*This is part of our State Of The Art series, showcasing bands every Monday from the featured State*
This month’s State is Utah!
Looking for good bands in Utah has been as easy as shooting fish in a barrel. The tough thing this month is not finding a good band, but taking the extra effort to find the right band. Here’s a good one. Crap, moved to another state. Hey, another one. Damn, they broke up. Such goes the search. Then I ran into Disforia. Whoa. Almost too good to be true. Yup. The band is on a semi (maybe) permanent hiatus, the members being usurped by other killer bands throughout the area. This one I will follow more deeply. Too much talent to land in anything less than spectacular. What I found was nothing short of that, because I was lead to Principium (taken from the Latin word meaning “fundamental principle”).
Started in Salt lake city by former Disforia, Mason Jones and the Get Togethers, The Mendelbombs and Unrated drummer Casey Frederick and former guitarist from Disforia and Crossfire, Robby Pinelle, Principium was formed in 2014. Once direction and line up changes fell out, the band as it exists today was solidified in 2015. Originally being a female fronted band, the vocalist of Judicator and Dire Peril (also formerly of Disforia and Shadowseer) John Yelland now covers vocals responsibilities while Mike Murphy, who has played with Paradigm, Breakcell, Sorry We’re Ugly and Quarter–Life Crisis co-ops on guitar. Filling the final spot is bass player Spencer Winward. With like minded musicians set in place, Principium’s signature sound also took shape. Shifting away from Disforia’s heavier, more modern tone which also included the heavy use of keyboards and other electronic sounds, Principium instead favors a more traditional, Progressive Metal tone made popular back in the 80’s and 90’s like Queenryche, Fates Warning and Metal Church while taking on some of melodic, yet heavier, guitar-centric tones of Black Sabbath during the Dio years. Not surprising then, band influences include Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, Dream Theater, Dio, Van Halen, Judas Priest with specific nods to legendary players like Randy Rhodes, Steve Vai, Paul Gilbert, Al Di Meola, Geddy Lee, Steve Harris, John Entwhistle, Neil Peart, Mike Portnoy and Mike Mangini. Rhythms are held down tightly by Frederick’s tightly metered and modern-styled drum skills and Winward’s tricky bass parts that would make his bass idols smile. As stated above, Principium is a guitar centered band; harmonies being driven around the other guitar and/or around the mighty vocals of Mr. Yelland. Make no mistake though: this is not the cheesy, overly dramatic, nostalgic Hair Metal throwback masquerading as Power Metal acts that are a dime a dozen anymore either. This is mature music performed by master songwriters wrapped in an accessible package that will attract just about any Hard Rock/Metal fan in droves, be they original Metal-ers that fondly remember the 80 Metal or younger fans that want something unique to call their own. There is just nothing not to like about Principium and has earned them spots playing with Alestorm, Nekrogoblikon, Aether Realm, Hisingen, Helion Prime and even playing Full Force Metal Festival in Reno, NV in the short time that they have been together. Principium has one EP that was released September 3, 2016 on Chaos Force Records entitled A Crown of Ashes. The track list for this beast include “No Price Too High”, “A Crown of Ashes”, “A View from the Dark”, “With the Wind as Your Breath” and their cover of Black Sabbath’s of “War Pigs”. Additionally, Principium has earned a spotlight feature on A Flame in the Dark III, (the 2016 compilation of premiere United States Power Metal bands from all over North America) with “No Price Too High”. Also included on this killer release also include Zaphaniah (Fort Wayne, IN), Helion Prime (Sacramento, CA), Colossus (Raleigh, NC), Lords of the Trident (Madison, WI), Vanlade (Kansas City, KS), Chaos Frame (St. Paul, MN), Final Sign (Elkin, NC), Wulhook (Detroit, MI) and Knightmare (Raleigh, NC). Pretty heady company Principium keeps being such a young band.
Based on very recent information, Principium has taken temporary a break from live performances to focus on writing and recording a new, full length album due out sometime in 2017. Based on everything they have put out thus far, there is no doubt that it will be stellar. Love the modern twist on music I grew up loving (and still love and listen to!). Yet another new release to look forward to in the coming year from a band that’s time has come.