Technical Death Metal - United States
GNOSTIC’s debut “Engineering the Rule” takes the progressive sound of Death to a new level of aggression. Cascades of furious riffs are hailing down from the blackening sonic skies. Operating with surgical precision these whirlwinds of strings take incredible twists and turns, while delivering jaw-dropping breaks with stunning frequency. Harsh screams and a distinctively different vocal approach are charging to the front with violent force and pure power. This straight in your face attitude displays a modern vocal approach, but there is far more variety in this voice than just the expression of a single style. The GNOSTIC principle of duality is expressed in a fine sense for melodies and emotionality contrasting with the technical perfection of their execution, which comes as no surprise in the light of the band’s origins…
GNOSTIC was formed in January of 2005 in Atlanta Georgia. Since the disbanding of ATHEIST in 1992, technical metal drummer Steve Flynn remained noticeably absent from the music scene. Twelve silent years pass by without any musical sign from him. However, in January of 2005 Steve decided it was time to start playing again on a professional level. Thus, he began to seek out like-minded musicians to carry on where he left off with ATHEIST all those years ago. Steve submitted his musical profile to a local Atlanta-area online musician’s exchange. Within a day he received a response from guitarist Sonny Carson and bassist Stephen Morley – the latter a huge ATHEIST fan. After the first, very successful, jam session and another, and then another, it became evident that this was the start of something great! The three musicians, continuing to jam and composing material, seek to complete the lineup with a vocalist who can deliver brutally heavy vocal lines while infusing tone and originality. They find this rare combination with singer Kevin Freeman, and he is added to the line-up. Local guitarist Chris Baker (GHOST STORY, ATHEIST) is recruited to share guitar duty with Carson, and the lineup is now complete.
The name “GNOSTIC” is adopted and at that time the band reveals this secret to Steve Flynn’s oldest friend and co-founder of ATHEIST, Kelly Shaefer. Shaefer, remaining active in the music industry, working with bands and developing talent, offers his assistance with representation and production. The band’s first demo “Splinters of Change” is recorded in late 2005; this is the first time since recording ATHEIST’s “Unquestionable Presence” album that the world hears the unmistakable jazzy tech-metal drumming of Steve Flynn. GNOSTIC then releases, in 2006, “Isolate Gravity”, a new three-song demo that draws the attention of many labels, magazines, fans, and critics alike.
Then in 2008, the band records their debut album “Engineering the Rule” in LedBelly Studios, USA (MASTODON, ARTIMUS PYLEDRIVER). Kelly Shaefer adds his most valuable experience as a producer and even contributes his famous vocals to the song “Wall of Lies”. GNOSTIC are then welcomed for mastering by Maor Applebaum in his Radiostar Studios, where he already lent his special touch to SYSTEM OF A DOWN and JOHNNY CASH among many other great acts. A multi-record deal is signed with Season of Mist and with Jonathan Thompson (ATHEIST guitarist) replacing Stephen Morley on bass, GNOSTIC has its final line-up and prepares for the worldwide release of their debut album in May 2009.
The name “GNOSTIC”, while seemingly related to “ATHEIST” due to its religious overtones, really has nothing to do with Steve being a founding and continued member of ATHEIST. There was no intended conceptual linkage. In fact, the name was chosen with its Greek roots in mind. “Gnosis” is one of the Greek words to describe the empirical and spiritual knowledge of an enlightened human being. GNOSTIC was formed and the name chosen well before the re-activation of seminal technical pioneers ATHEIST. The formation of GNOSTIC and reactivation of ATHEIST were two unrelated and completely independent events. Though, given how it has all worked out, one could perhaps ascribe some level of universal coincidence or even fate that these two entities would not only come out with new CD’s, but would share the same label, three members, and the stage.
As fans of ATHEIST, CYNIC, DEATH and PESTILENCE will flock to “Engineering the Rule”, they should heed this warning: caution! Trying to play air guitar along these 10 monstrous songs may result in broken fingers and severely damaged wrists!
- Kevin Freeman : Vocals
- Chris Baker : Lead guitars
- Jonathan Thompson : Bass
- Steve Flynn : Drums
- Sonny Carson : Guitars
This band is no longer active on Season of Mist.