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A Big Goodbye

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A Big Goodbye Sounds & Silences album cover
3.63 | 81 ratings | 16 reviews | 24% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2011

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Thinking Out Loud (6:13)
2. Solitude (5:12)
3. The Great Divide (9:34)
4. February Girl (4:03)
5. The Door (4:56)
6. In My Dreams (4:12)
7. Memories (14:11)

Total Time 48:15

Line-up / Musicians

- Matt Glisson / guitars, bass, keys, vocals
- Andrew Glisson / drums
- Daniel Mills / vocals


- Adam Cambria / sax
- Joseph Castleberry / trumpet
- Paul Boatwright / trombone

Releases information

Independent Digital 2011

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Thanks to progepics for the addition
and to ZowieZiggy for the last updates
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A BIG GOODBYE Sounds & Silences ratings distribution

(81 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(24%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(34%)
Good, but non-essential (30%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
Poor. Only for completionists (6%)

A BIG GOODBYE Sounds & Silences reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Andy Webb
4 stars The door to excellence

A Big Goodbye is another new face to emerge in the wave of independent modern prog rock artists. Blending the emotion of Pink Floyd, the atmosphere of Porcupine Tree, and the heaviness of Opeth, the band creates a tasty, fresh new sound to emerge from their native Georgia. Even early in their career, the trio has proven to have a mature compositional style, a mastery of sound production, and the capability to truly make a fantastic album. The band's debut, Sounds and Silences, is a fantastic mix of modern and vintage, with swaths of acoustic strumming balanced by stabs of heavy riffing, all backed by a solid rhythm section and steady, accessible melodic structure. The music is full of clever and creative spices, from mellow electric piano accents, subtle vocal harmony, and occasional polymetric work, the album stays fresh and creative, inviting numerous rewarding listens.

The album's opener, "Thinking Out Loud," is a perfect way for the band to introduce their sound - its kicks off with some nice acoustic work, with mellow vocals coming in to support it. Without hesitation, the band explodes into a section of killer, dynamic riffs accented by acoustic noodling and synth backings. Already, the listener can hear A Big Goodbye means business. This motif of dynamic, diverse, mood changing music is truly the backbone of this album, keeping the listener on edge as the emotions of the music switch from solemn to intense to happy to intense again. The melodies are kept accessible and at times very catchy, giving the music and even more pleasing edge. The riffs, both acoustic and electric, are fresh and exciting, banking away from the swaths of boring and uninspired riffs of the modern metal community.

One thing I'm always wary of on any band's debut is the quality of the production. Too often a new band is beset by financial strains, lack of proper equipment, or just general inexperience to create a decently produced, well-made debut album. However, A Big Goodbye seems to have swept those belittling problems aside and have released a truly professionally produced debut, even though they had no help from a label or professional sound engineer (at least to the best of my knowledge). Each song is mixed wonderfully, giving the guitars their full portion while not leaving out the drums, bass, keyboards, and especially the vocals. This great production truly gives the music what it needs - ample room to breathe and express its true meaning.

Each song on the album has its own fantastic flavor and feel which gives the album its fantastic dynamic feel. From the heavy tracks such as "Thinking Out Loud" and "Solitude" to the more alternative, acoustic tracks such as "February Girl" and "The Door," the album has a spectacular feeling of diversity. The perfect amount of emotion of the music blends effortlessly with the perfect amount of technicality, making for an inviting atmosphere that can cater to virtually any music listener. Throughout the album little perks and jabs are thrown in, such as the occasional sax solo, brass section flair, and other interesting flavors to give the music character and dimension.

Overall, Sounds and Silences presents itself as gem amongst a slew of great modern progressive rock albums. A Big Goodbye has shown that they have both the capability and capacity to create high quality, impressive music to rival even the established groups. Although the band may be lacking in lyrical depth and a few other scant areas, they have no hesitation to be adventurous when needed and traditional when it fits, showing they have a certain degree of maturity even some established favorites seem to lack. Overall, A Big Goodbye's debut is a fantastic display of skill and dedication from this Georgia trio. Its diverse musical output and inviting and accessible structure makes it a definite go-to album for fans of most types of progressive rock, especially those of the heavier end of art rock. I was impressed from the get-go with this album, and with more listens it only got better. 4 stars.

