So much of the music today is elementary at best. However, L.A.’s The Vox Arcanum are an enormous exception.
Their debut album, Of Time and Fate, just dropped less than a month ago and with every listen there’s something new to be found.
No shortage of lyrics with depth, concepts and story telling, the band is on it’s way to a long career in the progressive rock world.
I spoke with Guitarist/Vocalist Tony Garcia about what albums inspire him the most. Stay tuned for an interview with the band soon!
10. Darren Korb- Bastion Original Soundtrack
“This a largely instrumental album made for the video game Bastion, and it has so much life in it. The tracks that do have vocals in them are absolutely stellar, namely “Build That Wall” and “Mother I’m Here” – which for the end credits of the game are both combined into one track “Setting Sail, Coming Home”. Epic songwriting. Darren Korb is what I aspire to be career wise, someone who can paint images in your mind with his instrumentation and write sound scores for all kinds of media including video games, movies, and TV shows.”
“This one, an entirely instrumental album, is where I began my roots in guitar playing. Buckethead is an immense inspiration of mine – not the super shred-y aspects (as amazing as that is) but more of his acoustic, funky, and toned down stuff. I began learning songs early on like “Ghost” and “Wondering” to name a couple. I learned a lot of weirder chords and finger style from this album.”
“I tend to share a preference for many bands first albums, and Living Creatures is an insane debut album. Stolas is a band that I very recently got into, but they are everything I love about the Prog Rock and Post Hardcore genres.The erratic time signatures, full blast tempos, salsa vibes, and sky rocketing vocals (not to mention the wicked guest appearances) blew me all away. “Our Last Night On Earth”, “Year of the Light”, “Thief and the Hourglass”, “Circuit Theory”, holy shit… If I continued I would just list off the whole album.”
“There is a funny story about how I discovered these Houston guys, but when I did (circa 3 years ago) they had little to no material up. But I saw some live stuff and heard a couple of demos and I knew these guys were special. I watched them grow from afar (I live in Los Angeles) and became friends with various members of the band as I eagerly awaited their official music release. When they toured I finally met them and they are the nicest guys ever. The first time i heard their album all they way through I legitimately shed a tear hearing the reprise of “Ad Initium Casso” in the last portion of the title track. “Ad Initium” was the first track on their reverb nation page 3 years ago. This album is almost like a time capsule to me of having seen these dudes grow throughout the years… and I am insanely proud of them.”
“A lot of people would likely cite On Letting Go as their best album… but… well, refer back to my number 8 pick. Do I even have to sing this band’s praises? Anthony Green, ’nuff said. “We’re All Thieves” and “Meet Me In Montauk” destroy me every time. I will, however shout out that “All Your Friends Are Gone” as my favorite Circa track despite Juturna being my favorite album of theirs.”
“I saw these guys for the first time opening for Coheed on the IKSSE3/Neverender Tour back in 2014. Mind = Blown. Progressive Metal with a trumpet, saxophone, violinist, and catchy vocals. Every member of the band is INSANELY talented, and Tom Manda is a genius. I actually found myself speaking to and recruiting Ben Karas (their violinist) for live violins for our personal album, of which he and I both collaborated heavily on. I’ll never forget seeing “My Famed Disappearing Act” live for the first time. I couldn’t stop holding and shaking my head in disbelief.”
“I feel like everyone would hang me for not saying Doppleganger, but I’ve got 5 reasons why I like Phantom more: 1. “Introverting Dimensions” 2. “A Strange Conversation” 3. “Nostalgic Mannerisms” 4. “Enter the Black Demon” 5. “The Walls Bled Lust”. Every second of the album is GOLD. Every build up, every riff, every cool down, every shred, every vocal, EVERYTHING. I honestly believe “Chapter 1″ is one of the best intros to any album in existence. The set up and story telling is palpable.”
“I love ALL of Casey’s work, but nothing will ever replace the truest fascination of my discovery of this album (EP? Whatever). “Battesimo Del Fuoco” let me know that my journey through this band’s discography had only just begun. The setup of “The Lake South” with the explosive “City Escape” painted a narrative unlike almost anything that had ever heard in my life. And honestly, it’s a huge reason I write music the way I do now. Storytelling at it’s finest.”
“And speaking of immense story telling, we have this God-Tier debut album. Yet another insanely epic intro that leads into this albums non stop and explosive/energetic journey. I’m getting emotional recalling my first time listening to this roller coaster of an album, and I am sure that everyone can agree on this one. “Roulette Dares” to me is the equivalent of mankind’s discovery of fire.”
“I only wanted to put one Coheed album on this list, otherwise the top 3 on this list would have been IKSSE3, GAIBSIV, and Second Stage. I’m choosing SSTB because I learned nearly every song on this album when I began to pick up guitar,starting with “Devil in Jersey City” and “God Send Conspirator”. It has shaped me into who I am now. As a writer, and as a person. That and this album (along with GAIBSIV) set me down the road of my obsession with prog rock and immersive musical story telling within conceptual albums/bands. So there is that.”
Check out The Vox Arcanum‘s album Of Time and Fate below and stay tuned for an interview with the band soon!