Here at Heavy Blog we have a pretty good understanding of who our audience is, the type of music they like and the type of articles they want to read. That’s why we’ve been around as long as we have. So we know that a lot of people come to us because they’re lovers of progressive music and, if that’s the case, and you still don’t know who Fountainhead is… then quite simply, you’re doing it wrong. An artist who just seems to be getting better and better each time we hear him, his highly anticipated second album Reverse Engineering is coming out on August 5 and you, our dear readers, have the exclusive pleasure of hearing one of its best tracks today!
The track kicks off with his distinctive, inimitable fretless guitar playing, but not in any way that we’ve heard before. The tone and playing style have a distinct oriental flavour to them, immediately conjuring imagery of a tribal gathering in the middle of India. Hand-beaten drums, piano and more join in as the listener is entranced by the mystical tones which infuse these early stages of the song, the track seamlessly transitioning from one passage to the next as it gradually grows in intensity. Around the halfway mark we’re joined by some crunchy, fretted rhythm guitars which add drive to the track. Throughout the 7.5 minute run-time the atmosphere and melodies of the introduction are not forgotten, reappearing time and again in different guises, amongst new surroundings.
Fountainhead had this to say about the song:
The track “999” is opening up “Reverse Engineering”. Just like on my debut, “Fear Is The Enemy”, I wanted to open the album in a gentle and exotic way and let things get heavier and more intense along the way. So the first thing you hear is a section very influenced by indian classical music, my fretless guitar “dueting” with former Orphaned Land-skinsman Yatziv Caspis tabla on top of a tampura-drone, before the main body of the song is first introduced with fusion-y clean guitars and rhodes piano, fretless bass by my former Obscura-bandmate Linus Klausenitzer over Yatzivs drum&bass grooves in 9/4. The song then picks up speed and intensity with every new section, especially when the heavy rhythm guitars make their entrance at 3.25, leading into a metal-version of the fretless guitar/tabla duet (something that´s never been done before, to my knowledge) and culminating in an epic final chorus where multiply melodies meet heavy fretless guitar riffs and a full choir before it comes to an end with crushing powerchords over tampura-drones and soundeffects. This is not the heaviest track on the album by any means, but it does pave the way for everything that´s to come very nicely, and establishes the concept that on this album, all songs are focusing on smooth transitions and development of themes and motifs instead of harsh breaks and abrupt changes of mood, which happened a lot on “FITE”.
As with every Fountainhead release, I try to better myself in every aspect and this one is no exception: I think the playing by the guest musicians is stellar, my production and mix is geared towards a very open yet punchy sound that integrates almost 200 tracks of audio into a seamless whole, and the integration of indian influences (especially in the guitar playing) is something Ive wanted to do for years. Im very proud of this one and I hope you´ll enjoy it as well!
It’s one of the best songs to be released this year, and we can’t wait to tell you all about the whole record in our review next week. Until then, make sure you follow the band on Facebook, preorder this album on bandcamp, and treat yourself to the only other track which has been released thus far, the similarly awesome “Ascension”!