Exposé Online banner

High Wheel — Back from the Void
(Ipso Facto 001, 2002, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2003-12-01

Back from the Void Cover artThe first thing I thought of when I put this CD on was "Echolyn with a German accent." That sums High Wheel up pretty well (at least superficially), but it doesn't tell the whole story. I don't know whether the band is intentionally emulating Echolyn or if they just have the same base influences, but the music comes out rather similar. Complex arrangements, elaborate vocal harmonies, bright sounds, heavy reliance on keyboards, and so on. The accented English is only really noticeable on the softer moments when the singer (three of the members sing, so I don't know who it is at any given time) is not supplemented by backing vocals. The worst of these times is on "Dark," a short acoustic tune based on an old German song reminiscent of "Greensleeves" with a medieval arrangement. But then the band kicks right back into high gear with the rhythmic opening of the 32 minute suite called "Blind Archer," which is divided into ten sections, some of which are continuous from track to track. The story involves prophecies and kingdoms, so it's probably best not to examine the lyrics too closely. For the most part I find it easy enough to enjoy the music and let the words slip by as notes without meaning. It would be easy to dismiss High Wheel as derivative or unoriginal, but I find the music catchy enough and the arrangements complex enough to grab my interest and get my head bopping happily.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 28, 2002 releases

Related artist(s): High Wheel

Latest news

2019-02-21
You Can Be Part of an Ambient Electronic Project – The Gesture of History is a new electronic project put together by Sam Rosenthal of Black Tape for a Blue Girl, Steve Roach, and violist Sam Shadow. The music started as an instrumental track Rosenthal was working on for a Black Tape album, but took on a life of its own and demanded further enhancements. The majority of the funds raised will go to manufacturing costs for LP and CD editions, as well as other items as detailed on the Kickstarter page. » Read more

2019-01-31
Keyboardist Ingo Bischof R.I.P. – Keyboard player Ingo Bischof, best known as the longtime keyboard player of German band Kraan, passed away on January 29th, 2019. Bischof was born January 2, 1951 in Berlin-Kreuzberg and joined Kraan in 1975. » Read more

2019-01-11
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more

2019-01-02
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more

2018-12-23
Seaprog Festival Seeks Donations – Seaprog is a small festival in Seattle that highlights creative music from many genres with artists from around the world. It's also a US non-profit organization. They're seeking donations to help keep the ball rolling. Starting in 2013, the organization has been growing, and has featured such artists as Free Salamander Exhibit, Jack o' the Clock, Nik Turner, Cabezas de Cera, Miriodor, Thinking Plague, and many more. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Trans-Siberian Orchestra - The Lost Christmas Eve – It’s hard to imagine that the core members of metal band Savatage would take a musical U-turn and arrive with a huge money-making project that has nothing to do with their previous incarnation. The...  (2005) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues