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NEURAL MASS

Crossover Prog • Canada


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Neural Mass biography
Neural Mass was formed in Montreal in 1995. That year, they recorded the album "Descent Into The Lower World". The album features Gary X Floyd - keyboards and vocals, Sylvain Rodrigue on drums, Marcel Babin on guitars and Pierre-Paul Doré on bass.

In 2002, they released their second album "The Unbreakable Aqua-Mask of Europa". The album features guitarist Francis Lafortune playing on a track entitled "The Lamp". The rest of the album was recorded as a duo. Soon after recording "The Unbreakable Aqua-Mask of Europa" , they began composing material for their next album "Sunshine Hill".

The album follows a very loose concept/plotline. It is the story of 2 simple-minded individuals who get into deep trouble with a criminal organization, the police, women and various merchants while on a ''business'' trip abroad. The ''story'' ends with one of them prostituting himself to old ladies. After the basic tracks were recorded (drums / keyboards), the band sought out guest guitarists to help give the album a harder edge. The band released Sunshine Hill in 2003. It features guest guitarists : Mark Tremblay, Serge Labreche and Francis Lafortune.

The seedy subject matter and the sometimes abrasive lyrics were never ment to be everyone's cup of tea, but then again, Neural Mass has never been about compromise. The album received some airplay on prog-rock radio websites and was very well received by the critics who unanimously recognized the band's originality. Radio stations in Canada, Us, Portugal, South America and Turkey also began playing it on air.

The band then decided to re record some of the stronger songs from the first three albums with a more aggressive prog-metal approach along with two newer songs. The resulting album, Opposite Control, was released online and on CD in 2007. A live album called Playing for Fans was also made available online. Both of these albums feature Mark Tremblay on guitars and Fred Thompson on bass who were an integral part of the band at that point. Sadly, Fred Thompson passed away in August 2007.

Rodrigue & Floyd have just completed a new album entitled "Final Warning" a disturbing journey to the end of the World.


Neural Mass are:
- Sylvain Rodrigue (Drums/Vocals/Lyrics/Bass Synth/Theremin,Graphic Design
- Gary X Floyd (Keyboards/Bass synth/Theremin/Lyrics/Back Vocals)

Thanks to Gary X for the bio.

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NEURAL MASS discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

NEURAL MASS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.10 | 2 ratings
Descent into the Lower World
1997
3.00 | 3 ratings
The Unbreakable Aqua-Mask of Europa
2001
2.50 | 2 ratings
Sunshine Hill
2002
3.00 | 2 ratings
Opposite Control
2006
2.05 | 2 ratings
Final Warning
2010

NEURAL MASS Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Playing For Fans
2006

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NEURAL MASS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Unbreakable Aqua-Mask of Europa  by NEURAL MASS album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.00 | 3 ratings

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The Unbreakable Aqua-Mask of Europa
Neural Mass Crossover Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Five years after the questionable sound of ''Descent into the lower world'' Neural Mass returned with a second album ''The unbreakable aqua-mask of Europa''.But this time they worked on the recordings as a duo with Gary X Floyd playing the keyboards, bass synth, flute and clarinet and Sylvain Rodrigue on drums, percussions and lead vocals, while he was also the lyricist of the project.Francis Lafortune is the only other person involved in the album, providing the guitar parts on ''The lamp''.

It seems that Neural Mass worked better as a duo than a normal group of musicians, as ''The unbreakable aqua-mask of Europa'' is a much more consistent and focused effort than their debut.The opening 10-min. long title-track sets the tone of the whole album, a mixture of MASTERMIND symphonic organs and marching drums with low-key psychedelic Electronic Music, flavored by narration parts and cosmic atmospheres.There are specific tracks, which also remind me of GIZMO during the early-80's, gothic and groovy New Wave/Electronic/Prog, which even flirts with DEPECHE MODE and NICK CAVE at moments.But the majority of the album is synth- or organ-drenched Psych/Prog, which even recalls a modern version of French legends CATHARSIS.The music is highly rhythmic with alternations between monster organ parts and spacious synthesizers with Rodrigue providing a huge spark of energy with his drumming and the result being a sinister, mostly instrumental and keyboard-centered Prog Rock.The more contemporary and floating pieces in the end are closer to the Electronic works of SHAMALL with strange loops and cosmic experiments, but the stuff remains fairly dark and atmospheric.Good thing was definitely the duo's limited stylistical range with Floyd and Rodrigue focusing on keyboard-based soundscapes with psychedelic and symphonic themes.''The jupiter'' is the only weak track, an effort on humouristic, jazzy-flavored Piano Music with a tasteless result.

The true, decent beginning of Neural Mass into Progressive Rock.Odd keyboard-based, contemporary Psych/Prog/Electronic with some nice experimentations and great soundscapes.Recommended.

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 Final Warning by NEURAL MASS album cover Studio Album, 2010
2.05 | 2 ratings

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Final Warning
Neural Mass Crossover Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

2 stars Canadian band NEURAL MASS has been around since the mid 90's, and until 2010 they had four studio albums and one live production to their name. "Final Warning" is their sixth album in total, and was self-released in 2010.

Neural Mass describes their latest creation as "a disturbing journey to the end of the World". It is a mostly dark affair, chaotic and slightly repetitive, but I can see how many might be charmed by this musical journey towards Armageddon too, a sort of apocalyptic musical journey where the ghosts of Tangerine Dream and Vangelis dish out random motifs to a steady rhythm in something of a lo-fi manner. If that sounds interesting, you'll perhaps want to find out more about what this Canadian band has to offer.

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 Descent into the Lower World  by NEURAL MASS album cover Studio Album, 1997
2.10 | 2 ratings

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Descent into the Lower World
Neural Mass Crossover Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

2 stars NEURAL MASS are a strange band.In their music someone hears influences almost from any prog genre.Maybe that's their basic problem of the group.The central idea of course is the music of DREAM THEATER but in a rock and not in the metal way.There are hints also from PSYCHOTIC WALTZ,JOY DIVISION,some modern art rock bands like RADIOHEAD,elements from jazz/rock,there's even some flutes reminding me of JETHRO TULL.I would compare them musically with Swedish proggers A.C.T.,but A.C.T. are for sure two or maybe more steps beyond.The other basic problem are the vocals.In some songs they are expressive and seem to fit with the music but in other ones they are too at least average for a prog band.Best song of the album is the last,which is an instrumental piece of really great music in the vein of DREAM THEATER showing that the band has talent.Perhaps a less complicated style in their music and vocals would give the band a lift to the prog community...

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