.

And indeed, the very first song, Johns and Hamel strike a blow. Completely instrumental, this piece opens with the majestic symphonic textures of a whole – Synthetic – ropes, before the arrival of other statutory instruments calling some powerful guitar solos and lyrical, while evoking the proud cavalcade Neal Morse Sola Scriptura. Boasting a score of more atmospheric keyboard, the piece then extends on a solo air at the gates of hypnosis floydienne, which confirms the constants of the album: the guitar is no doubt the preferred instrument training, which will use all its varied forms of expression.

With the advent of voice on “The Shaman”, the album still earns density, and moving toward more melodic countries, whose discovery goes through fluid vocal lines, sips of heat and emotion, especially apprehensible immediately. Writing scores accompanying characterized by finesse, precision that allow a real work setting, “Gypsy” echoes of that wealth, far from appearing as artificially grafted to the skeleton without life purely cerebral structures, is experienced sensually flesh offered generous bites of solid romantic light, delicate caresses of an acoustic guitar (“Fall Leaves”).

Alongside these pieces while languorous curves, Proximal Distance moved, with the last three tracks on the album, plays more aggressive, draped guitars, battered by low energetic and rough. But work on the variety of registers is the main asset of the group, in “Coherence” offers a journey into the world of electronic music, while the finale of “Expending Universe”, after a brief interlude in New Age, spread out around a solo cross between the two guitarists, qu’ensauvage, first and final fit of rage, double pedal drummer.

Nevertheless, Proximal Distance is not free from defects. If Jessica Rasche has the means to push his voice, she sometimes abused and lost in nuance it gains in power. In “Flashback to Now”, this style oscillates between unqualified success ayreonnienne loaded with reminiscences about the chorus, and more putassières interventions that are reminiscent … Shakira! Furthermore, titles 4-6, shorter, form a set a little low, which neglects the inventiveness of the writing to retain only the emotional impact of solos and vocal melodies. For example, Deep Space Intermission “can not be ignored, but agreed and predictable quickly annoy the listener looking for a minimum of originality.

In the end, Proximal Distance offers a debut album rich, coherent and varied. If risk-taking can sometimes seem minimal attention to both writing and seeking a permanent emotional intensity makes this a dense disk that will enjoy the nostalgic 70’s and the followers a more contemporary aesthetic progressive.

Alex Campen

(Column in Big Bang 77 – October 2010)

PROXIMAL DISTANCE

“Proximal Distance”

États-Unis – 2010

Autoprod. – 74:19

En 2008, Jeff Hamel et Greg Johns, respectivement leaders des groupes Majestic et Slychosis, commencent à travailler ensemble sur un projet d’album, qui aboutit en 2010 à la formation du groupe Proximal Distance et à la sortie d’un disque éponyme, composé de dix morceaux pour un total de 74 minutes. La présence des deux multi-instrumentistes, par ailleurs excellents guitaristes, couplée à celle de Jessica Rasche, chanteuse au sein de Majestic, et au partage des partitions de batterie entre Todd Sears et Jeremy Mitchell (tous deux issus de Slychosis), laisse supposer la création d’une œuvre technique, inventive et forcément ambitieuse, quoique résolument moderne et mélodique.

Et de fait, dès le premier morceau, Johns et Hamel frappent un grand coup. Totalement instrumentale, cette pièce s’ouvre sur les majestueuses textures symphoniques d’un ensemble – synthétique – de cordes, avant que l’arrivée solennelle des autres instruments n’appelle un solo de guitare puissant et lyrique, tout en fières cavalcades qui évoquent le Neal Morse de Sola Scriptura. Bénéficiant d’une partition de clavier plus atmosphérique, le morceau se prolonge ensuite sur un solo aérien aux portes de l’hypnose floydienne, qui confirme l’une des constantes de l’album : la guitare est à n’en pas douter l’instrument privilégié de la formation, qui saura user de toute la variété de ses modes d’expression.

Avec l’arrivée de la voix sur “The Shaman”, l’album gagne encore en densité, et s’oriente vers des contrées plus mélodiques, dont la découverte passe par des lignes de chant fluides, gorgées de chaleur et d’émotion, et surtout immédiatement appréhensibles. L’écriture des partitions d’accompagnement se caractérise par une finesse, une précision qui autorisent un réel travail d’arrangement ; “Gypsy” se fait l’écho de cette richesse qui, loin d’apparaître comme artificiellement greffée au squelette sans vie de constructions purement cérébrales, s’éprouve sensuellement, chair généreuse offerte aux morsures amoureuses de soli lumineux, aux caresses délicates d’une guitare acoustique (“Leaves Fall”).

