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GREAT WIDE NOTHING

Neo-Prog • United States


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Great Wide Nothing biography
Founded in Atlanta, USA in 2017

An Atlanta-based combo GREAT WIDE NOTHING were founded by Daniel GRAHAM (bass, voices), Dylan PORPER (keyboards), and Jeff MATTHEWS (drums). They've been fully inspired by progressive rock scene in the 70s, and their material has got crystallized as the debut album "The View From Olympus" in April 2019.

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3.40 | 11 ratings
The View From Olympus
2019

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GREAT WIDE NOTHING Reviews


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 The View From Olympus by GREAT WIDE NOTHING album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.40 | 11 ratings

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The View From Olympus
Great Wide Nothing Neo-Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

3 stars I put on the debut album from this Atlanta based trio (Daniel Graham ( electric and acoustic guitars, bass, vocals), Dylan Porper (keyboards) and Jeff Matthews (drums)) and reached for the calendar to check the year. Yep, it's still 2019, but in some ways I feel I have been thrown back in time as here is a solid neo prog release which should have come out 25 years ago, and that in itself was heavily influenced by bands from twenty years earlier. Interestingly, the classic band they have most in common with is probably Uriah Heep, although there is plenty of ELP as well. There is a section in the second song, 'Monument' where each musician takes a turn and the cleanliness and power of the sounds being conveyed is engaging from the off.

The album is made up of four songs, with two reasonable length numbers leading into a short acoustic guitar-based number which is preparation for the lengthy title closer, which is more than 17 minutes long. Keyboards are often the driving force for the album, using very dated sounds for the most part, but the songs are often very rock-based even though there isn't a great deal of guitar to be heard. One feels that this is an album the guys can go out and gig and is certainly a band I would go and see if I was in the area. It really does make me think of the early 90's scene, and given how fondly I regard that musical part of my life, I must confess it is an album I enjoyed from the very first time of playing and its naivety has just grown on me since then. Easy to listen to, but never easy listening, there are many who decry this style of progressive rock, but if you are a fan or the early works of bands such as Galahad, Ark and even later Grace then this is one to look out for. All power to the guys for also making this available as a physical CD as well as a digital download.

 The View From Olympus by GREAT WIDE NOTHING album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.40 | 11 ratings

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The View From Olympus
Great Wide Nothing Neo-Prog

Review by Second Endeavour

5 stars Every once in a while, I am really amazing by how mature the debut release from newcomer can be. For this time around, we have a superb team GREAT WIDE NOTHING whose visiting card 'The View From Olympus' saw the daylight in early April 2019. So let's open the doorway and get sheer musical luxury... The Atlanta-based ensemble consists of mastermind Daniel Graham (lead vocals, Rickenbacker bass, electric and acoustic guitars), Dylan Porper (Moog, Korg M-3, Roland D-50) and Jeff Matthews (drums / percussion). They take the source of inspiration from the Glorious Past to make it into contemporary mould that recalls the best of classic symphonic rock alongside melodious neoprog. Whilst the fundamental influences are pronounced, they don't prevent GWN from expressing themselves. And I think, ardent lovers of multifaceted subject matter will find a lot to enjoy on the first CD from talented group standing head and shoulders above the ordinary crowd. The exposition opens with a three-piece track 'Lethal Neon' ('A Sinister Glow', 'No Answers' and 'The Spider's Web') to paint a refined picture that shimmers with sundry colors of ELP, Iluvatar, Marillion and Yes. Then append a Vangelis smear and you get clear idea. Modified for the palette of Great Wide Nothing, the outro of this composition unexpectedly resembles Pink Floyd (without being derivative). Each segment sounds intimately familiar and yet unique. The atmosphere is larded with stunning keyboards, prominent synths, elegant piano inserts, flawless guitar playing, ably delivered rhythmic backdrop and haunting vocals. The high-pitched voice of Daniel Graham sounds like a cross between Fish and Glenn McLaughlin. Worthy of note is a very effective use of rich melodic textures and constantly changing tempos. The next example of the band's ability to start in one place and ending up in another is 'Monument' which holds two sections: 'Hostages' and 'The Full Six Under'. It's leaning on pomposity combined with sentimentality. Comparisons to Manfred Mann's Earth Band and old Pallas can be valid here. The peculiar ending suddenly switches to a build of power that I might describe as the lost fragment from the 70's Deep Purple record (just think of John Lord / Ian Paice / Roger Glover combination in their heyday). What's round the bend? Producing a huge contrast with the rich instrumentation of two predecessors, short 'Evening' (02:47) possesses only acoustic guitar paired with the pensive singing. Arguably though, this type of 'non-prog' song operates well to serve like a resting point. The whole album culminates in the 17 minute plus 'The View From Olympus', a gorgeous epic with four sections - respectively: 'Prelude', 'Midnight Sun', 'The Gift of Time', 'Out of the Flood'. And again, plenty of amazing ingredients have been utilized in a very special, exciting, manner. The band follows in the footsteps of highly acclaimed progressive rock artists such as Genesis, Saga, Rush, Kansas, Iluvatar, IQ, Marillion. But oddly enough, towards the final, one can hear a distant echo of Sir Paul McCartney (if you know 'Wunderlast', of course). In a nutshell, this opus is a remarkable completion for the band's presentation. Indeed: when structured wisely, progressive rock music can be a very, very effective medium. Bravo guys!

