Aug 142014

Long-time followers of our site will be familiar with Nick Vasallo, but for any newcomers in the audience, he is the lead vocalist and songwriter for the excellent technical death metal band Oblivion — and he has a Ph.D. in Music, he is an assistant professor at Cal State Polytechnic University (Pomona), and he is a composer of contemporary classical music whose works have been performed internationally.

When last we featured him in these pages (here), the subject was the composition that earned him his Ph.D., a unique collision of heavy metal and classical music entitled Black Swan Events. Now we’re delighted to bring you the on-line premiere of another composition that incorporates elements of both musical genres.

The title of this new work is “Ozymandias”, and it comes in the form of a remarkable music video. Accompanying the video we also have a brief interview of Nick Vasallo in which he discusses the music and the way in which it has been presented in the video.

As the name suggests, the music was inspired by Percy Bysshe Shelley’s famous poem “Ozymandias”, an allegory for the impermanence of empires, and at a deeper level, of most human achievements; perhaps only art survives, the poem suggests, and even then in a state of gradual decay. The music is an unpredictable work — sometimes dissonant, distorted, and disturbing, sometimes quite head-bangable, and sometimes dramatically powerful. And it ends with the sound of singing bowls! Continue reading »