Gargoyl is many things at once, which, automatically subjects the band to the journalistic and fan guessing game/rite of passage as to what style they actually are. Their 11-song self-titled debut is progressive, atmospheric, heavy, technical and avant-garde; a blend of sounds that ultimately coalesce into a body of work that engages and challenges. That, in itself, covers a broad spectrum, but further inroads into Gargoyl’s sound continually reveal new elements of intrigue and persuasion. It is the beauty — and purpose — of the project.
Formed in early 2018 by guitarist Dave Davidson (Revocation) and guitarist/vocalist Luke Roberts (Ayahuasca), the groundwork for Gargoyl was laid when the two men met while on tour. The pair realized they shared a musical kinship and admiration for one another and made good on their word to see the project through. Gargoyl’s two-song Asomatous demo was released in March 2019, setting the stage for their eventual signing to Season of Mist and release of their debut LP this October. The album’s drums were recorded in July 2019 with Chris Johnson at GodCity Studios in Salem, Massachusetts; guitars were tracked with Greg Dawson at BWC Studios outside of Toronto. Vocals were recorded by Roberts at his home studio.
Gargoyl is completed by the virtuosic talents of bassist Brett Leier and drummer James Knoerl who collectively add further layers of intrigue and soul to the music. The collaboration between members opened up the creative floodgates and further expanded their sound. “The riffs were flowing out so fast,” remarks Davidson about the early stages of the writing process. “It was clear that these ideas were in the back of our minds waiting to come out.”
The music for their self-titled album was split evenly between Davidson and Roberts, with Roberts also penning the album’s lyrics and vocal melodies. “Working with someone in more of a 50/50 kind of collaborative style was new for me,” elaborates Davidson. “It’s nice having someone to split those writing duties with, someone who is just as invested in every little single intricacy and detail. It allowed me to function in a different sort of role, which was refreshing. I think that also led to more creativity because I’m writing in a different style, writing with all new members and taking on a different writing role in a band.”
The haunting and melancholic tonality of Roberts’ vocals is undoubtedly one of the primary facets of Gargoyl’s sound. Roberts’s layering, harmonies and inflection, at times, recall classic vocalists from the ’90s grunge era, but what really sold Davidson was his versatility and ability to contour his clean, distinctive vocals over unorthodox compositions.
As a result, Gargoyl’s debut successfully oscillates between unnerving, emotional segments, to progressive, Goth-tinged hard rock. Davidson and Roberts have crafted Gargoyl in such a manner that it refuses to be boxed-in. Davidson has already fielded quite a few assertions on Gargoyl’s sound — some have tagged it as grunge meets black metal, Queens of The Stone Age meets Voivod or even a jazzier version of Alice In Chains.
“Anytime a band has a lot of different influences…I think it’s important to have a clear vision and goal so that all those influences mesh together in a way that doesn’t sound forced,” says Davidson. “I wanted it to be a cohesive, artistic statement and I know that Luke does as well. I’ve always wanted to blend genres. In the truest sense of the word we’re ‘prog rock.’”
Luke Roberts - Guitar, Vocals
David Davidson – Guitar
Brett Leier – Bass
James Knoerl – Drums
STYLE: Progressive Grunge Rock
Luke Roberts - Guitar/ Vocals
David Davidson – Guitar
Brett Leier – Bass
James Knoerl - Drums
Jocelyn Barth – Additional backup vocals (“Ophidian,” “Nightmare Conspiracy,” and “Ambivalent I”)
Erik Van Dam – saxophone (“Acid Crown”)
Drums recorded by Chris Johnson at God City (Salem, Massachusetts, USA)
Guitars & Bass Recorded by Greg Dawson at BWC Studios (Kingston, Ontario, CAN)
Vocals Recorded by Luke Roberts at Black Lodge (Toronto, Ontario, CAN)
Mixing: Greg Dawson
Cover Art: Mark McCoy
Bio: David E. Gehlke
Pre-sales: https://redirect.season-of- mist.com/GargoylShop
Press-kit: https://presskit.season-of- mist.com/Gargoyl/
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