North American Progressive Metal outfit THOUGHT CHAMBER released their debut record, "Angular Perceptions”, which was based on music that main composer Michael Harris had written over the previous years, worldwide via InsideOutMusic in April of 2007. The band originally consisted of Ted Leonard – vocals (also in Enchant, Spock’s Beard and Affector); Michael Harris – guitar, keyboards, harmony vocals; Rob Stankiewicz – drums; Derek Blakley – bass and Bobby Williamson contributing some keyboard solos. The record was met with much critical acclaim upon release and also appeared in Dream Theater’s Mike Portnoy’s top 20 prog releases of the year.
Since that time, much has happened for the members of THOUGHT CHAMBER, but the music has always been there. Michael Harris, who is otherwise involved with Darkology and several other solo projects, has continued to craft songs for the second THOUGHT CHAMBER release. And finally in 2013, the stars started to align for the new album to finally become a reality with the help of 3 new members in the band: Drummer Mike Haid (David T. Chastain, Joe Stump, etc.), bassist Jeff Plant and keyboardist Bill Jenkins (also of Enchant). Along with Michael & Ted, these newly added virtuosos’ stellar playing can be found all over this intriguing new 16-track creation, entitled “Psykerion”, which runs the gamut of styles from metal to acoustic and consequently promises to be a real treat for fans of acts like Dream Theater, Yes, Rush or also Planet X.
“Psykerion” offers a fantastic and thick concept theme throughout its atmospheric album course and plenty of technical sci-fi twist along the way. Michael Harris explains the album’s storyline as follows: “”Psykerion" is a concept album, lyrically somewhere between sci-fi and a human drama, and musically somewhere between the furious and the tranquil. The story takes place well into the future and is told from the eyes of a young boy, Avakus. While witnessing a perilous mission aboard the futuristic city-like ship, Kerakryps-One, as it traverses through the galaxy of Psykerion, Avakus’ life is forever altered, causing him to reflect on and question his own life, as well as the objectives & destiny of all mankind.”
In regards to his take on Progressive music and his inspirations, Michael Harris, whose father is a Jazz musician, added the following: “My musical influences are very diverse. Progressive music in general has less limitations than pretty much any genre, and I like that. I’ve always been more inspired by songcraft than by guitar itself, so in the 70's I was not just into all the best guitarists, but also into progressive rock bands who wrote great songs: Kansas, Yes, ELP, Rush, Deep Purple, Jethro Tull, King Crimson, Uriah Heep, etc. And also into jazz fusion, like Mahavishnu, Al DiMeola, Colosseum II, Jeff Beck (“Wired”) and heavily into The Dixie Dregs / Steve Morse as well. Along with all the other styles within THOUGHT CHAMBER, I have tried to incorporate a jazz or jazz fusion element as well…”.
The 16 new songs showcased on “Psykerion” were recorded in the member’s home studios and then sent to THOUGHT CHAMBER mastermind Michael Harris for aligning and demo mixing. The final recordings were then mixed and mastered by Tom Size (Y&T, Aerosmith, Mr. Big, Enchant) at Tomland Studios, Pacheco, CA. Look out for a challenging and inspiring 64-minutes Prog Metal journey through space and time with “Psykerion”…