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GARDEN

Progressive Metal • United Kingdom


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Garden biography
GARDEN, based between Edinburgh and Glasgow, Scotland, began in 2006 as a personal creative venture for composer & multi-instrumentalist Samuel BRADLEY, originally the goal being to play power metal with a slight progressive twist, along with the addition of violin instead of synthesised orchestral sounds. The difficulties of forming a band lasted some years, which would turn out for the best, as when GARDEN finally came to record their first demo in late 2011, followed by the debut EP ''Garden'' in December 2012, the music was far more sophisticated than the original vision would indicate, having picked up influences from a variety of styles and disciplines through the years, as well as expanding the ensemble to include even more acoustic instruments alongside the standard rock lineup. GARDEN became a full band around 2011 and the 2012 EP included, apart from BRADLEY (vocals, bass, euphonium, mandolin), Patrick JAMIESON (guitars, backing vocals), Jamie PETTINGER (piano), Jamie CROWTHER (violin), Chris GRIEVE (cello), Jack WEBB (saxophone, backing vocals), Olivia GOODMAN (clarinet) and Lauren BAIN (flute).

Come September 2013, GARDEN released their sophomore EP ''Somewhere Else'' which clocks at over 40 minutes. Only JAMIESON, BAIN and GRIEVE remain from the previous version of the band, with Dan GLOVER (piano, vocals), Matilda NORQVIST (violin) and Cameron KURONEN-STEWART (saxophone, clarinet) completing the line-up.

GARDEN, although self-promoted as symphonic progressive metal and citing influences from KAMELOT, DREAM THEATER, SYMPHONY X, YES, JETHRO TULL, HAKEN, SUSPYRE, IHSAHN and BLIND GUARDIAN, bring out a much more eclectic sound in their music, boosted by the addition of orchestral instruments. Dancing between eclectic folk prog and progressive metal, GARDEN will appeal to a range of prog fans.


Biography by aapatsos with kind contribution by the band

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3.82 | 3 ratings
Garden
2012
3.80 | 5 ratings
Somewhere Else
2013

GARDEN Reviews


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 Garden by GARDEN album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2012
3.82 | 3 ratings

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Garden
Garden Progressive Metal

Review by aapatsos
Special Collaborator Prog Metal and Heavy Prog Teams

4 stars Garden are a relatively new band, coming out of Scotland and released their first self-titled EP in December 2012 via their bandcamp page. Whilst categorised, and self-promoted, as progressive metal, the music of Garden uses progressive metal only as a basis to express the versatility and variety of influences of their music.

'Garden' is a 3-track EP of less than half an hour with average track duration of 9 minutes. During these 27 or so minutes, elements of folk, jazz, eclectic, orchestral progressive music come to surface via a progressive metal guitar driven background. Simply "symphonic progressive metal" would be an unfair tag to describe the Celtic sounds and the use of an almost full orchestra comprising mandolin, flute, violin, cello, clarinet etc.

"Composite Queen" is the opener of this short EP and, in my opinion, it is the highlight and shows what this band can achieve. An ultimately lyrical, eclectic and dynamic track, incorporating a very theatrical singing pattern (reminding of Arcturus at times) and accompanied by constant piano and violin power chords. Midway through the folksy influences appear in the form of a beautiful flute solo building to a power/progressive metal tune. "North" is quite more down-tempo, melodic and dramatic, very reminiscent of Shadow Gallery's best moments with Mike Baker on vocals. Half-way through it turns to a more eclectic/symphonic prog piece in the vein of Anglagard, while the saxophone solo introduces a more melancholic atmosphere. "Freya's Song" kicks off with a guitar/violin duet and in due course mixes all the above elements with a full blast of orchestral instruments and Bradley singing in the most intense manner.

The compositional element of this EP reaches perfection: a plethora of influences, instruments and sounds combined in a very intense manner (at times even overwhelming for the listener), producing a very original sound, even though the influences are recognisable. Where the album lacks is mainly the production (mixing of instruments and drum sound problematic), and also the execution of vocal lines and complex structures - I feel that at times, Garden have made the compositions too challenging to execute, without implying that they are not capable of doing so. Bearing in mind these flaws, I can still say that this EP is a challenging and intriguing experience for any prog music fan. This is really unique prog music and 4 stars are deserved. Watch this space.

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