Aux côtés de ces morceaux tout en courbes langoureuses, Proximal Distance propose, avec les trois derniers titres de l’album, des pièces plus agressives, drapées de guitares saturées, malmenées par une basse énergique et rugueuse. Mais le travail sur la variété des registres reste le principal atout du groupe, qui dans “Coherence” offre une plongée dans l’univers des musiques électroniques, tandis que le final d'”Expending Universe”, après une courte parenthèse new-age, se déploie autour d’un solo croisé entre les deux guitaristes, qu’ensauvage, dans un premier et ultime accès de rage, la double pédale du batteur.

Néanmoins, Proximal Distance n’est pas exempt de tout défaut. Si Jessica Rasche a les moyens de pousser sa voix, elle en abuse parfois et perd en nuance ce qu’elle gagne en puissance. Dans “Flashback to Now”, cet effet de style oscille entre réussite incontestable chargée de réminiscences ayreonnienne sur les refrains, et interventions plus putassières qui ne sont pas sans rappeler… Shakira ! Par ailleurs, les titres 4 à 6, plus courts, forment un ensemble un peu faible qui néglige l’inventivité de l’écriture pour ne retenir que la portée émotionnelle des soli et mélodies vocales. À titre d’exemple, “Deep Space Intermission” ne peut laisser indifférent, mais, convenu et prévisible, agacera rapidement l’auditeur en quête d’un minimum d’originalité.

Au final, Proximal Distance propose un premier album riche, cohérent et varié. Si la prise de risque peut parfois sembler minimale, l’attention portée à la fois à l’écriture et à la recherche d’une intensité émotionnelle permanente, fait de ce disque une œuvre dense que sauront apprécier les nostalgiques des 70’s ainsi que les adeptes d’une esthétique progressive plus contemporaine.

Alex CAMPENS

(chronique parue dans Big Bang n°77 – Octobre 2010)

New Majestic Release

Majestic’s New Release: Ataraxia

Oct 2010 – Minneapolis, MN

We are pleased to announce the next CD from Majestic, named Ataraxia, is now available! This next CD continues the evolution of Majestic with new musicians contributing throughout. This new exciting lineup produced by Jeff Hamel and featuring the powerful voice of Jessica Rasche, brings in Chris Nathe on Drums and also features cameo appearances by John Wooten (Drums), Gregg Johns (Guitar), Jerry Swan (Bass) and Jeremy Hamel (Acoustic Guitar). Ataraxia is marked with much more of a dynamic sound than its predecessor Arrival, which should please all fans of progressive rock. Containing 11 new tracks, the CD has 3 definitive movements each with its own flavor of progressive influences, ranging from hard rock to ambient, and everything in between. Recorded in Minneapolis, Mastered by Channel Fuse Media, and released by MALS Ltd. Ataraxia is a CD worth checking out!

Also note that Slychosis’s new CD named Mental Hygiene is coming out soon. Keep checking back here for the latest information.

Stop by the MajesticSongs.com website to see the release video and listen to some of the new music.

www.majesticsongs.com

Progression60

Proximal Distance featured in Progression Magazine

Proximal Distance is featured in the latest issue of Progression Magazine. The article profiles the self titled debut album as well as interviews with various members of the project. Be sure to go pick up a copy at your local news stands or you can order it online here.

Proximal Distance featured on Aural Moon Radio.

“Proximal Distance” will be featured on a Aural Moon Radio program this coming Monday, August 9th at 8:00 p.m. Central Time!

They will be playing a couple songs from the CD and there will also be commentary from the deejay!!

Woo hoo!

MerlinProg Reviews: “Proximal Distance – it definitely belongs in every decent collection of prog!”

