With its throttling rhythms, rock swagger, prog flair and technical proficiency, Gyre‘s Shared Visions is an eclectic metal tour de force. Officially out today, the New Jersey trio’s full-length debut combines the best elements of modern metal and rock with nods to Mastodon, Mutoid Man and more. To celebrate its release, we at Svbterranean bring you an exclusive stream of the record alongside a track-by-track rundown from bassist/vocalist Ian McCartney. Jam the record in full and check out what McCartney had to say after the break.
“Story is Told” – The rhythmic pattern and notes on the first song off the album “Story Is Told” are stolen from an experience I had hiking. It was dusk and two great horned owls began communing with one another. I simply recorded the pattern and notes held within their hooting, and then created a riff around both. I knew there was something there as I listened. Nature gives everything if you quiet yourself down and just become present. The lyrics hold onto the owl imagery and relate it to our experience as a band, really our rebirth as a band. This isn’t our first rodeo, but it is the beginning of something new.
“Faces Through the Flames” originated from a drum pattern Pablo created years ago. This was actually the first complete song we created once we decided we would push forward as a three piece. This song encapsulates much of what we’ve become – a little rock, a little metal, a little prog – sometimes familiar, sometimes different.
“Wanting More” started off as a grungy rock riff Juan came up with. This was probably the quickest song we ever created… it’s cliché, but it definitely just flowed out. The lyrics are about pushing through any obstacles to attain your goals… push through self-doubt, the negativity of others, past experiences – and as long as you are centered, you know who you are – then you can find your way even in your darkest moments. I remember vividly when I came up with the lyrics to the middle bridge of the song – “cause when the sun goes down, I’ll find my way – moon child reflects her light, she’ll guide me on my way.” I was coming down Mt. Beacon on a hike, the sun was setting and a creeping fear began building in me about getting down. I stopped, took a breath and looked up at the bright moon that reflected the sun’s light. It was more then enough for this moon child to see his way back.
“Come to Carry On” is really about struggling to move past someone or something when you know they are not in a good spot. Sometimes a hard decision to cut people or things off in your life are necessary. Once again, this song originated from a rhythmic tapping guitar riff Juan came up with and built itself up from there.
“See Through Hollow Dreams” was a song of separation (you may have noticed this theme percolating through all of Side A on the LP). I had the chorus in my head from years back and just wrapped the rest of the song around it. I always wanted to incorporate some straight forward acoustic songs to balance out some of the longer proggy songs on the album. It’s a good bookend to Side A. It’s really about recognizing when what you are trying to achieve is not shared with the ones you are trying to achieve it with. Being on the same page mentally and spiritually with your band mates is a key to its success. Sometimes it’s ok to let certain dreams die, but instead of dragging it out and letting it linger, a quick death will suffice. “Let it go, let it go, let it go, let it go.”
“One and the Same” starts Side B. Juan had created this riffs years back, and in the back of my head I always held onto it because of how big it sounded. It’s definitely one of our slower groove songs. You can hear both the Baroness and Gojira influence in different sections. The lyrical theme revolves around how empathy can be cultivated in certain people only if they feel the same loss. Unless suffering is in you or in your face, a human tendency is to not care (see the painting “Fall of Icarus” by Pieter Bruegel or W.H. Auden’s poem entitled “Musee des Beaux Arts”). Often times it takes catastrophic events to unite us in our suffering. In times of comfort, another human tendency usually thrives – one that seeks to leech and manipulate off the illusion of stability.
“Weaving Blind” continues the theme of how comfort can create complacency. Many times, as animals we need food, shelter and companionship to feel whole. It’s really an easy equation… but so often we let other desires drive our choices. Power, territory, sex, addictions, adrenaline – a litany of things unnecessary for our individual survival, yet they tend to trump other needs that are essential to it. “A home is all we need – a place where love can live and eventually breath.” As with a lot of our songs on this album, Juan came up with the opening rhythmic riff and the song blasted off from there once Pablo and I added our feel to it.
“At All Cost” – when every can be lost. This pretty much sums up the message of the song. Again, the theme revolves around how people tend to get stuck in their own head and their own wants and desires, not recognizing what they do have until its gone… namely, everything Mother Nature provides while asking nothing in return. I originally came up with the opening riff/bridge/chorus and then Juan and Pablo grooved out the structure with me. One thing I wanted to do with this song was make it dynamic in terms of loudness and feel. I really like how the mid-section heavy rock build up came out, along with the light groovy section that follows.
“Wishful Thinking” is a message for those that hold onto resentments and ill will. They are a disease that eats from the inside. No matter how much energy these feeling might fill you up with, it is a negative energy that needs to be expunged. It’s really a song to myself – a reminder to let things go. This song asks people to recognize these tendencies within oneself and release them. This was another straight forward acoustic song I wanted to book end the album with on both sides. Give the listener’s ears a bit of a rest from the rock metal heaviness the other songs on Side B provide.
“Liars and Friends” is both the last on the album and the last song we wrote for the album. It has some of my favorite riffs and lyrics on the entire album. It’s a bit of a behemoth and journeys through different musical landscapes – probably one of the more progressive (in terms of structure) songs on the album. The Mastodon and Gojira influences can be heard on this track. The lyrics describe the rise of a snake tongued manipulator that uses the illusion of the victim to coax their prey. It’s an old trick used by many religious and political zealots. It’s a warning to seek out and get rid of those who feed off the guise of meekness and mercy. Trust your gut!
We hope you enjoy the album and would love to hear your thoughts. We would also love to play for you! Check us out and get in touch at gyreband.com