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> Gnostic - First Version Of Splinters Demo
Todd Simpson
post Jan 5 2017, 11:51 AM
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I played in a band called GNOSTIC looooooong ago with a Drummer named Steve Flynn From another band called ATHEIST. He was darn good. Anyhoo, we recorded our first demo in the place that Mastadon recorded one of their early demos (LedBelly Sound) and Kelly Schaefer (vocalist from Atheist) came down to produce it. Great fun smile.gif Sad news, the band went sorta "Blackened Metal" and re - recorded the demo (Version 2 of the Splinters of Change Demo) which is widely seen as not as good as version 1. This is something very obscure and only of interest to folks who have ever heard of ATHEIST which is a very small number of folks. But man are those folks NUTS about Atheist and anything related. So anyhoo, I kept getting emails from strangers about the "Version 1" tracks which were evidently all pulled down from the web as far as anyone could tell, right after the band got signed to SEASONS OF MIST Records (A French Death/Black Label). So I put them back up smile.gif At least for now, until somebody with a lawyer blocks it. smile.gif Here is the link to the full playlist of all 5 songs in their original form, with some degree of dynamics in tact. https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLEgM...TaMez7hMyzSRjY2 Here is the first Track. Please 2 Enjoy smile.gif

This post has been edited by Todd Simpson: Jan 5 2017, 11:56 AM


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fzalfa
post Jan 5 2017, 12:28 PM
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Yeah !!!

Sound really good, the bassist sound good too !

Splinters of Change is killer !


Cheers

Laurent

This post has been edited by fzalfa: Jan 5 2017, 12:41 PM


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MonkeyDAthos
post Jan 5 2017, 12:30 PM
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I seriously enjoyed that! biggrin.gif
Dat riff 1:40 is groovy as hell.


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Kristofer Dahl
post Jan 5 2017, 02:52 PM
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Very good indeed!


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Todd Simpson
post Jan 6 2017, 05:00 AM
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Thanks!! That was one of my faves to play live. So much aggression smile.gif The vid is the same for each song on the demo, but there are 5 tracks. This is SPLINTERS OF CHANGE


QUOTE (fzalfa @ Jan 5 2017, 07:28 AM) *
Yeah !!!

Sound really good, the bassist sound good too !

Splinters of Change is killer !


Cheers

Laurent


Thanks! That's STEPHEN MORLEY on bass and he borrows a lot from TONY CHOY (Pestilence/Atheist) in doing slapping/popping, "Funk" stuff that doesn't always find it's way in to Technical Death Metal smile.gif But I'm always happy when it does. smile.gif This track was written by STEPHEN and you can sorta tell as it's got a crazy Funk/Pop N Slap, bass line.



QUOTE (MonkeyDAthos @ Jan 5 2017, 07:30 AM) *
I seriously enjoyed that! biggrin.gif
Dat riff 1:40 is groovy as hell.


Many thanks! smile.gif Still my fave stuff I've ever recorded, and the best drummer I've ever seen.

Todd

QUOTE (Kristofer Dahl @ Jan 5 2017, 09:52 AM) *
Very good indeed!


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DeGroot
post Apr 12 2017, 05:59 PM
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Consider me one of those that was nuts for Atheist.

Not sure why but the rest of my post didn't submit. Had a long winded post. In short, this demo rules!

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Todd Simpson
post Apr 12 2017, 07:37 PM
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Thanks smile.gif I was a big fan of how this demo turned out. When they got signed, they went more towards black Metal, which was the influence of the original guitar player, Sonny. My replacement was also a black metal fan, so the melodic medal harmonies that I brought to the table were scrapped for sheer speed. The fans reacted badly and the band was dropped after only one album. sad.gif Here is how they ended up after the "Blackening" treatment smile.gif



QUOTE (DeGroot @ Apr 12 2017, 12:59 PM) *
Consider me one of those that was nuts for Atheist.

Not sure why but the rest of my post didn't submit. Had a long winded post. In short, this demo rules!


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DeGroot
post Apr 12 2017, 11:59 PM
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QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ Apr 12 2017, 06:37 PM) *
Thanks smile.gif I was a big fan of how this demo turned out. When they got signed, they went more towards black Metal, which was the influence of the original guitar player, Sonny. My replacement was also a black metal fan, so the melodic medal harmonies that I brought to the table were scrapped for sheer speed. The fans reacted badly and the band was dropped after only one album. sad.gif Here is how they ended up after the "Blackening" treatment smile.gif



I would say that is a pretty big shift in the sound from the first demo. It's sounds hyper technical but I dig it. Still has Steve Flynn's signature drumming.

I do prefer the first demo style personally. Top-notch stuff. Is that you soloing at the end of Violently Calm?


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Todd Simpson
post Apr 13 2017, 09:18 PM
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Yup! That's me! smile.gif Good ear! I'm using some of my fave licks which I"m guessing you recognize? I doubled the solo originally, which nobody there seemed to think was possible. Actually got applause from the room (including Kelly and Steve from Atheist) after pulling it off. But we went back to just one take of it for the last mix.