Link to article

Here is the review via Google translator (original text below):

Proximaldistance is based on cooperation among musicians Jeff Hamel and John Gregg. It says most people may not so much, but when we mention our bands Slychosis and Majestic is possibly someone that it rings a bell to. Well, John is from the Canadian ensemble Slychosis, while Hamel from Majestic. Both plays numerous instruments and are driving forces in their respective bands, and these bands makes the usual pretty good prog alloy music. The music is classical prog with certain sensors to space rock with some innsmett of disharmonious notes that freshens up the whole. Apart from certain influences to the Majestic and Slychosis his music influences worth mentioning in bands like Pink Floyd, Saga, King Crimson, Genesis and Yes. The music on this debut alternates between atmospheric parties and parties with really full of gas and fine intensity. Intense instrumental sections alternate with vocal parts which include the fine vocals of Jessica Rasch let him hear. The epic song “Gupsy” can be definitely hear, and our “friend” Jessica Rasch make an effort and colors sounded superb here. Keyboards are often in a space mode, and guitar lines are something that can best be described as gorgeous, playful and beautiful. We hensettes to 60 and 70 the number of the fine alloy psychedelic song “Flash Back To Now (A Hippy’s Lament)”. Jessica Rasch’s voice and acoustic guitars and dreamy keyboards are the main ingredients in the beautiful and exciting “Fall Leaves”. Also “Algol” recently mentioned type keyboard first, but eventually convert the song to dirty music. The music can best be described as a heavy prog, and the bass and guitar encourages scene with pretty intense game play before the song calms down and flows into the “The Shaman”. A “flow” that makes these two songs almost make a musical symbiosis and in any case hang naturally together. “The Shaman” offers also on vocals, Sarah Hamel who seems to be hand-picked for just the song. A song that the course is about a something special if the traditional professions, and where a reasonable degree of savagery and dramaturgy course is required. Such obtained here from, among other vicious vokalsamplere and agile and innovative guitar and bass lines, lines. As a compelling final disc gives us 14.16 minutes long “Expanding Universe”. The song has a dark undertone, and the musical range is so wide that it is a pleasure. Yet the song very much accessible and not an exercise in showing off a wealth of good. Right there and not have to show off is of the gentlemen Hamel and John their forces on this album. With two multi-instrumental sites together on a board, so to speak, had enough people fell for the temptation to show off. Instead, it is a great commitment to make good musical ideas into creative, highly audible and exciting music. A msuikk where elements and inspiration from many styles melted together into a smoothly functioning whole. Hard rock, symfonsik, metal, prog, neo, artrock, electronica, prog metal are some of the sources used. That such a broad inspiration could be both unfocused and messy, we avoid here, and instead we get really tasty and good music made. An example of these skills is the duel between the two guitar solos that is alternately lyrical and raw, challenging and constantly supported by really fat and varying keyboard lines. When we also get cover art by Russian artist Vladimir Mold Aversion who is from the top drawer, we are obviously not the less positive of this work. As the preceding text clearly says that this album is best described in the Norwegian as well “a must”, and it definitely belongs in every decent collection of prog!

Here is the text in original form:

