Another project I am thoroughly interested/enjoying is newly formed TRIOSCAPES. Being that Briggs and the boys from BTBAM are successfully signed to Metal Blade Records, it only makes sense that the label would be interested in getting Dan's new project on board (yes, I know it sounds odd these guys are signed to one of the heaviest major labels on the market). The project consists of the following members:
Dan Briggs - Bass (BTBAM) | Walter Fancourt - Tenor Saxophone, Flute (Casual Curious/Brand New Life) | Matt Lynch - Drums, Electronics (Eyris)
The group has been hard at work recording material and getting ready to drop their debut album titled "Separate Realities" via Metal Blade Records. (see release dates below)
Their Facebook describes themselves as such:
"Trioscapes started in the summer of 2011 when Dan Briggs (Between the Buried and Me) contacted Walter Fancourt (Casual Curious, Brand New Life) and Matt Lynch (Eyris) about working up a rendition of the Mahavishnu Orchestra classic 'Celestial Terrestrial Commuters' and messing around with a few original ideas with the intent of playing a one-off show. After rehearsing the material and playing the show though the group decided the music was so demanding and fun to preform that there should be more of a future for it. A few more songs were written near the end of the summer and a full length album recorded the first week of October with Jamie King in Winston-Salem, NC. Mixing is underway and a release and future shows are being planned..."
For now, be sure to check out some of their material that's hitting YouTube. The following tracks are "Curse of the Ninth" and their debut single "Blast Off":
1. Blast Off
2. Separate Realities
3. Curse of the Ninth
5. Celestial Terrestrial Commuters
6. Gemini's Descent
"The musicians in Trioscapes have certainly developed quite the synergy during the recording sessions, and it can be easily perceived by this performance alone. Most of the compositions in the album follow a very elevated pace, but there are moments of alleviation when Trioscapes experiments with a more atmospheric approach. 'Gemini's Descent', for example, is a very gentle piece. It has a soothing texture decorated with ambient effects and tribalistic aesthetics that induces a delicate vibe. 'Curse Of The Ninth' is one of the highlights in the album because it is an amalgamation of the many different influences that inspired this project. It expresses elements of atmospheric psychedelia within its sound, before bursting with energetic solos of utterly chaotic instrumentation that appear and vanish as they please.
The album also contains a cover of 'Celestial Terrestrial Commuters' from The Mahavishnu Orchestra's 1973 classic, Birds Of Fire. This particular rendition of 'Celestial Terrestrial Commuters' was actually one of the first ventures that the band produced. It's an interesting cover because where in the original John McLaughlin directed the song with his guitar work, we instead find Walter Fancourt's saxophone carrying us along throughout most of the song. In the end, Trioscapes proves to be yet another promising endeavor from Dan Briggs. Separate Realities is an album that perfectly coalesces the cosmic ambience of Progressive rock with the free-form improvisational atmosphere of Jazz Fusion. And when given the attention and enthusiasm it requires, one may find Separate Realities to be a truly entertaining experience right to the very end." -Sputnik Music
"In the six tracks of Separate Realities, the trio – sonically consisting of drums, bass guitar, saxophone and flute, both of which are occasionally tonally manipulated – takes on a mixture of time-bending arrangements felt more as a groove-founded listen than something that moves in standard songwriting structures. 'Blast Off' lives up to its name, setting the pace and mission of Trioscapes’ sound with a flurry of sax rips and technical drum licks. The introduction to the track flashes the band’s strength right off the back – coming together for groove-heavy sections that display cohesiveness as opposed to spotlighting instruments in the wake of a down-played rhythmic section. It is a bit difficult to think of these tracks in verses and choruses, but the repetition of certain motifs in Trioscapes’ arsenal is what makes these tracks stick – and 'Blast Off' is a prime example of that. The nearly twice as long title track takes a moment to get going, but in the wake of a strange introduction that preempts the spacey tones seeping throughout this track, a buzzed out bass helps push the track into the nearly psychedelic territory and allowing it to not get lost in the solo-esqe nature of the saxophone on this one. The xylophone is a nice touch and break up point for the song, reasserting the Zappa tone of this band while almost bringing the track back down to Earth in the process." -Absolute Punk
"More than that, though, this album stays fresh because the songs are awesome. 'Blast Off' has been stuck in my head for days now, which once again breaks pre-conceived notions about what a group like this should be able to do. Odd-time riffs and bizarre syncopation abound, but Trioscapes knows how to write some great melodies too, and they can lock into a more traditional groove when they want to. The sad, yet triumphant outro of 'Curse of the Ninth' is a wonderful testimony to the song-writing talent on display here, as is closer 'Gemini’s Descent,' which comes close to sounding like a lost King Crimson track. And then we have The Mahavishnu Orchestra’s classic 'Celestial Terrestrial Commuters,' the cover that was the first thing the trio played together. They manage to make the song sound like themselves without losing much of the original’s energy, which is impressive once you consider that the original was performed on guitar, violin, keys, bass, and drums. What it boils down to is this; you won’t be able to stop spinning this album. It’s going to catch in your brain and stay there. It’s always interesting, unlike many other 'progressive' albums that leave you wishing they’d stop noodling and just get on with the song already. I have a hard time picking out anything wrong with it, to be honest. Some people may not like it purely because of what it is. That’s fine. Some people may think it’s not heavy/brutal/aggressive enough, and I guess those people will always have their Slayer tattoos/corpse paint/camo shorts to feel good about. If you’ve read this far, and you’re still interested, just go pick the album up. You won’t be disappointed." -The New Review