Monday, September 11, 2017

Remembering the Fallen

Hey there friends, here again twice in one year with a bit more of a somber post. Recently was the second anniversary of my friend Erin Vernon passing and I've dove back into some of the music she made while she walked this Earth. I figured it would be good to get this back out into the world because some of it is too good to be forgotten IMHO.

This was the band she performed in when I met her in early 2011, when I was still in high school. Fierce Band! began its life as an instrumental prog band, a little silly but very endearing. The band as summer turned to fall that year added vocals into their sound, as well as adding samples. Unfortunately this is all that remains online of the band, there was a single and some other songs released together early 2012. The band's style took after their name, fiercely technical, original and compared to many other prog bands was listenable outside of being a technical wanker yourself. Part 4 of this EP will forever hold one of my favorite musical moments. And I still fondly remember wandering around the town square of Denton on one of the first truly cold nights of December with Erica, Erin and Gus handing out CDrs of this.

To be honest, I don't know what this is and found it scratching through some stuff recently. Listen at your own risk

Those familiar with this blog will know that I covered this release a few years ago, but here it is again. Erin was a very creative person and at the time this was released (Summer 2013) Fierce Band! was transforming into Near Neptune and there was downtime. In that time she gifted us with the releases above and below this as well as this. This was a belated companion piece to a short horror film her and my friend Erica had made in 2012, and had her continuing experimenting with synth and dark ambient. There's a very John Carpenter vibe to this that I adore, and while feeling apocalyptic also has rays of hope and beauty.

This was another project done in her time down from Near Neptune, this time collaborating with longtime friend Theo. The project was inspired by Wolves in the Throne Room and other Cascadian/Epic-Ambient Black Metal. The unfortunate side is that this is the only track ever released. And its a real shame, it starts at a crawl and builds its way up and crumbles into a beautiful finale that feels much in place with much of the other releases Erin had made. A cassette of this was just released and passed among friends of hers and its very touching

And here we arrive at the swansong of Erin's musical career. Near Neptune began at the end of Fierce Band! in late 2012, when the trio's original drummer parted ways and the duo left decided that it was time to get serious. Much of the goofiness present in the earlier incarnation as well as the vocals were stripped away and more matured songwriting and synth were added. This full length is a ride, a fantastic one at that, and serves as a reminder of how insanely talented this band was and that it is unfortunate how short lived they were. The synth adds such a majestic texture to the ride and as I said about Fierce Band, they really had the listenability that most prog metal bands really lack.

Life really sucks. And when a friend passes they leave an irreplaceable hole in life, Erin, being the bright and insane character she was left a massive void for those of us who knew her. Tell your friends you love them. 

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