Review by Conor Fynes
3 stars 'Sounds & Silences' - A Big Goodbye (6/10)

A Big Goodbye is a heavy progressive rock band from Georgia that's been receiving some attention from the prog underground lately. They are one of those bands that catches on to the idea that most prog fans are getting tired of the same '70s anterograde amnesiac 'prog' and tries to fuse something a little newer-sounding into the art rock formula. A band that at times leans to metal, and at others, simply forward thinking alternative rock, 'Sounds & Silences' is a very professionally done debut, although the strength of the execution here far outweighs the merits of the band's actual writing itself.

A trio of musicians, each of the members in A Big Goodbye takes a very distinctive role. Andrew Glisson handles the percussion here, while older brother Matt works with all of the guitars and keyboards. Daniel Mills adds some vocals here to round out the hard-edged rock sound of the band. Although A Big Goodbye is an independent effort and is not yet backed by any label support, 'Sounds & Silences' has turned out to be a remarkably professional sounding album, with clarity of sound and a polished performance from all musicians involved. Matt's work with the guitars manages to pull off both the wistful acoustic guitar passages, or energetic and surprisingly heavy electric guitar parts that pass me as having both the tone of Opeth's guitars, but also Omar Rodriguez-Lopez of the Mars Volta's burstfire sensibility. While the 'heavy' aspects of A Big Goodbye seem to be mixed a little too highly here, the production is impressive, and lets the band's music come through very well.

The band's actual performance is very good as well. Particularly Matt Glisson's performance here was impressive; the guitar riffs here show a number of different influences from Floyd to Opeth, and the electrics are all played with skill and soul, although the acoustic moments here sounded a little too refined and mechanical for my tastes. Daniel Mills voice sounds sometimes close to the acrobatic ad-libbing of Pain of Salvation vocalist Daniel Gildenlow, although Mills is a little less adventurous when it comes to the showman's wails. His voice is powerful when the band's energy is high, although the feeling dissipates somewhat when he uses his voice in the softest moments that A Big Goodbye. As far as the writing goes for this band, I would say that they do have a great sense of melody, but the song structures here felt fatally predictable, having some great ideas to start with, but using them in a fairly unimaginative way. Everything sounds good more or less, but I rarely found myself surprised by what the band was doing.

A Big Goodbye is a band with alot of potential, and their heavy stuff is very promising. True enough, the band's 'Sounds' are better than their 'Silences', and although the album has not completely captured me, this is a band with alot going for it.

Review by lazland
3 stars An album and band which appear to be making some waves in the world of prog, and listening to this again tonight, it is very easy to see why. For this 2011 debut from American band A Big Goodbye is about as slick and polished a new work as I have had the pleasure to listen to in a while.

The band are a trio, a la Rush, and like that great band, they certainly make a lot of noise very well between them. It would be interesting to see how all of this transpires live.

There are many influences in their music, and it ranges from almost psychedelic late 1960's, to Floydian passages, to commercial rock, to very heavy, almost metal, prog. In fact, although I agree with the band's categorisation in heavy prog, they could almost fit within eclectic, because there is a whole lot of stuff going on in here.

Opener, Thinking Out Loud, has a very mellow beginning, with acoustic guitar and gentle vocals that remind me strongly of Floyd circa 1970/72. The track then bursts into life with a pounding riff, but accompanied by some very adept Spanish guitar backing. It settles down into a very good heavy rock track and is actually quite commercial (this, as those who read my reviews know, is very much meant as a compliment). A very good start, with all extremely well executed.

Solitude follows. This has a very nice mix of late 60's effects and tone, with the modern sensibility of Porcupine Tree. It is very well performed, and seems to me to be crying out for some decent radio airplay in their homeland, because I think it would catch on very fast. There are some classy riffs with some very nicely performed keyboard work.

The Great Divide clocks in at just short of ten minutes long, and there is a lot going on here, and it is this ability to change the mood, tempo, and performance that keeps a very good track fresh throughout. I really like the acoustic guitar work on this, and on the album as a whole, and the production is so slick that the acoustic backdrop never gets lost amongst the electric riffs. At around 7:50, a sax comes in, and you really do leap up in joy at the audacity of this extremely well performed and clever change in the track. A highlight of 2011 to be sure.

The woodwind theme continues at the start of February Girl, with some fantastic oboe that almost gives you a Supertramp feeling before the track progresses to a standard American rocker. It features some magnificent keyboard work which, in my opinion, should certainly feature more in future releases.

I am less keen on the two tracks which follow, The Door and In My Dreams, and I admit that my attention still wonders somewhat after a few listens now. They both strike me as being very formulaic heavy rock tracks, with very little progressive tendencies at all. The Door does feature a very good guitar solo, and both are very good if you like that sort of thing. However, I get the feeling that these two were possibly early compositions by the trio before they matured. I might be wrong, but that is the impression I get - heavy rock by numbers.