Proximal Distance – Proximal Distance

Proximaldistance er tuftet på samarbeidet mellom musikerne Jeff Hamel og Gregg Johns. Det sier kanskje ikke folk flest så mye, men når vi nevner vi bandene Slychosis og Majestic er det muligens noen som det ringer en bjelle for. Nåvel, Johns er fra det kanadiske ensemblet Slychosis, mens Hamel kommer fra Majestic. Begge spiller utallige instrumenter og er drivende krefter i sine respektive band, og disse bandene lager til vanlig ganske så bra proglegert musikk. Musikken er klassisk prog med visse følere til spacerock og med noen innsmett av disharmoniske toner som frisker opp det hele. Foruten visse influenser til Majestic og Slychosis sin musikk er påvirkningene verdt å nevne fra band som Pink Floyd, Saga, King Crimson, Genesis og Yes. Musikken på denne debuten veksler mellom stemningsfulle partier og partier med virkelig full gass og fin intensitet. Heftige instrumentalpartier veksler med vokalpartier hvor blant annet den fine vokalen til Jessica Rasche lar seg høre. Den episke låten ”Gupsy” lar seg så absolutt høre, og vår ”venninne” Jessica Rasche gjør en formidabel innsats og farger låt fortreffelig her. Keyboardene er ofte i et spaca modus, og gitarlinjene er av noe som best kan beskrives som lekre, lekne og vakre. Vi hensettes til 60 og 70 tallet på den fine psykedelisk legerte låten ”Flashback To Now (A Hippy’s Lament)”. Jessica Rasche sin stemme og akustiske gitarer og drømmende keyboards er hovedingrediensene i vakre og spennende ”Leaves Fall”. Også ”Algol” har nylig nevnte type keyboard begynnelsen , men her konverterer låten etter hvert til røffere musikk. En musikk som best kan beskrives som heavyprog, og hvor bass og gitar råder scene med ganske så intens spilling før låten roer seg ned og flyter inn i ”The Shaman”. En ”flyt” som gjør at disse to låtene nærmest utgjør en musikalsk symbiose og i alle fall henger naturlig sammen. ”The Shaman” byr for øvrig på vokal Sarah Hamel som virker å være håndplukket for akkurat den låten. En låt som jo selvsagt handler om en noe spesiell om enn tradisjonell profesjon, og hvor en rimelig grad av villskap og dramaturgi selvsagt er påkrevd. Slikt hentes her fra blant annet ondskapsfulle vokalsamplere og spenstige og innovative gitar- og basslinjerlinjer. Som en mektig finale gir skiva oss 14,16 minutter lange ”Expanding Universe”. Den låten har en mørk undertone, og det musikalske sortimentet er så rikholdig at det er en fornøyelse. Likevel er låten i høy grad tilgjengelig og ikke en øvelse i å vise frem et vell av flinkhet. Akkurat det og ikke måtte vise seg frem er av herrene Hamel og Johns sine styrker på denne skiva. Med to multiinstrumentalsiter samlet på et brett så å si , hadde mange nok falt for fristelsen til å vise seg frem. I stedet er det et flott fokus på å forme gode musikalske ideer om til kreativ, svært hørbar og spennende musikk. En msuikk hvor elementer og inspirasjon fra mange stilarter smeltes sammen til et velfungerende hele. Hardrock, symfonsik metall, prog, neo, artrock, electronica, progmetall er noen av kildene som brukes. At en så bred inspirasjon kunne bli både ufokusert og uryddig unngår vi her, og i stedet får vi virkelig velsmakende og dyktig laget musikk. Et eksempel på nevnte dyktighet er duellen mellom to gitarsoloer som vekselsvis er stemningsfulle og rått utfordrende, og hele tiden understøttet av virkelig fete og varierende keyboardlinjer. Når vi så også får cover art av den russiske artisten Vladimir Moldavsky som er fra øverste skuff blir vi jo selvsagt ikke mindre positive til dette verket. Som den foregående teksten klart sier så kan denne skiva best beskrives på godt norsk som ”et must”, og den hører definitivt hjemme i enhver anstendig samling av prog!

http://proximaldistance.com

1. Algol (Instrumental)
2. The Shaman
3. Gypsy
4. Contemplation
5. Flashback to Now (A Hippy’s Lament)
6. Deep Space Intermission
7. Leaves Fall
8. Journey of Truth
9. Coherence
10. Expanding Universe

*

Jeff Hamel – Giatrer, keyboards, bass og vokal
*

Gregg Johns – Gitarer, keyboards ,bass, mandoliner og vokal

Gjesteartister,

*

Sarah Hamel – Vokal på spor 2
*

Jessica Rasche – Vokal
*

Jeremy Mitchell – Trommer
*

Todd Sears – Trommer

MLWZ – Radio Alfa 102.40 FM Krakow in Poland plays Majestic, Slychosis and Proximal Distance

Artur Chachlowski played Majestic, Slychosis and Proximal Distance on the 06/02/2010 radio show. Along with the airplay reviews (written in Polish) of all three CDs are posted.

Thanks Artur!!!

Listen to radio

Reviews:

ProgNaut – “This is simply one of the best debuts of 2010.”

Artist/ Band: Proximal Distance
Title: Proximal Distance
Label: Self release
Year of Release: 2010
Offical Artist/ Band Link

The Review:

Proximal Distance is a new progressive rock collaboration spearheaded by Jeff Hamel of Majestic (guitars, keyboards, bass, vocals) and Gregg Johns of Slychosis (guitars, keyboards, bass, mandolin, vocals). Joining them are Sarah Hamel (vocals on “Shaman”), Jessica Rasche of Majestic on (vocals) and Jeremy Mitchell and Todd Sears, both of Slychosis (drums).Aside from their separate bands, influences on the self titled debut includes bands like Yes, Genesis, King Crimson, Pink Floyd and Saga. With Jessica’s vocals, it takes those classic influences to a whole new level. The primary sound has a classic progressive rock with some elements of space rock and some dissonant sections woven in.

Starting off the album is “Algol” (7:52), starts off with some dreamy keyboards building up to heavy prog sound with urgent bass and guitar parts. It mellows out towards the last few minutes and segues into “The Shaman” (8:02), the first vocal track on the album provided perfectly by Sarah Hamel and includes some evil sounding voice samples. These two songs make up a something like a suite.

