BRYAN BELLER’S NEW SOLO WORK, ‘SCENES FROM THE FLOOD’, AN EPIC-SCALE MODERN PROGRESSIVE DOUBLE CONCEPT ALBUM, TO BE RELEASED ON SEPTEMBER 13, 2019
The video for “The Storm”, the first publicly released track from the album. Featuring the legendary Gene Hoglan (drums, entire song), Ray Hearne of Haken (double drum breakdown), Darran Charles (guitar), Jake Howsam Lowe (guitar), Jamie Kime (guitar solo), Mike Dawes (acoustic baritone guitar),and Mr. Beller.
Pre-orders for Bryan Beller’s first solo release in 11 years start today.
As a bassist and composer, Bryan Beller (The Aristocrats, Joe Satriani, Dethklok, Steve Vai) has never been accused of being insufficiently driven. But nothing he’s done before can truly prepare audiences for his newest release, the massively ambitious and unapologetically progressive double concept album “Scenes From The Flood”, scheduled for worldwide release on September 13, and available for pre-order starting today.
A work so sweeping in scale that it took Beller nearly a decade to conceive, compose, and now fully realize, the album grapples with an existential question: When the storm comes for us, the big one after which things will not be the same, who are we and what do we become in those defining moments? What do we keep, and what do we let go? “Scenes From The Flood” explores themes of ambition and loss, intentionality and reality, hope and disillusionment, and uses every second of its 18-song, 88-minute running order to tell an emotionally consuming and unforgettable musical story.
Realizing Beller’s vision meant enlisting 26 musicians spread across four continents to bring “Scenes From The Flood” to life. Special guests on guitar include legends Joe Satriani (on the optimistic, “road trip” vibed opening track “Volunteer State”), John Petrucci (who lays down a screaming lead on the 9-minute story-climactic progressive epic “World Class”), Guthrie Govan (taking the lead on the album’s closing ballad “Sweet Water”), and Mike Keneally (going from layered acoustics on one track to furious metal riffing on another), just four of fourteen total guitarists who appear on the album. Drummers include veterans Gene Hoglan (Dethklok, Strapping Young Lad, Death), Joe Travers (Zappa Plays Zappa, Joe Satriani), Ray Hearne (Haken), and Nate Morton (Cher, The Voice)
Today marks the debut of the animated video for one of the album’s signature tunes, “The Storm”, a dark and heavy odyssey that serves as one of the signature compositions of Beller’s new opus. The 7-minute piece features the aforementioned metal legend Gene Hoglan on drums and an army of four guitarists to deliver the song’s urgent, powerful message.
“Not exactly light fare, is it?” chuckles Beller, who just turned 48. “But all of my truly favorite albums take me to deep, sometimes challenging places, even upon repeated listening. Especially the double albums. Somewhere inside me, in the eleven years since my last solo album, I’d absorbed and processed a series of life experiences that, I thought, could possibly inform an extended work like this. I felt like I had something big and complex to say. And then I just dove into it.”
Presented in the classic format of four vinyl sides (or four “parts” on two CD’s), “Scenes From The Flood” was inspired by hallowed progressive double-albums like Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” and Yes’ “Tales From Topographic Oceans”, as well as more modern expanded works, such as Nine Inch Nails’ “The Fragile”. The deluxe packaging (2CD 8-panel digipak + two 20-page double-CD booklets; 2LP gatefold + 24-page full-size booklet) reveals not just album artwork, but unique cover-style artwork for each of the eighteen songs, or “scenes”. The resulting sense of story urgency and dramatic narrative presents like a soundtrack to a movie suspense thriller as much as it does a double album. A limited run of 200 colored (purple) vinyl will also be produced.
Featuring an all-star cast of 26 musicians including (in alphabetical order):
Nili Brosh (Michael Jackson ONE, Tony MacAlpine, solo artist)
Darran Charles (Godsticks, The Pineapple Thief)
Mike Dawes (solo artist)
Janet Feder (solo artist, Fred Frith)
Guthrie Govan (The Aristocrats, Hans Zimmer Live, Steven Wilson)
Mike Keneally (Frank Zappa, Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, solo artist)
Jamie Kime (Zappa Plays Zappa, Jewel, Dr. John)
Teddy Kumpel (Joe Jackson, solo artist)
Jake Howsam Lowe (Plini, The Helix Nebula)
Rick Musallam (Mike Keneally, Ben Taylor)
Mike Olekshy (Max Morgan, Alison Ray)
Griff Peters (Mike Keneally, Billie Myers)
John Petrucci (Dream Theater)
Joe Satriani (Joe Satriani!)
Ray Hearne (Haken)
Gene Hoglan (Dethklok, Strapping Young Lad, Testament, Death)
Nate Morton (Cher, The Voice, American Idol house band)
Joe Travers (Joe Satriani, Eric Johnson, Zappa Plays Zappa)
KEYBOARDS, STRINGS, ACCORDION, SITAR, PERCUSSION, AND MORE:
Christopher Allis (Deana Carter, Denny Laine)
Paul Cartwright (Portugal The Man, Cee Lo Green, Mary J. Blige)
Julian Coryell (Alanis Morrissette, Jewel, Aimee Mann)
Fred Kron (Colin Hay, Donna Summer, When We First Met, Anchorman 2)
Evan Mazunik (Carla Bley, Anthony Braxton, solo artist)
Matt Rohde (Christina Aguilera, Jane’s Addiction, The Voice/American Idol)
Rishabh Seen (Arijit Singh, Mute The Saint, solo artist)
Leah Zeger (Stevie Wonder, Annie Lennox, Hans Zimmer Live)
and Bryan Beller on bass, keyboards, guitars and lead vocals.
Produced and composed by Bryan Beller *
Mixed and mastered by Forrester Savell
* one song written by Janet Feder
The Scouring Of Three & Seventeen
Everything And Nothing
Steiner In Ellipses
Always Worth it
Army Of The Black Rectangles
The Outer Boundary
Angles & Exits *
The Inner Boundary
Let Go Of Everything
“I’m going to be doing 60 consecutive days of social media posts about the album. I’ll introduce each of the 26 musicians, reveal the 18 pieces of artwork for each song, talk about the albums and artists that influenced this work, and more. It’ll be fun.”
“In August, a second video will drop for the song “Volunteer State” (which features Joe Satriani being amazing throughout; it’s not just a guitar solo guest appearance!), and that’s a full-on live action video like they used to show on MTV in the olden times. And then in early September, there will be a special scheduled “watch/listening party” for the entire album, online with video accompaniment. We’ll do one for each part of the world (North America, Europe, Asia/Australia) and I’ll be in the comments hanging out with those following along.’