Thankfully, matters recover with a thrill on the closer, and longest track at over 14 minutes long, Memories. This is far more like it. Yes, there are still some pounding riffs, and the drums and bass rhythm section, in the heavier passages, sound fantastically strong. This is a track, though, of very many changes in tempo. It is rather melancholic, and features some more extremely well performed woodwind, keyboard, and acoustic guitar work. It is this type of track which showcases this young band at their best, the ability to create a genuinely moving and clever piece of music that manages skilfully to avoid falling into heavy rock cliches. You will love the closing percussion segment, simple but very effectively performed.

What does strike you about this debut is its very audacious confidence and, very pleasingly, the extremely high production values instilled. All is as clear as a bell, and I do not think it will be too long before this talented trio will be moving onto bigger things. The acoustic passages are lovingly rendered, and, the two formulaic tracks aside, the heavier passages are engaging and very skilful.

A very pleasing listen, I really like this album. I am going to award it three stars, but with the emphasis on it being a good album, and it would easily get 3.5 if we had such a rating. The next release, I feel, will be one to look forward to with relish, but, as it is, this one is highly recommended for you to try.

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The sounds and silences of a wonderful musical experience.

'Sounds and Silences' is a very well produced album from newcomer to the scene, A Big Goodbye. Admittedly, my first impression, listening while I was doing something else, was that it was just another standard prog metal album with nothing new to offer. On my third listen I put on the headphones and that is when I realised what a truly remarkable album this is. It really is designed for headphones and one would gain the full experience if they concentrated on the lyrics as they have a powerful story to tell; one that seems to run as a theme on the album. Each song builds up this story and there does not seem to be a happy ending as, after all, not everything turns out like a fairytale. The story concentrates on a protagonist who is reaching out for the girl of his dreams but she is totally non interested.

Thinking Out Loud begins this album quite well with a slow acoustic verse and the soft vocals of Daniel Mills. It then cranks up with a manic metal riff that has a progressive time sig. This style is a dominant feature of the album, soft vocals, melodic verses and bursts of blazing metal riffing guitars. The chorus is loud and the lyrics are based on broken relationships and isolated dreams unfulfilled; 'When I see your face everything around starts to burn and I feel like I have found everything that I could ever want wrapped up in you, wrapped up in your pretty smile.' The heavy machine gun riffs of Matt Glisson are aggressive and signify that the love that is forsaken is cutting deep in the protagonists heart and mind. The choice is yours says the protagonist but it seem like a lost cause, a girl who is rejecting him reaching out. The theme is one that most of us can relate to, the feeling of rejection and the untouchable girl of our dreams who will never be; 'when your mind is so far away'.

I really love Solitude, killer riffs and very heavy distortion are a key feature. The melody is infectious and there are proggish time signatures. The song structure is innovative with detours into some metrical patterns that shape the atmosphere. Great lyrics too; 'You see yourself without your soul, But inside you'll fight with yourself not to lose control, I'll be here 'til the end, Waiting for all the love that you promised you'd send, So now I'm stuck here waiting for love, Waiting for love, I was a fool to think from the start that you would come.' The mid section with fast chugging riffs and keyboard motifs is wonderful. Time sig changes occur a few more times and then it locks into a moderate feel with majestic synthesizer and an acoustic section. This one is a definitive highlight of the album.

The Great Divide begins with an acoustic intro that moves along nicely with strong chord changes and chime bell keyboards from Matt. Once again the vocals keep time with the syncopated rhythm; 'Is something wrong with searching for the peace of mind I'll never find? All alone, I'm looking back, back across the great divide, And seeing you standing there and wanting to be by your side, A love that cannot be denied.' The slow feel is broken only by a louder chorus. The sound generated on this track reminds me of Neal Morse style or Rush in some ways. The instrumental break builds to a heavier feel. Mention must be made of the great drumming style too from Andrew Glisson, that consistently keeps a complex rhythm gaining in pace. The grungier guitar sound and faster pace augment the atmosphere which is downbeat towards the end. The time sig completely changes with very heavy sounding guitars, and sustained key pads, creating dark atmospheric shades. It is admirable how the music changes completely by the end of the track but never feels out of place. At 6:30 a tom tom beat locks in with clean guitar twangs. The mixing is exemplary, every instrument is distinguishable, and it is a sensational soundscape generated. When the saxophone sound chimed in I felt shivers up the spine, it works so brilliantly with a melancholy feel, powerful and emotional.

