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A BIG GOODBYE

Heavy Prog • United States


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A Big Goodbye biography
A BIG GOODBYE's sound can best be described as a blend of old and new, vintage and modern, with influences spanning nearly a century and countless genres. What began as multi-instrumentalist Matt Glisson's vision of being able to incorporate all the influences of his youth has grown into a foward thinking band that continues to mature. You'll hear subtle tributes to Chicago, Toto, Opeth, Silverchair, Muse, Radiohead, Rush, Led Zeppelin, as well as many great contemporary composers such as Robert W. Smith, David Arnold, and James Horner. Matt's brother Andrew began playing drums when he was 6 years old and grew up in a home surrounded by music and planned to play professionally from the very beginning. Matt first met vocalist Daniel Mills in college as they were both music majors. They decided to start playing acoustic shows together and have been for nearly 10 years. A BIG GOODBYE is currently in the studio already working on their follow-up to 'Sounds & Silences,' their debut effort which is quickly gaining attention around the globe.

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A BIG GOODBYE discography


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A BIG GOODBYE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.61 | 75 ratings
Sounds & Silences
2011
3.71 | 37 ratings
History In Rewind
2014

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A BIG GOODBYE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 History In Rewind by BIG GOODBYE, A album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.71 | 37 ratings

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History In Rewind
A Big Goodbye Heavy Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars So the guys are now back with the difficult second album, and I have to say that I think they've nailed it pretty well. Although PA have them listed as Heavy Prog, there is a lot on this album that would find them more happily suited to Crossover, with a very strong sense of melody. Whereas the first album impressed due to the complex heaviness of much of the music, on this one I have found that it is actually the 'simpler' songs that hit home. This feels very much like an album of restraint, where the band have taken their time to craft something that builds on the first and takes it in a slightly different direction, without ever straying too far from the path they set out in the debut. There are times when they are reminiscent of Vangough, or possibly Pain of Salvation, but with a more melodic almost AOR feel to the vocals. The guitars are kept (mostly) under control on this song, but the bass is allowed to run riot with some incredibly complex runs

The piano sound is just superb, and that combined with strong harmony or double-tracked vocals and wonderfully beguiling atmospherics and hooks makes this a delight. "Breathe" is a full on duet with Elise Walker guesting, and the gentle percussion and rhythmic accompaniment allows the listener to drift away on a sea of vocals that have a wonderful pop feel, without every straying too much into that area.

In many ways this feels like a very mature album, by a band who really know what they want to achieve. The result is something that is very easy to listen to and enjoy on first hearing, and the more it is played then the more the listener discovers.

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 Sounds & Silences by BIG GOODBYE, A album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.61 | 75 ratings

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Sounds & Silences
A Big Goodbye Heavy Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

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.

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 History In Rewind by BIG GOODBYE, A album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.71 | 37 ratings

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History In Rewind
A Big Goodbye Heavy Prog

Review by voliveira

4 stars 8/10

Three years ago I had the honor of being awarded the opportunity to hear the band's debut album The Big Goodbye , through its leader Matt Glisson who sent me an online copy. Now this situation is repeated , and again I have that honor , with his new album entitled History in Rewind.

All I can say is wow ! The band has really grown a lot in that time, and this is reflected in this new album, which surpasses the first in all respects. The point where praise is more tear production, which is far superior and better-made. Where in Sounds and Silence I felt a certain lack of emotion in music, here I am rewarded with a more crystal clear and audible output. This is particularly notable when we heard the recordings of three songs from the first album that are also here and compare with their original versions.

It is clear that no use of a good production is the musicality of the group had not evolved too. This was an album that grew on me defintivamente as they heard him, and even though the songs are shorter than the first album each is well-crafted and executed, lacking highlights here. My particular favorites are the mini-epic The Beggining of the End, The Other Side, the gorgeous Breathe (which has a beautiful duet with Elise Walker) and Choices. In addition, the three tracks on the previous album, although not deviate from their original sound, continue to be a huge highlight, especially The Great Divide, which stands for me as the best song this band has ever done.

4 solid stars. This is a band of immense potential, and again express my gratitude to enjoy the courtesy of their music.

