In a show that should have the image of the mythological Phoenix in the advertisements, two Savannah-based bands will celebrate a recent resurrection at The Wormhole on the final day of January.
The metal stylings of Savannah’s IAMSOUND will collide with the Frank Zappa-influenced rock of Star Period Star and the Augusta-based progressive rock of Artemia for an epic collaboration of resurrected musical projects.
After a six-year hiatus, IAMSOUND has been rebuilt from the despondent ashes with a heavier center and new vocals. The only remaining members of the original lineup, Christopher Horton (guitar) and Troy Gillespie (bass), regrouped and added guitarist Stephen Grosse, drummer Matt Jumonville and frontman Tim Ryder to the new IAMSOUND.
Unassuming in a pictorial sense, the quintet are musically tight after less than a dozen live shows together.
Grosse’s addition rounds out the guitar section with anecdotal echoes of early Metallica lead guitar, while the foundation of the rhythm section is a rock for the melodic guitars.
“We decided to go heavier,” Horton said. “I switched over to seven- and eight-string guitars over the last few years. Having those extra strings and being tuned down so low automatically makes it heaver. We definitely wanted to have a more aggressive approach than we did before.”
Horton’s twin seven-string Ibanaz’ are at the heart of the band’s sound. The group creates a polyrythmic, rousing progressive metal that is capped by the auspicious vocal stylings of Ryder, who came to be in IAMSOUND by somewhat of a geographical coincidence.
After searching through several singers, Horton decided to get the “guy down the street” to come sing.
“Luckily, we had a neighbor that could sing,” Horton said, summing it up neatly.
“I used to play drums when I was 15 or 16, but it never went everywhere,” Ryder said. “I never thought I’d be in a band, singing and being a frontman. This is my actual first band. I love it. All the guys are awesome and we work well together. We put on a hell of a show.”
Though IAMSOUND will be celebrating its re-emergence on the Savannah music scene, Star Period Star will be celebrating the release of its third studio album, “Can’t See Forest,” on the same night.
For more than 20 years, Dan Sweigert has seen a plethora of incarnations of Star Period Star.
A little over a year ago, he realized some of the music he was writing was reminiscent of the band he began in Chicago in 1993, and so he renewed the name with new members Joe Colone (bass, vocals) and Pat Hamilton (keys, guitars, vocals).
Star Period Star’s original drummer, Dan VanSchindel, provided the beats for the latest studio effort, “Can’t See Forest.” VanSchindel still resides in Illinois, and contributes his live performance via a recorded track, which is not even the strangest thing about Star Period Star.
In a Zappa’s-estranged-children kind of way, this band owns its avant garde stylings. With disconcerting time signatures, a healthy mix of Pink Floyd easiness and King Crimson longevity, “Can’t See Forest” descends and ascends in a most pleasing full-scale manner.
“We all like music that is progressive,” Sweigert said. “Not just complex stuff, but stuff that’s different. We’re all hungry for something that’s unconventional.
“The thing that makes it so interesting for me is to explore some new territory,” he said. “We appreciate that kind of thing and we always end up going in that direction.”
All the bands can easily be found on Facebook to hear more.
IAMSOUND is looking to release a full studio offering this fall, which is highly recommended based on their four EPs (currently up for a free listen).
Most important for both of these local bands is the desire to build a heavier music scene in Savannah.
“We’ve kind of been alienated here,” Horton said. “All of the big metal bands are gone now, so there’s a big, gaping hole where they used to be. There’s a lot of up-and-coming acts going on right now that might be able to fill that slot. Hopefully, we’re one of them.”