The saxophone sound begins it's lonely wail over an acoustic and synthetic spacey keyboard. Out of nowhere heavy guitars break through interrupting the peace. February Girl has a great rocking feel which is more upbeat than previous tracks. The synths are mixed to the front to lift the music up to a crescendo. The fast metal riffing in the verses is tight and very effective. The instrumental break is dominated by keyboards with a consistent distorted guitar presence. This one has a catchy chorus with strong melodies. The song builds in heaviness at the end. Nice and short, and perhaps worthy of being a single.

The Door features a great chorus with very good vocal performance from Daniel; 'open the door for me, let me trace my steps, wish I could change it all, but I'm too obsessed, open the door for me, so I can find my way, find my way outta here and leave it all behind me.' The music is a slow rock tempo, with an effective lead break, and simple notes tracing the main melody. The bridge has a wonderful half time feel with a higher register in vocals. It settles then into a softer chorus. The infectious hooks are going to grow on you as the album does on each listen.

A very heavy distortion and metal riffs begin In My Dreams. The darkness of the music is broken by soft cadence in the verses. The chorus is full of angst and passionate pleas for releasing her image from the mind; 'In my dreams, in my mind, in my thoughts, you will find, prison I'm in, so far away, to get out soon before it's too late.' Most of us can relate to being haunted by someone who had an impact on us, a girl in this case, and it is here where the song resonated with me. Having a girl imprisoned or locked in one's mind is the main focus; to find freedom from the mind is the ultimate goal. The song works on that level relating to those who have been through a painful broken relationship, or are longing for love that will never be realised.

Memories features pleasant soft saxophone sounds and vocals that permeate the tranquil atmosphere. It gets heavier with Matt's lead guitar break, one of the best on the album. I really like the melody on the track and the way it builds tempo. The song completely changes at 2:50 for the better, with a rock time shift. The main melody is still there in the chorus though it is faster and more energetic. The brass section is majestic. The storyteller lyrics are innovative; 'Dazed and confused, he felt dizzy from the thought, of the after thought,' the protagonist is obviously haunted by past hurts and he is 'lost within his mind, memories from their past, memories he holds on to.' After a brief upsurge in heaviness the song really settles into a serene passage with acoustic and gentle vocals at 6:45. The protagonist now has a sense of remorse and reflective lyrics come through; 'There's no other way to ease the pain, I find it hard to say what's in my heart.' The minimalist acoustic and electric piano seem to echo the sadness of the words. There is a story to follow that is both compelling and endearing; 'he crossed searching for piece of mind, he needs something to hold onto to get him through this time, when will I move on, when will I get away, will this ever end, I hope it is today, not sure how to feel, he lies down on the floor, wishing she was with him, be careful what you wish for.' The enigmatic words are enhanced with some inventive musical shapes, shades of dark and light abound. A saxophone provides light while the guitars are always present to provide darkness. There is a genuine sense of tension and release in the music. The lengthy instrumental break is replete with an organic structure made possible by lilting piano and steady percussion. Finally all that is left are Andrew's isolated drums that signify the album is over.

Listening to the album was a complete delight as it provides just the right measure of metal, it took me a while to get into but the vocals are pleasant to listen to and it has a definite progressive feel. I like the simplicity in the message that resonates with those who have been through it. It has just the right measure of metal, listenable vocals and some divine instrumental passages. The highlights for me are the brilliant Solitude, followed closely by In My Dreams and The Great Divide. There are certainly moments that are not as good, and the band will improve with subsequent releases, but this album was still an achievement and comes recommended for those who like prog metal without an abundance of aggression but rather balanced with quiet reflection and musical innovation.

Review by EatThatPhonebook
3 stars 6/10

"Sounds & Silences" is a decent debut for talented band A Big Goodbye.

A Big Goodbye is an American band that just released they're debut album "Sounds & Silences". From these seven songs I sense this band not only has talent, but can go very far in their musical career.

The musicianship is good, all of them are good musicians and are able to prove it many times. The production, for being a debut album of an independent release, is quite impressive, very clear and precise, especially in the heavier parts. These parts have always good riffs, and the attitude is always present. There are also tons of acoustic, softer parts, that for some might be a little disappointing to hear, but I think they're fair enough, adding also some nice sax parts. This band doesn't seem to be completely original though, not only in the sense of hearing influences all over the place, especially Porcupine Tree, but also they don't propose anything new to me stylistically speaking. Basically, they are alternating acoustic parts with electrics parts, and that's it.