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 History In Rewind by BIG GOODBYE, A album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.71 | 37 ratings

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History In Rewind
A Big Goodbye Heavy Prog

Review by Andy Webb
Forum & Site Admin Group Admin / Heavy Prog Team

4 stars Prog has the phenomenal ability to fuse with just about any genre of music and enhance it musically. From the genre's very inception with the fusion of classical and jazz elements with the popular rock of the day to the fusion of prog elements to metal, jazz, avant rock, and so many more, essentially any genre's spectrum of variety can be expanded by prog elements. One of my favorite standard adaptations of this concept is the fusion of hard rock and prog, making what we at ProgArchives call Heavy Prog. The musically dense riffs, strong melodic sense, and exquisite musicianship always make for a phenomenal listening experience.

Many bands have mastered this fusion, from Rush to Karnivool to Porcupine Tree and more, but a newcomer to the scene, A Big Goodbye, seem to be catching on very quickly. The band's 2011 debut Sounds and Silences saw a mature and experienced group of musicians who were not shy in their compositional abilities and made sure the listener was aware of this. The songs were musically dense, melodically powerful, and catchy to boot. The band took their time to write and record their next album, History in Rewind, and it works in their favor. This sophomore effort shows a further maturation and exploration of an already strong musical voice.

The album contains a host of styles - the strong hard rock element that was present on the debut, a mysterious dark heavy prog atmosphere, carefully crafted piano pieces, and the catchy rock songs which made their appearance on the band's debut. The band can be compared to a host of different sources, from Dream Theater, Rush, and Orphaned Land to Metallica and Iron Maiden, all of which contribute to an incredibly eclectic sound palate for the album.

The diversity of the tracks lends itself to a very nicely varied listening experience. Heavy songs like the opener "The First Time Around" contrasts gorgeously with the lighter, airy song "Breathe." The band made no effort to stay within the bounds of a single style, and it works to their benefit. Transitions between styles works perfectly as well, so the listener does not feel jostled by any harsh shifts of tone. The only complaint I would have is that there is a weak sense of continuity around the album, but even with the non-linear progression of style shifts, the album holds together excellently.

The band decided to fill out some of the album by re-recording some of the best of their debut and placing them on this album, which both benefits and detracts from the album. While the re-recordings sound gorgeous and the augmented orchestral tracks of "Thinking Out Loud," "Solitude," and "The Great Divide" only accentuated some of my favorite songs from Sounds and Silences, I typically don't like when bands put old songs on new albums. For new listeners, this is absolutely not an issue and it provides a nice review of the best of the first album, but for a listener who is familiar with the old album, they're mostly unnecessary.

Even still, overall the new album by A Big Goodbye is excellent. The variety of tone, maturity of songwriting, and purity of recording quality make an outstanding sophomore effort. Some songs are simply killer and unfairly catchy, like "Numb" and "The First Time Around." The instrumentation is strong throughout, and while some songs could have a little more complexity and could be put more 'outside the box,' overall the album is a very strong heavy prog album. I said it when I reviewed Sounds and Silences and I'll say it again - I can't wait to hear more from these guys! 4 stars.

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 Sounds & Silences by BIG GOODBYE, A album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.61 | 75 ratings

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Sounds & Silences
A Big Goodbye Heavy Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

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!

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 Sounds & Silences by BIG GOODBYE, A album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.61 | 75 ratings

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Sounds & Silences
A Big Goodbye Heavy Prog

Review by arcane-beautiful

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.

Em...wow. Usually when people tell me to check out unheard or underground bands I expect really bad production, really poor songwriting, bad musicianship and just plain blandness. So when I sat down (actually I was walking my dogs) to listen to it, I really wasn't expecting much, but because I have low expectations of everything, most things I listen to seem great. But this is a little bit more than great...it's brilliant actually.

A weird way to try and sell these guys is that they are like a mixture between Dream Theater and Incubus. They have brilliant musicianship, but, they also know how to write songs. Also, the band aren't afraid to experiment, with the use of instruments like saxophones, trumpets and trombones.

I have to admit, some of the lyrics on the songs do at times seem rather generic, but, surprisingly, the vocals and the musicianship overshadow the cheesiness of the lyrics. Sometimes rather cool tag lines in the chorus' appear, which have some nice little metaphors and similes.

The album's opener "Thinking Out Loud" starts off very simple. Pretty acoustic melodies with a simple vocal line. The song then bursts open and some standard prog musicianship plays off each other. Daniels vocals are shown off very well in this song, with his range really being pushed to the limits and pulled off flawlessly.

One of my personal favourites has to be "Solitude." One of the more darker and heavier songs on the album. With rather a middle eastern sound throughout the verses, the catchy chorus and mixed styles really make the song more enjoyable.