Todd


QUOTE (DeGroot @ Apr 12 2017, 06:59 PM) *
I would say that is a pretty big shift in the sound from the first demo. It's sounds hyper technical but I dig it. Still has Steve Flynn's signature drumming.

I do prefer the first demo style personally. Top-notch stuff. Is that you soloing at the end of Violently Calm?


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DeGroot
post Apr 15 2017, 03:20 PM
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QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ Apr 13 2017, 08:18 PM) *
Yup! That's me! smile.gif Good ear! I'm using some of my fave licks which I"m guessing you recognize? I doubled the solo originally, which nobody there seemed to think was possible. Actually got applause from the room (including Kelly and Steve from Atheist) after pulling it off. But we went back to just one take of it for the last mix.

Todd


Thought it was you... has your sound and style all over it. cool.gif I always like hearing about tidbits like that.


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Todd Simpson
post Apr 15 2017, 10:07 PM
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You got good ears!! smile.gif Hearing it back again, I can still remember playing it. It's got some of my fave licks/tricks in it, including my fave minor run ending in a pinch harmonic. I played some of the other guitarists rythm bits as well as I remember. After the session, he was not happy. He felt I was somehow putting him in the "back of the bus" , as the rest of the guys in the band seemed overly happy with my playing. It was soon after that, I was told my services wouldn't be required smile.gif We all parted as friends though. I wouldn't have been happy playing the stuff that ended up on the album though. It's just not my thing. sad.gif The first demo was much more along the lines of stuff I'd play/listen to. However, I can always listen to Steve playing drums. No matter what else is going on smile.gif The guy is just amazing. I watched him tracking and he got most of it in one take. Same as me smile.gif

QUOTE (DeGroot @ Apr 15 2017, 10:20 AM) *
Thought it was you... has your sound and style all over it. cool.gif I always like hearing about tidbits like that.



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DeGroot
post Apr 16 2017, 03:48 PM
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QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ Apr 15 2017, 09:07 PM) *
You got good ears!! smile.gif Hearing it back again, I can still remember playing it. It's got some of my fave licks/tricks in it, including my fave minor run ending in a pinch harmonic. I played some of the other guitarists rythm bits as well as I remember. After the session, he was not happy. He felt I was somehow putting him in the "back of the bus" , as the rest of the guys in the band seemed overly happy with my playing. It was soon after that, I was told my services wouldn't be required smile.gif We all parted as friends though. I wouldn't have been happy playing the stuff that ended up on the album though. It's just not my thing. sad.gif The first demo was much more along the lines of stuff I'd play/listen to. However, I can always listen to Steve playing drums. No matter what else is going on smile.gif The guy is just amazing. I watched him tracking and he got most of it in one take. Same as me smile.gif


I recognized that lick as well... killer solo, fits the rhythms like a glove too. smile.gif Ah, that's a shame it worked out that way. dry.gif Really had a great thing going on. I like it better than some of the Atheist- Jupiter material. Sometimes it seems egos can get in the way from what is best for the band.

But anyway, that must of been awesome to play with the likes of Steve Flynn and record with Kelly Schaefer. It must have been inspiring!


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Todd Simpson
post Apr 16 2017, 07:58 PM
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Kelly Schaeffer was there the entire time we were doing the first demo. He's listed as producer, although he mostly just gave sage advice that we of course followed smile.gif

Thanks about the solo wink.gif It's one of my faves that I've ever done. smile.gif

I gotta say it was an outright honor to play with Steve Flynn at all. He's just a legendary drummer and for good reason. We practiced 3 times a week for about a year before doing the first demo. He hit everything on the first take and made the bass player and the other guitarist a bit nervous setting such a high bar. smile.gif

I agree that this stuff is a bit better than what ended up on JUPITER as Atheist is basically Gnostic with a different singer and perhaps a swap or two here and now and again. I think the addition of two black metal fans on guitar took some of the air out of Atheists approach. There used to be long jazzy bits that went a bit quiet to give context to the loud bits that followed. They had a mastery of dynamics that seems to have gone away on the last album. I hope they find their way again and make music like PIECE OF TIME and such. I know they can.

I'd jump at the chance to play with Steve again, in pretty much any project. The guy just oozes musicality and groove. he really is that good.


Todd

QUOTE (DeGroot @ Apr 16 2017, 10:48 AM) *
I recognized that lick as well... killer solo, fits the rhythms like a glove too. smile.gif Ah, that's a shame it worked out that way. dry.gif Really had a great thing going on. I like it better than some of the Atheist- Jupiter material. Sometimes it seems egos can get in the way from what is best for the band.

But anyway, that must of been awesome to play with the likes of Steve Flynn and record with Kelly Schaefer. It must have been inspiring!



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DeGroot
post Apr 16 2017, 08:57 PM
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I'm sure Flynn made everyone around him better. Did he have a lot input with the music or doing any of the writing? This all super interesting to read. I did sorta wonder how nervous I would probably get if I played with a caliber guy like that... specially since he was a major influence to me. But then it just might make me step it up even more. You obviously made the most of it.