However, this doesn't make the songs bad, not at all: "Thinking Out Loud" has great hooks, and great vocals, especially in the chorus. But other songs come close to annoy me, like "February Girl" or "The Great Divide", maybe just because of the melodies. "The Door" and "Solitude" are pretty enjoyable though, nice hooks overall. The second part of the album is definitely the best, the last two songs for me are quite the highlights: "In My Dreams" is a catchy tune, very enjoyable to listen, and the fourteen minutes of "Memories" are structured surprisingly well, and contains many good, memorable moments, that remind of good old prog rock.

"Sounds & Silences" is a pretty good, enjoyable debut for A Big Goodbye, I'm sure this band, seeing their talent, will be able to surpass this easily in the future.

Review by TheGazzardian
3 stars Sounds and Silences is the debut album of A Big Goodbye, a new act that clearly fits in the Art Rock spectrum of music. This is the heavier side of prog, with influences from metal and the occasional sax (which has a bit of a Supertramp vibe to the way it is played - very melodic and enhancing the rest of what is going on, as opposed to soloing).

On the note of metal, I actually have my first and biggest complaint about the album - and that is the volume on the opening track, Thinking Out Loud. It starts off with a nice quiet, acoustic bit, before heavy, metallic guitars charge in. The difference between these two volumes can be quite a pain in situations where volume matters, like in bed or on the train. I was in fact listening on the train and had the volume high enough to hear the opening part, and when the electric guitars came in I jumped a bit, it was so loud!

Other than that, which honestly was probably more my fault than the bands, this is a pretty good album. For sure, for a fan of progressive music, there are seven good songs in here to add to their music collection. The band makes quite a fair amount of acoustic/quiet and electric/loud to provide variety within their music, and it works for the most part, although by the end of the album it's not as surprising.

Standout tracks included February Girl, which has quite a nice feel to it, and the closing "epic", Memories, which pretty much demonstrates everything that the band does very nicely. It starts off loud, quiets down in the middle, and builds to a nice piano part at the end. The track of course deals with attempting to move forward instead of being held back by memories, a nice theme for the band to cut their teeth on.

Ultimately this album demonstrates a band at the start of their development who have the potential to go further and the chops to take them there. I would like to see a bit more variety in the compositions, but at the same time, the band never bores with this disc.


Review by ZowieZiggy
4 stars The genesis (pardon) of this review is not the usual one. I have been contacted a few times by a member of bands referenced on PA to write a review, and most of the times I did so. Logically, when Matt sent me a message some time ago, I couldn't help to listen to their music and post this review.

I am quite an aficionado of the heavy genre, so I was positive before listening to the album. The opening number starts with some beautiful acoustic parameters (which is not the usual trade of the genre). But after a while, you're brought into a much wilder, although melodic style of music. ''Thinking Of Loud" is definitely a very good song.

The same mood applies to the next "Solitude". The combination of acoustic and truly heavy music is just splendid. At this stage of the album, I have to say that a vague (but persistent) feel with some "Opeth" pieces is noticeable (but hopefully without growling). This is another very good track indeed which features a splendid musicianship. It is a bloody emotional track as far as I am concerned.

It is needless to say that the intro of "The Great Divide" borrows some lines from the splendid "Drapery Fall" from "Opeth". The only let down is that the vocal department (although very good ? sorry Matt) is not on par with the superb and emotive Mikael's one. The instrumental parts are great however, even if less powerful than their model. This is the third very good song in a row.

The next song is probably the most catchy of this album: these guys know how to write great melodies for sure. Some might say that it sounds too commercial, but hey! Who could blame a band to write good melodies? This is another very good song for sure. So far, so good.

Twenty five minutes of excellent music. "The Door" is more poppish and even if the melody is again performing, I think that it is a little behind of the other great songs from this debut album. But since we are flirting with perfection, there is no harm. Is it?

The next and short "In My Dreams" is a good mix of the items described previously: great guitars, superb beat, wonderful vocal melody. What else do we need???

Matt told me that the band was working on TWO (yes, 2) albums in these days. I am really thrilled to listen to their output and to witness them in a live situation over here (I mean Europe). The wonderful "Spirit of 66" could definitively host them while around of this side of the Atlantic.

Now: the epic and closing number of the album. "Memories" is waiting for your listening. After all these excellent songs, I was waiting for the magical one. Unfortunately, I am not reaching the nirvana while listening to it. Of course, all the ingredients mentioned before are present, but the whole is somewhat too conventional. It might have turned this album to a five star one. But you know that I am rather scarce of the ultimate rating.

