Wheel: Brave acts of courage

Wheel - Moving Backwards

«Life is like a wheel. Sooner or later, it always come around to where you started again». That’s what Stephen King quoted some years ago. Four years ago in Helsinki the band Wheel was born. Founded by bassist Mikko Määttä, drummer Santeri Saksala and guitarist Saku Mattila, eventually replaced by Roni Seppänen. Later guitarist and vocalist James Lascelles joined the band. Wheel`s first EP The Divide was an overwhelming success, and the quartet really want to make new music. The result is the debut album Moving Backwards. It’s an expansive and interesting collage of progressive rock, grunge and film score that twists and turns mostly in ways no band has ever done before. Wheel really tries hard to push the boundaries of their own brand of modern progressive rock/metal. If they have succeeded, you can consider hearing the first song from Moving Backwards, Vulture,

Looking back through history, the best music has always been born of brave acts of courage. It’s something Wheel front man James Lascelles knows more than most, having relocated over a thousand miles from England to Finland to pursue music as a career.

«We’re not really sure where we fit, shrugs Lacelles. Or whether it’s metal or it’s rock, because it’s both… or neither ha ha! Well it’s both, one or the other depending which point in the track you’re up to. Karnivool are one of my favourite bands of all-time, as well as Radiohead and even Alice In Chains for some of the riffs. Fans of those kinds of groups will definitely understand what we’re trying to do. I guess with us, instead of the never ending wait for that next Tool album, we thought we’d just make what we’d want to hear!».

As it turned out, they weren’t the only ones seeking such creative endeavors and word quickly spreading of their knack for time-defying grooves, heavyweight orchestration and dark surrealism. Dissecting the media’s portrayal of the nightmarish inhumanities of the Syrian refugee crisis on early single Please, they established themselves as a group very much unafraid to speak out. This time round, they’re holding their magnifying glass up to censorship and institutionalized mind control – an epidemic that’s sweeping that world, affecting just about every single human on the face of the Earth…

«The jumping off point was a podcast I was watching where Sam Harris was talking to Joe Rogan about this imagined future, explains Lacelles, in between dates of their November tour with Finnish progressive folk titans Amorphis. They covered censorship in academia, which is becoming increasingly common in the States. If it continues, filtering out into films, comedy and music – we’ll end up in a place where nobody can say anything anymore. The lyrics I wrote for Tyrant – with lines like ‘silence will become the banner’ – are heralding what’s to come, though I’m hoping we can nip it in the bud before it gets there. On this album, rather than looking at environmental or economic dystopia, we’re anticipating more of a more social one».

With what could very well be a very successful under their belts, dates with Swedish art-rockers Soen [featuring ex-Opeth drummer Martin Lopez] and festival appearance keeping them busy throughout summer, 2019 will probably be a landmark time for the quartet.


About Ulf Backstrøm (7144 Articles)
Mitt hovedfokus er musikk som er basert på progressiv tenking. Jeg er på ingen måte ensporet innen musikksmak, i likhet med intensjonen bak prog. Sjangerbegrepet er egentlig temmelig uinteressant annet enn til å gi en pekepinn om hva slags musikk det er snakk om i en anmeldelse. Jeg søker god musikk for å utfordre meg som lytter. God musikk til å trigge mine musikalske smaksløker, og til å sette i gang mine refleksjoner. Da er sjansen stor for at jeg utvikler meg og lærer, noe som bør være drivstoff for et hvert menneske. Fordi det å lære og utvikle seg er noe som tilfører livet en nødvendig porsjon "krydder". Slikt krydderet finner man blant annet i musikk. Ikke overraskende mener jeg at progressiv musikk har den fineste "smaken". På den annen side kan musikk med eller uten progressive elementer være godt nok til hverdags. Til fest derimot holder bare rendyrket prog! Må jo også få med at jeg rimelig kritisk, og jeg mener at det lages mye prog som er i beste fall uinteressant, og faktisk mye som er pinlig dårlig. Heldigvis oppveies dette av ekstremt dyktige aktører som for eksempel: Flower Kings, Mostly Autumn og White Willow, for å nevne noen tilfeldig valgte.
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