Yeah, the Jupiter stuff is a bit weird. Just feel like its missing that vintage something. I did notice it was mostly Gnostic members... I didn't know this at first, of course. I think they have a whole new line-up. Choy is back I believe. I hope they get back to the way they once were but won't hold it against them if they don't. Everybody wants these legendary bands to come back but I'm sure it is very difficult after 20 some years. The bar is set impossibly high with stuff like Unquestionable and Piece of Time. Obviously Rand Burkley is huge part of the sound and probably not replaceable at all. It would be really cool if came back in the fold. Again, who knows what state he is or even plays guitar after 20 years. Its hard for the everyday fan to really get the whole story.

QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ Apr 16 2017, 06:58 PM) *
Kelly Schaeffer was there the entire time we were doing the first demo. He's listed as producer, although he mostly just gave sage advice that we of course followed smile.gif

Thanks about the solo wink.gif It's one of my faves that I've ever done. smile.gif

I gotta say it was an outright honor to play with Steve Flynn at all. He's just a legendary drummer and for good reason. We practiced 3 times a week for about a year before doing the first demo. He hit everything on the first take and made the bass player and the other guitarist a bit nervous setting such a high bar. smile.gif

I agree that this stuff is a bit better than what ended up on JUPITER as Atheist is basically Gnostic with a different singer and perhaps a swap or two here and now and again. I think the addition of two black metal fans on guitar took some of the air out of Atheists approach. There used to be long jazzy bits that went a bit quiet to give context to the loud bits that followed. They had a mastery of dynamics that seems to have gone away on the last album. I hope they find their way again and make music like PIECE OF TIME and such. I know they can.

I'd jump at the chance to play with Steve again, in pretty much any project. The guy just oozes musicality and groove. he really is that good.


Todd


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verciazghra
post Apr 16 2017, 09:11 PM
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Really cool stuff man. Digging it.


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Todd Simpson
post Apr 16 2017, 09:46 PM
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Many thanks smile.gif It was my hope that this stuff would end up on the First Album. Imagine my dismay when I heard the Album and it was just blackened to the hilt with no sense of dynamics, and very little of the Death Jazz that Flynn helped create. I do hope we get to work together again on something closer to old Atheist. I have not talked to him in forever, I should give him a call smile.gif

Todd


QUOTE (verciazghra @ Apr 16 2017, 04:11 PM) *
Really cool stuff man. Digging it.



Flynn really did have an aura about him that made everyone want to be better. You can listen to him and not want to be a better player. He certainly helped raise my game! He did seem to intimidate the others at some points, which is understandable. smile.gif

He had a lot of input as the drumming was a big part of things. Everything kinda flowed around the drums. I started out as a drummer so I had a bit of an advantage. But everyone's game improved, no doubt smile.gif I'm sure your's would have as well! I"ve seen you rise to the challenge on many occasions when others seemed a bit tepid about trying.

BINGO on JUPITER. It was missing "that vintage something" mainly, the original lineup, as you noticed, it was mostly Gnostic members so it ended up sounding like the Gnostic record in parts. They really need Tony Choy in that band and they need Rand. Those two, Steve Told me, were really good together. Choy had big shoes to fill, but he did it well and went on to play with other bands that helped define an entire genre. He played with ATHEIST, CYNIC, and PESTILENCE. Technical Death Metal would not be the same without his contribution IMHO. smile.gif

I know ATHEIST were last signed to french label SEASONS OF MIST. I contacted them and they said there would NOT be another GNOSTIC album. I pretty much figured that as the response to the second demo was about the same as the response to the album. E.g. "We liked the first demo better, why didn't you release that". Which they could have done. But without me in there, trying to add harmonies and dynamics with Flynn, it just went another way.

I don't know if they are still signed but I hope they get as much of the core band back together before putting out another album. They have such a legacy and it would be a shame if they tarnished it.

Todd




QUOTE (DeGroot @ Apr 16 2017, 03:57 PM) *
I'm sure Flynn made everyone around him better. Did he have a lot input with the music or doing any of the writing? This all super interesting to read. I did sorta wonder how nervous I would probably get if I played with a caliber guy like that... specially since he was a major influence to me. But then it just might make me step it up even more. You obviously made the most of it.

Yeah, the Jupiter stuff is a bit weird. Just feel like its missing that vintage something. I did notice it was mostly Gnostic members... I didn't know this at first, of course. I think they have a whole new line-up. Choy is back I believe. I hope they get back to the way they once were but won't hold it against them if they don't. Everybody wants these legendary bands to come back but I'm sure it is very difficult after 20 some years. The bar is set impossibly high with stuff like Unquestionable and Piece of Time. Obviously Rand Burkley is huge part of the sound and probably not replaceable at all. It would be really cool if came back in the fold. Again, who knows what state he is or even plays guitar after 20 years. Its hard for the everyday fan to really get the whole story.



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