In all, this is a very good album. Prog sits here in every corner and I can only recommend you to grab this album and spread it over. Four stars. Actually, I am confronted with the best album of 2011 I have heard.

Review by Epignosis
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars What we have here is an accomplished marriage of progressive metal and folk: It's like a coffee shop duo decided to collaborate with a Dream Theater cover band. But please do not let that description connote any degree of amateurishness: This is a good album. Combining hard rock passages with thoughtful, clean vocals over acoustic guitar, one could draw comparisons with Incubus or Porcupine Tree (sans any experimental indulgences), and yet the band stays refreshingly original throughout the album. While all of the musicians are clearly proficient, one should not expect many lengthy musical passages or solos; the music generally serves the vocalist throughout, and that's not at all a bad thing- the lead vocalist has a pleasant, if unoffending voice with a refreshing degree of consistency (he reminds me of Ted Leonard from Enchant in tone though perhaps not range). The melodies are usually catchy even when they are complex- after only two listens, I was singing parts of this album to myself at work. I hope many more people will wave a big hello to A Big Goodbye.

"Thinking Out Loud" A moody acoustic guitar using a dominant seventh to ascend from a major chord to a minor chord lies underneath cloudy vocals with a psychedelic effect. After the introduction, the opening piece launches into a progressive metal assault before returning to the acoustic guitar (with a bit of psychedelic white noise). Following this, the listener is treated to an enjoyable pop rock song with a heavy hook. Overall, the song is tad fragmented, but each fragment is strong enough on its own.

"Solitude" Again juxtaposing acoustic guitar with heavy metal, my favorite track on the album has a complex but memorable vocal melody in the verse over exotic acoustic guitar and sitar. The chorus is one of the best, catchiest rock refrains I've ever heard.

"The Great Divide" This acoustic guitar-based song makes me think of what a collaboration between Lifehouse and Radiohead might sound like. Once again, we are treated to catchy rock vocals, pleasant chord progressions, and psychedelic flourishes. The middle instrumental passage is heavy rock, perhaps similar to Rush's Vapor Trails- no guitar soloing, but plenty of rhythmic twists and battering passages. The final part begins more along the lines of "Hotel California" by The Eagles with exotic twelve-string guitar and percussion, but soon provides an stimulating bit of saxophone.

"February Girl" Light saxophone and acoustic guitar provide a pleasant listening experience in the beginning. The song proper leans slightly disco in the verse, while the hard-rocking chorus has an excellent melodic build. The instrumental section at the end is rhythmically exciting, but unfortunately doesn't go anywhere; indeed, the music just abruptly shuts off- a pity.

"The Door" Of all the songs, "The Door" is the most straightforward and rock station radio-friendly as a whole. The guitar solo primarily consists of single whole notes over a steady backing in 3/4 time. As such, it may be the least exciting song here to the progressive rock fan, but I can't see why any rock music lover in general wouldn't like this one.

"In My Dreams" Providing some further metal chugging juxtaposed with acoustic-led verses, "In My Dreams" offers yet another refrain that begs to be sung along to in the car. And of all the songs, I'd say this is the most Enchant-like, complete with one of only two speedy guitar solos on the album (dual guitars at that).

"Memories" The fourteen-minute closer opens with easygoing acoustic guitar, vocals, and a mournful saxophone. The second riveting guitar solo soon follows, bleeding into that sad saxophone theme. Then the pace quickens, leading into what could have been another hit single- easily accessible and easily enjoyed. The brass punctuates the steady heavy metal interlude before dropping off entirely, bringing in piano and returning to the recurring theme. The sadness presses on in 3/4 and quietude, only occasionally endorsing their metal side. The final section is a sleepy bit of piano. For some reason, the drums getting left alone like that at the end make me feel sad in a way that the sorrowful piano did not- a strange but, for me, effective way to part from us.

Review by memowakeman
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars A very good debut by A Big Goodbye!

They are a new and independent US band which last year (2011) entered to the progressive rock realm with their debut album entitled "Sounds & Silences". This album features seven compositions that make a total time of 48 minutes, in which we will listen to a fresh offering that shows an excellent example of heavy prog the most of the time, though in moments the music is lighter and mellow.

It opens with "Thinking Out Loud" whose first moments have a delicate acoustic guitar accompanied by nice vocals. Later it changes and creates a sound that exemplifies the heavy prog category, with brief metal tendencies, but without being a metal band at all. Then the song flows and is developing a particular sound, with several changes that put dynamism on it, sometimes it is heavier and more complex, sometimes softer and even catchy. This is a very good opener track.

