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A Musical Metamorphosis

From Mosh to Rush: A Musical Metamorphosis

By Megan Morgan

Black Sabbath, Metallica, Kiss and Slayer have more in common that just their heavy-metal-band status. All of these groups stayed metal throughout their careers.

But, as one New England band recently proved, a metal band does not necessarily have to stay that way forever.

The group Apparitions formed in 2006, playing driving, high-energy hardcore/metal music. They continued to inspire headbanging and moshing until the summer of 2007, when the band went on an “indefinite hiatus,” according to ex-band member Cosmo DiGiulio. The five members went on to work on their own individual projects for about five months.

After this break, drummer Patrick Murphy suggested that the band reform. And so, from Apparitions’ ashes, a new band, ( God & Country, formed. All five original members joined this new group, but despite the familiar lineup, one aspect of Apparitions changed drastically. God & Country is a prog-rock band.

So why did these former-metalheads decide to switch genres? DiGiulio, guitarist and accordion-player, felt that they could accomplish more outside of the heavy-music scene.

“While trying to maintain a certain aura of originality, Apparitions also fell into the trap of writing parts solely to fit into narrow scopes of particular genres,” DiGiulio said. “God & Country has completely weeded that mentality out of the equation, and now our writing process is guided by our desire to create music that we enjoy, love, and find interesting.”

DiGiulio also said that God & Country focuses on creating complete, structured albums, instead of just writing individual songs. He thinks these ideas and the development of their new sound is partly due to the time they spent apart.

“Without this break God & Country could not have formed,” DiGiulio said. “It was very beneficial that we were allowed some time to be apart. We all got the chance to dabble in vastly different genres of music and then somehow collectively inherit a vision of what kind of band we wanted to become.”

That vision came about through much verbal communication, even before God & Country played any new music. By talking it all out first, DiGiulio said, they were able to improve from their old band.

“We figured out all the things we felt didn’t work in Apparitions, and how we were going to expand on some of the untapped talents within the band,” he said. “Once we sorted that all out, I feel like things came pretty easily to all of us.”

The music of the new group God & Country strives to redefine prog-rock.

“Most progressive bands now depend on their ability to perform incredibly difficult musical passages to wow their audience,” DiGiulio said. “God & Country works very hard to create interesting textures and dynamics within melodic structures, which we hope to develop as the hallmark of our sound.”

God & Country released their first album, Molloch, in early 2008. Recently, bassist and vocalist Justin Nicholas amicably split with God & Country, but band member Nathaniel MacKinnon now covers bass and vocals.

With their musical metamorphosis complete, DiGuilio said that the band plans to make many more records and travel.