My favourite song on the album, due to the sure oddness of it would have to be "February Girl." Starting off with a beautiful saxophone and guitar intro, the song morphs into a rather dark musical accompaniment with some nice poppy melodies. A very interesting contrast in tones and definitely a hidden highlight on this album, depending on tastes of course.

The albums closer, the 14 minute epic Memories is a real interesting long track. Instead of flourishing with pomp and dramatics, the band experiment a bit. The song is almost split into three songs, a rock epic, an acoustic moment and a rather slow and dark jazzy ending. The only problem I have with this song is the length. 13 and a half minutes is perfect. 30 extra seconds of a drumbeat over and over...yea...bit silly.

In conclusion, these guys have came from nowhere, and I'm surprised at how much little attention these guys have received. This is an absolute stunner of a debut...but I do feel this isn't the full package and more is yet to come. Having heard their newer stuff that will appear on their next album...let's just say, we will all be surprised. Download this album, stream it, or even buy it when it comes out. It's definitely worth a listen and an addition to anyone's music collections.

8.3/10

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 Sounds & Silences by BIG GOODBYE, A album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.61 | 75 ratings

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Sounds & Silences
A Big Goodbye Heavy Prog

Review by voliveira

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 for Sounds and Silence is the lack of emotion. Not something like this to bring the listener to tears, but a kind of "supplement" to the album's sound. A greater supply of keyboards would be interesting, I think - there are some organ here and there, but they are few indeed. However there are plenty of saxophone that captivates me, because I have a crush on this instrument, as well as trumpets and trombones.

On the positive side I have to mention the heavy use of acoustic guitar, especially in introducing the songs - almost all start with this instrument. This is not an album specifically for metal, I think there's a light touch that really interesting, making it a cross between music maisntream (but it's not pop, understand) with progressive hard rock. And the songs Solitude and The Great Divide are really excellent, I might add.

Finally, a good album, and a band with potential. 4 stars.

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 Sounds & Silences by BIG GOODBYE, A album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.61 | 75 ratings

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Sounds & Silences
A Big Goodbye Heavy Prog

Review by Riuku

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 and a variety of chord changes. Of important note is also that they don't sound just like Porcupine Tree, or Opeth, or x band. They sound like themselves. Of course, this is a debut album, so there are flaws, but this album shows great amounts of potential.

The album starts with a powerful opener, an almost immediately hypnotizing acoustic guitar opening. It is a powerful song and for its length never diminishes in power. At some moments, it sounds like Coheed and Cambria's Welcome Home, but with a touch of something unique.

The next track is where the band shows their true colors: combining middle-eastern sounds with extremely melodic and catchy melodies, as well as an intense instrumental section. This is a very good choice for a single, because it is very well-crafted, but is instrumentally powerful enough to make any listener become interested in the band--don't forget to check out the insane drumming.

The Great Divide is definitely one of my favorite tracks of the year. It starts off slightly ambient, with haunting effects and the best vocals yet. This track is basically a conceptual suite, about the divide between a man and woman. Each effect and note of the song is meant to augment the lyrics, such as the sax representing a breath of fresh air, or a wrong chord change representing mistakes; furthermore, this track is really open to interpretation, so let it absorb you and have a lot of fun with it. It's got a lost of twists and turns.

The next two tracks I find is where the album is flawed. You can tell there is a lot of effort put into them, and they're great tracks, but they just bring the quality of the album down a bit, because they're not as good as the previous tracks. They are great tracks nonetheless, and the best part is that they're still growing on me. The acoustic guitars on The Door, however, are outstanding.

In My Dreams brings to mind the best of Ghost Reveries era Opeth but mixes in the new personality belonging exclusively to ABG. This track does not let down. Every note is executed perfectly, producing a powerful haunting effect.

Finally, we get to the epic. This is another great track and definitely has the best use of the saxophone. However, The Great Divide is a slightly stronger piece. The highlight of the epic has to be the trance-inducing ending. Unfortunately that's the ending. It leaves you wanting more.

4.25 stars, a really strong debut effort.

The mind-blowingly beautiful: the ending of Memories

The mind-blowingly insane: the instrumental section of Solitude

The mind-blowingly unexpected: the sax on Great Divide

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 Sounds & Silences by BIG GOODBYE, A album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.61 | 75 ratings

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Sounds & Silences
A Big Goodbye Heavy Prog

Review by ProgShine
Collaborator Errors & Omissions and Crossover Team

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

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 Sounds & Silences by BIG GOODBYE, A album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.61 | 75 ratings

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Sounds & Silences
A Big Goodbye Heavy Prog

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!

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