"Solitude" starts with acoustic guitar but seconds later the electric joins and along with keyboards produce a powerful beginning. The music seems to have some kind of mid east flavor, with a sitar-like sound, but later, it surprisingly changes and produces a much catchier tune in the chorus, with a neo-prog feeling. What I like of this track is that A Big Goodbye manages to morph without losing track, I mean, there aren't fractured moments, the composition is well-crafted from start to end.

"The Great Divide" is one of the two epics of this album, this one with a nine-minute length. Acoustic guitar at the beginning, a soft sound with nice bass lines and constant drums, later joined by a delicate voice. To be honest the name of Opeth came to my mind in this beginning, as the name of Porcupine Tree in the previous track, maybe those bands have influenced A Big Goodbye in a way. Returning to the song, it continues with the same mellow sound for some minutes, progressing little by little until after four minutes they bring us a very cool and intense instrumental passage that shows again why they are labeled under the Heavy Prog genre. Here we can also appreciate their skills as performers, the drums are heavy and fast, the guitar making nice figures and carrying the rhythm, while the bass produces nice lines. A new and drastic change comes after six minutes in which percussion enter along with acoustic guitar, making a very soft sound. When I thought they had nothing new to add, they surprised me with the introduction of a saxophone.

And this saxophone now continues and opens the next track entitled "February Girl" whose first minute is a ballad-like, which later vanishes and turns into an alternative rock song that in spite of the heavy and prog touches, it does not pass that barrier of a radio single tune with a catchy sound. "The Door" starts as usual with acoustic guitar (after five tracks, I would suggest the band to change a little bit the first seconds of their songs, if they don't want to sound repetitive) and later the music flows, creating again a catchy melody and a friendly tune. Honestly, these two tracks are the weakest moments of the album.

"In My Dreams" is a more interesting track with powerful, energy and intensity that makes the listener feeling part of it. The sound here is heavier and emotional, with excellent guitar work that offers a good solo after three minutes. The album finishes with "Memories" which is the longest composition with more of 14 minutes of great music. This might be their most accomplished work, with great lyrics, wonderful structures that let us know their compositional talent. The acoustic guitar is a crucial element here, and they return with a saxophone that adds cadency, deliciousness to the already good sound. Here they remembered that keyboards can do a lot of things, and I believe here they exploded and took advantage of them, creating great nuances and atmospheres that I did not appreciate in previous tracks. Well, being a long song it is evident that here you will find changes in mood and rhythm, most of them are pretty cool.

A strong debut from A Big Goodbye, I liked it though I must admit I am not crazy for it, mostly because two or three tracks that did not caught my attention, and for some catchy moments, however, the band is very talented and know how to make good melodies and complex compositions, just like the last one. Now I am looking forward to their next release. Meanwhile, my final grade will be three stars.

Enjoy it!

Review by ProgShine
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This is the first record to A Big Goodbye, and for that, we could see 'things' and 'things' on it.

First of all, it's very nice to see in 2011 people doing music with mixed elements, acoustic guitars all around, heavier parts, some saxophones here and there, a lot of melodies, a lot of turnarounds. Maybe that's where the problem lies.

I'm a fan of pop melodies, and to write a good pop melody that will hook on people's minds isn't that easy. Those guys have some ability to do that, but then comes the problem, sometimes things get way out of line, as if they're trying too hard to make a very phenomenal piece. Cause we have too much of both worlds (Prog and Alternative Pop or whatever you like to call it), too much of each on every track.

I'm not saying it's a bad album, cause it's not, there are many enjoyable moments. But for me, there are moments that made this band not original. I can see nowadays, with zillions of bands to listen to, it's very hard to have an original sound, and maybe for most of people this will not be a problem, but for me, there are moments that remind me Orphaned Land, moments that remind me Solstice Coil, Daniel Mills voice remind me of the brazilian band Cartoon's singer Khadhu without the high parts.

I hardly know a band's first record that made it right to the point (maybe Kiss did it, oh yeah they did), and I'm sure this guys will pull a great second record.

But one thing must be said, the sound quality, impressive! Many many bands with label on their sides don't get the sound those guys did, and it's a independent release.