Next up is “Gypsy” (11:22), the first epic of the album. This one features Jessica on vocals and she’s in top form. Musically this one leans towards a Pink Floyd influence with it‘s fluid guitars and spacey keyboard parts. This is one of my favorites of the album.

The music goes a relaxing route on the acoustic driven “Contemplation” (3:17) and is the perfect vehicle for Jessica to show off her vocals up front. Picking up the pace again is “Flashback (A Hippy’s Lament)” (4:40) with it’s psychedelic vibe that reminds me of a trippy sounds of the late 60’s/early 70’s. This is followed by “Deep Space Intermission” (5:36) which has a more spacey sound with soaring guitar solos and minimal vocal parts.

“Leaves Fall” (3:50) returns to the acoustic side with some dreamy keyboard parts. It is another song that features Jessica’s angelic vocals in the forefront. This is another of my favorite songs on the album.

Returning to the long format is “Journey Of Truth” (7:33). This has a metallic guitar crunch about 2 minutes into the song. Here’s where the Majestic & Slychosis influences come in to play. The vocal melodies are just sublime here as with the guitar playing

Coherence” (7:54) starts off with some spoken word the morphs into a progressive metal vibe with the crunchy guitar parts. It reminds me of a mixture of Majestic and Ayreon.

Closing off the album is the second epic “Expanding Universe” (14:16), that at times reminds me of a heavy version of Pink Floyd mixed in with some elements of Ayreon. It also contains the most soulful and emotional vocals on the album.

Proximal Distance was a perfect meeting of progressive rock musicians and the self titled debut is a testament to the finer points of the genre that is fresh with each listen. Everyone was in top form. I would recommend this highly to fans of both Majestic & Slychosis as well as the afore mentioned bands. This is simply one of the best debuts of 2010.

Reviewed by on May 25th, 2010

Tracks:

01. Algol (7:52)
02. The Shaman (8:02)
03. Contemplation (3:17)
04. Flashback to Now [A Hippy’s Lament] (4:40)
05. Deep Space Intermission (5:35)
06. Leaves Fall (3:50)
07. Journey of Truth (7:32)
08. Coherence (7:54)
09. Expanding Universe (14:15)

THE BEST BAND AND RECORD OF THE MONTH – April 2010

Proximal Distance is a sophisticated musical project, featuring two incredible musicians, Jeff Hamel from “Majestic” and Gregg Johns from “Slychosis”, both are considered as a multi-instrumentalist, where together for the first time, started to build strong musical ideas, creating an innovative and solid music with a varied collection of styles and influences, taking inspiration in the past, with a creativity in combining elements of Progressive Rock, Art Rock, Hard Rock, Neo-Progressive, Progressive Metal and Symphonic Metal adding a dark atmosphere and some electronic textures. The band’s music impressed me, because they use a varied instrumental conception, blending symphonic arrangements with heavy and aggressive components with extensive instrumental parts. The main highlights on the instrumentation are the amazing duels from two different guitars’ solos, sometimes melodic and sometimes aggressive, acompained by symphonic and atmospheric keyboards, producing incredible melodies. On vocals, we have Jessica Rasche (check out “Majestic” Band), singing in a distinctive style that fits perfectly in all the compositions, her voice is so clear and melodic, with an ability to create many different vocal tones, sounding between “Tracy Hitchings” – “Landmark”, “Robin (Marta Kniewska)” –  “Strawberry Fields”, “Christina Maria Booth” – “Magenta” and “Rachel  Jones” -“Karnataka”. “Proximal Distance” contains ten incredible tracks, 74 min of a pure musical delight, full of magic moments. You must listen the songs “Algol”, “The Shaman”,  “Gypsy”, “Flashback to Now (A Hippy’s Lament)”, “Journey of Truth”, “Coherence” and “Expanding Universe”, that of course, would please all fans to the old and new progressive rock. For the best reference, the musical ideas on the project, follows in the same line such as the bands “Pink Floyd”, “Arena”, “Slychosis”, “Porcupine Tree”, “IQ”, “Majestic”, “Riverside”, “Magenta”, “Mostly Autumn”, “Landmark” and “Ayreon”. Brilliant, fantastic, and an amazing album, highly recommendable…

Set against our brilliant progressive rock song “Deep Space Intermission”, this video highlights the wonderful artwork of Vladimir Moldavsky