. I do advise anybody to check it out.

 The View From Olympus by GREAT WIDE NOTHING album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.40 | 11 ratings

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The View From Olympus
Great Wide Nothing Neo-Prog

Review by TCat
Collaborator Eclectic Team

3 stars "Great Wide Nothing" is a brand new Neo-Prog band from Atlanta, Gerogia. The band was founded by Daniel Graham who plays electric and acoustic guitars, bass and vocals; Dylan Porper on keyboards; and Jeff Matthews on drums. Their debut album was released in April of 2019 and consists of 4 tracks spanning a total runtime of 38 minutes.

The album starts off with a 3-part suite at almost 10 minutes long called "Lethal Neon". The first part is called "A Sinister Glow". An organ brings in the full band rather quickly and vocals start off quite early with a upbeat sound. The music is led mostly by organ and piano. After two verses and choruses, the vocals stop and the 2nd part called "No Answers" continues to be led by the piano with a more progressive sound this time. Synths and bass play around with a progressive passage before the synths take a solo and then a nice piano solo. The third part, "The Spider's Web", brings in the initial theme and more vocals, but at a slower rhythm this time which later brings in a passionate guitar solo. The track ends with a piano ending. The parts of the suite are not really distinct and there is not a lot to discern one from another, so I'm really guessing when they end and begin, but this is the only distinction I could come up with. The track could just as easily not been a suite.

"Monument" is the next track and is a 2-part suite at just over 8 minutes. The first part is called "Hostages", and like the previous track, the organ brings everything in this time with a more moderate tempo. Vocals eventually come in starting with the same lyrics as "What a Wonderful World", but they soon veer off in their own direction. After two verses and choruses, the track picks up tempo and goes into an instrumental section which is the second part of this suite called "The Full Six Under". Things get more progressive and we get some really great keyboard passages as the organ and synths take over the improvisation spotlight.

"Evening" is a short track at about 3 minutes. It is a simple track with only acoustic guitar and vocals with meaningful lyrics. The melody itself is a bit underwhelming however. The strumming pattern of the guitar is similar to Pink Floyd's "Pigs on the Wing".

The last track is "The View from Olympus" and it is a 17 minute, 4 part suite. It starts out with "Prelude" which is what it sounds like, synths and bass announcing the track. The band comes in after a short electronic sounding keyboard with a bright sounding passage as the 2nd part begins called "Midnight Sun" with an acoustic guitar and flute effect with vocals, giving it a lilting pastoral style. After a few verses, things pick up again as the rhythm section comes back. The flute effect, created by the keys, continues to guide the track musically, but of course with a more rock feel now. After the chorus, things take on a harder sound, but is still led by keys, the guitars providing more of a support as they have through most of the album. The 3rd part, "The Gift of Time" begins when there is a slight break and the music builds to a slower and heavier sound with guitars and organ bringing in the vocals again, this time with a different theme. A mellotron sound supports the vocals and a stately guitar/organ theme separates the lyrical sections. After the 2nd verse, there is an instrumental break where things intensify nicely with a sweeping keyboard effect, and then things quite down with thunder in the background. The fourth part, "Out of the Flood" begins a new theme with keys first, then with the full band coming in behind the organ that restates the theme. A synth driven riff brings in the vocals again. This entire track is very lyric heavy but there are enough embellishments and short instrumental breaks to keep it interesting.

The overall sound on this is definitely Neo-prog sounding, taking elements from 70's style prog and giving it an updated and clean feel. The keyboards are the driving force on this album and the other instruments, while not totally ignored, take on a more supportive role most of the time. Those that like guitar heavy music might be turned off by this, but I have to say that the use of keyboards and synths is very well done. There is nothing here that sounds outdated, it all seems current. There are obvious inspirations in the music, that you can expect. But for a new band, this is an impressive debut. The music, being lyric heavy, probably could use a little more dynamic and emotion in the vocals, but it doesn't really put me off that much. This style of vocal is popular in Neo-prog music, so it's not bad, just something that would help the band to stand out more. Anyway, it's a valid effort, nothing new and groundbreaking, just great Neo-prog.

Thanks to dAmOxT7942 for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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