Actually 3.5 stars

Review by kev rowland
4 stars This is the debut album by American trio A Big Goodbye, and was released in 2011. Now, that is bad news as it means that I missed it when it first came out but the good news is that the next one is due very soon! This is the first in a three album series, with the overall theme on this one being about emptiness. Lyrically it deals with relationship struggles, particularly "The Great Divide". The final song on the album, "Memories" is also the longest at fourteen minutes. This is about the main character, who having killed the woman who betrayed him is now contemplating killing himself. Together they had a child called "Autumn", which will be a song on the next album. The story has deliberately been chopped about so that it is not in sequence, rather like Saga's "Chapters".

So for their debut they decided that from the off it was going to be a trilogy, and if that isn't a strong statement of self-belief, how about the music they have pulled together to accompany the words? The band itself is comprised of multi-instrumentalist Matt Glisson, his brother Andrew on drums and singer Daniel Mills plus three guests, Adam Cambria (sax), Joseph Castleberry (trumpet) and Paul Boatwright (trombone). Yep, here we have a prog band that have brought in a brass section. If that wasn't enough, how about complex math-rock sections where they come across as Protest The Hero, combined with complex prog metal where they are Dream Theater, or dramatic acoustic where musically (if not vocally) they are Roy Harper. Often all in the same song! Daniel has a strong clear voice and sometimes it is only his vocals that are keeping it all together as the band splits and changes in a myriad of different directions. If you want a dramatic emotional rollercoaster of a prog album then this is it.

There is no doubt that this is one of the most exciting debuts I have ever come across. Roll on the next one!

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Although this band from Folkston, Georgia was founded in 2007, it wasn't until 2011, when they launched their first full-length album.Guitarist/keyboardist Matt Glisson, his brother and drummer Andrew Glisson and singer Daniel Mills completed their rehearsals by putting up ''Sound & silences'', even if no physical copy of the allbum existed, following a digital-only release.Three guest musicians, Adam Cambria, Joseph Castleberry and Paul Boatwright, helped the trio on sax, trumpet and trombone respectively.

This seems to be the perfect title for an work balancing between mellow, acoustic moments and massive, heavy guitar riffs, although a very strong sense of melody is present throughout the album.Actually this first half of ''Sound & silences'' displays the trio in full force, having series of inspired, exceptional moments and executing these electroacoustic changes with comfort and confidence.Very modern-sounding, A Big Goodbye color their Heavy Prog tunes with hints from US Alternative Rock and their music contains strong emotions, great passion and lots of powerful moments, switching from sensitive singing lines to bombastic guitar moves and solos, while the choruses are extremely memorable.Distorted electric guitars and shocking solos by wind instruments as well as some discreet keyboard lines add an even more charming dimension in a nicely composed work.Second half of the album seem more standard and conventional with less majestic moments and a sound flirting often with guitar-based Prog Metal.Not bad at all, it definitely holds the same level of passion and dynamics compared to the first half, but some great twists and the abscence of the lovely, acoustic passages are to be desired.The attempt on developing a long song like the 14-min. ''Memories'' is welcome, here the band sounds somewhere between TILES and ENCHANT minus the keyboards, typical US-styled Heavy Prog with laid-back atmospheric tunes, acoustic soundscapes and punchy electric riffs.

Interesting and promising trio.Fresh ideas, decent compositions and even a few absolutely majestic tunes in a Heavy Prog matrix.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

Latest members reviews

4 stars I would graciously like to thank the drummer of this band Andrew Glisson for sending me this album for free. As asked, I will review this album for him. Usually when people tell me to check out unheard or underground bands I expect really bad production, really poor songwriting, bad ... (read more)

Report this review (#991974) | Posted by arcane-beautiful | Friday, July 5, 2013 | Review Permanlink

4 stars 7/10 Sounds and Silence is a decent debut of the band The Big Goodbye. I was invited to hear this album, and certainly I was not sorry. Not that I was facing a masterpiece, but certainly this is an album with his qualities and I think the band has much to offer. I think the biggest problem ... (read more)

Report this review (#780796) | Posted by voliveira | Sunday, July 1, 2012 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I came across this gem just recently, thinking it would be merely an amateur's debut, but I was wrong. The production sounds professional, and the songwriting is as excellent as any other modern prog bands. This band is unique for writing catchy melodies while utilizing both odd time signatures an ... (read more)

Report this review (#718011) | Posted by Riuku | Sunday, April 8, 2012 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Another great debut album. The prog rock scene is very much alive & (in particular) kicking. A Big Goodbye debuts with this kicking album. An album that style wise is in the modern prog category. References are Radiohead, Muse and Porcupine Tree. But the saxophone also gives this band an extra ... (read more)

Report this review (#545555) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Saturday, October 8, 2011 | Review Permanlink

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