Consider The Source, Felix Martin and Ampevene: PROG Rock Nation at The Hollow
"First to take the stage was Ampevene, a locally based quartet founded by guitarist Gabe Stallman. The band’s roster includes Mack Hogan on bass, Darryl Kniffen on drums/percussion, and Ava Smith on keyboards. Their sound is a self-described eclectic mix of free form frenzy, jagged riffs, and hypnotic rhythms. Ampevene was formed in 2013 and since it’s inception has played Albany’s coveted Lark Street festival in 2015. They also have produced three EPs, the latest of which is entitled Rometheu which the band chose as the opener for the show. It was one of the only times throughout the night they blended lyrics with the incredible instrumental skills of the band. One of the high points of the hour long set in my opinion was the use of imaginative sounds that were crafted by talented keyboardist Ava Smith. They provided a beautiful sonic layer that enhanced the psychedelic musical experience that Ampevene created early in the evening."
All This Time I Was Listening To My Own Wall Of Sound
Pete Steele, the sadly deceased singer of Type O Negative/Carnivore once said when his band was going to play a Monsters of Rock festival at Castle Donnington, England that his band Type O Negative only had 45 minutes to slay the masses - they then proceeded to play only four songs. I remember laughing at the time as it was not what you would expect at a festival, but those songs were long and a highlight of the day. Now, you may be wondering why I am bring up a memory which has absolutely nothing to do with the band I am currently reviewing; well, it is all down to quantity and the length of time that a song. You see, this is the latest EP from New York Progressive Rock act Ampevene and it is one track and it is just over twelve and a half minutes long. When I was sent this, the first thought I had was that quote from Pete Steele and I am wondering if this music will have the same effect on me?
Ampevene are actually from Albany, New York and they are guided by Gabe Stallman on guitar and the Ampevene Ensemble are Ava Smith on keys, Jeff Nania on saxophone (sorry for missing you out earlier, my bad), Bob Morris on drums and Mack Hogan on bass. Upon looking at their Bandcamp page, only their first release was more than one tracks and their last one 'Ampevene II' was over twenty-five minutes long. So this is not going to be for your average Joe who is after three-minute pop-factory hits that all sound the same; these cats are aiming to expand your mind and take some of your time as payment (as they are releasing this EP as a 'name your own price' deal on Bandcamp). From the beginning I am hearing Mars Volta, ELP, Rush, Lionize and early Genesis, plus it almost goes punk at one point. It is a strong track, going from all out sonic attack to crazy bridge, from random lyrics to a fantastic solo; it does not stay in one style and it is all blended into one glorious song that just keeps giving, it is a strong track and once it has finished, you are wondering where the time went and how did it seem to pass so fast. I really like this song, it is a fantastic prog song and it goes in so many different directions. Only flaw, I wish there was more to listen to; but other than that, I really cannot sing its praises any higher. So Pete Steele needed 45 minutes to slay the masses, these guys took twelve......
4.5 out of five - This is really good, well worth checking out
Hearing Aide: Ampevene ‘Rometheu’
The crazy guitar riffs and multi-instrument improvisation are awesome and the instruments sound flawless showcasing their melodic riffs. There’s a point where there is a lack of a clear tonal center, and the band just creates a powerful wall of sound. At around 6:07, a slower groove is established without saxophone at first to allow the audience to breathe after the more intense section. It is here where the piano is high in the mix complementing the haunting guitar melodies. The experimentation with the guitar distortion, some organ sounds, and smooth saxophone is quite soothing and fun to listen to. The coolest part of this track is the juxtaposition between musical ideas/styles. It makes the piece dynamic and engaging throughout. The slow section is immediately followed by a short, quicker ending featuring a quick line of lyrics. Rometheu is very impressive from a compositional standpoint as well as a musicianship standpoint. ..”
“Ampevene delivers a highly energetic, atmospheric environment, tearing the borders between every genre at their disposal. Ampevene continues to set the bar high for progressive rock throughout New York, keeping spectators on their heels from their improvisational clash of metal and jazz.”
“Gabe Stallman is the Writer, Producer, and Guitarist, along with playing occasional other instruments for Ampevene. TheAmpevene Ensemble plays all of the music live and currently features Ava Smith on keys, Bob Morris on drums, and Nick Kozak on bass. The second EP titled Ampevene ll (2015) by Gabe Stallman (from Albany, New York) is indeed a great avant-prog..”
All In Time Photography
"Ampevene, a funky quartet of young, talented, musicians recently turned it up and turned it on at The Hollow Bar + Kitchen More often that not, opening acts wind up as a bit of an afterthought, overshadowed by the main event and uninspiring for a crowds. Ampevene, on the other hand, settled in quite quickly and had our heads nodding and feet shuffling in content within minutes. They found their groove and soon enough they had a full house. Definitely some local talent to keep an eye on."
“An example of that modern, contemporary prog at its best: Gabe Stallman's Ampevene EP http://gabestallman.bandcamp.com/album/ampevene-ep (name your prIce)”