There is a unique emotion when you discover a band during the period that surrounds its debut album. With countless musical proposals being released every week, coming across a band’s first work is something exciting. In those cases, there is no previous work with which to compare the record or anything else that predisposes the listener to the experience. The musicians might be known for earlier efforts and different backgrounds, but still, there is no certainty with how they will sound. Instead, it drags you to the adventure without any prejudice or expectation. You simply receive what the band has prepared with its initial effort.
The excitement only grows when the record turns out to be quite enjoyable, leaving the listener with a strong desire to keep it in constant rotation and diligently follow the band as they prepare for their second album. That is precisely the case with Guild of Others and its debut album that goes by the same name as the band, resulting in a diverse and daring experience that succeeds in blending intricate musicianship with an accessible sound.
Formed by drummer Tom Wallace and guitarist Steve Potts, both musicians are the only core members of Guild of Others. Instead, the band seeks to enrich its sound with special guests that provide their chops throughout the album. Despite the fantastic work these guests performed, it is intended that different musicians will be invited to contribute to the musical vision created by Wallace and Potts for each future album.
The inclusion of different musicians for each track helps the music become diverse and attractive, making each piece sound unique but respecting a shared vision for the album consisted of making intricate music that is accessible. As a result, we find an album with different sound aspects that give rise to various styles but remain approachable.
Several guests participate in “Guild Of Others”, but the spotlight goes directly to the mighty Derek Sherinian. From the first second of the opening track, “Other Side”, the listener will immediately hear the unmistakable sound of Sherinian, who, as usual, exudes virtuosity with every intervention throughout the album.
The first track also serves as an introduction to the smooth and harmonious voice of singer Mark Hammond, who gets to sing for most songs, and to the tremendous bass lines and fills provided by bassist Tony Franklin, who is present through the whole record.
The diversity of the record can be found within each song that tends to explore different routes, but also every track aims to provide a distinct sensation than the rest of them. For instance, with “Memento” the beats slow down, and we are presented with a ballad- mid-tempo song, but that at all times keeps the emotion intact, mainly because of Hammond’s soft voice and the beautiful piano accompaniments.
The involvement of a musician of the status of Derek Sherinian is a feature that Tom and Potts prove to be up to for Guild of Others. Although the duo demonstrates their splendid musicianship throughout the entire album with fantastic grooves and killer solos, it is in “Elysium” where they reach the most significant technical complexity as they enter prog terrain but manage to keep it accessible.
As if that were not enough with the amazing guests that the duo has managed to gather, in this song, the vocals are in charge of Michael Sadler from Saga, who, with his powerful voice, takes control of the vocal section graciously.
Guild Of Others’ first effort delivers satisfactorily by presenting a band that understands how to create exciting and intriguing music while keeping it easy to digest. It also shows the interesting way the band has decided to work, with just two core members that would direct the sound direction of their music but that would enrich it from the contributions of different guests. If Sherinian was onboard for their debut album, the possibilities look promising and exciting. The bets are open.
Released By: Louder Than Loud Records
Released Date: February 18th, 2022
Genre: Progressive Metal
- Tom Wallace / Drums
- Steve Potts / Guitar
- Mark Hammond / Vocals
- Michael Sadler / Vocals
- Henrik Bath / Vocals
- Derek Sherinian / Piano, keyboards
- Tony Franklin / Bass
- Craig Goldy / Guitar
“Guild Of Others” track-listing:
- Other Side
- Always There
- New World Disorder
- Veil of Insanity
- Sprit Host
With a fantastic cast of guest musicians that includes keyboard wizard Derek Sherinian, Guild Of Others presents an exciting debut album that manages to create complex music that results accessible for most audiences. With the promise of different guests on future endeavors, the horizon looks promising for drummer Tom Wallace and guitarist Steve Potts