Somewhere in the wilds and loughs of Ireland, a young man hones his guitar skills and begins writing original music, all the while tutoring other students in the same. Aspiring guitar wizard Graham Keane turns his personal fret exploration into The Vicious Head Society, a progressive metal project, and a first album, Abject Tomorrow. He recorded most of the guitar parts in his home studio and outsourced the rest, like vocals and drums, to musicians from around the world, including Wilmer Waarbroek, Derek Sherinan, Nahuel Ramos, Pat Byrne, Klemen Markelj, Kevin Talley, and Nathan Pickering.
Abject Tomorrow is a concept album, and it should probably best explained by Keane: The story is based in a dystopian future in which all humans are required to have emotion inhibiting implants implanted from birth. One man's implant fails and it chronicles his journey of discovery and reconnection with his humanity. "It's a concept album but the more and more I wrote the more it became a strange biographical narration of my own confidence struggle with putting music into the world," states Keane.
Musically, he draws from classic to modern melodic and progressive rock and metal, gathering influences from Yes to Rush to Meshuggah. But mostly the album and music is a platform for his considerable guitar skills. If you like intricate and technical guitar playing in progressive metal, you will enjoy this album. Conversely, if you don't like death vocals, which I deplore, you might not. I was pretty much pleased with Abject Tomorrow at the start with The Sycophants and equally impressed with Keane's extravagant guitar licks. Then in the next song, the title cut, and everyone thereafter, excepting the instrumental Psychedelic Torture Trip, death vocals had a part. Now, considering the concept, they're probably there for a reason, like to express some emotion, anger perhaps. Yet, all I wanted to do was speed past them, but I found myself nearly skipping entire songs. I had to refrain and return to them, then suck it up, and grimace as the growling came upon me. It was shame really. Keane is both a masterful guitar player and a significant song composer. Honestly, the progressive metal music and guitar shredding within Abject Tomorrow are pretty fandamntastic, and perhaps the single most important reason to give Keane and The Vicious Head Society some attention and consideration.
Honestly, setting the death vocals aside, the progressive metal music and guitar shredding within Abject Tomorrow are pretty fandamntastic, and perhaps the single most important reason to give guitarist Graham Keane and The Vicious Head Society some attention and consideration.
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