[Heavy Aspect #3] Artension

It was 1992 when the Keyboardist Vitalij Kuprij was studying classical music in Switzerland and he met Roger Staffelbach a Guitarist that was studying at Jazz School in Lucerne. They started soon to play together instrumental music in gigs around Switzerland and recorded some demos. After that, they get in touch with Mike Varney of Shrapnel Records, who suggested to add vocal lines before producing their songs. Kuprij contact Drummer Mike Terrana, met at a Yngwie Malmsteen’s tour, Bass player Kevin Chown, an experienced musician and also a friend of the Keyboardist. Varney propose to add also John West on Vocals, a perfect choice that balance the Keys and Guitar fast solos. The line-up was ready and the band changed name into Artension, that combines “Artplus “Tension“. It was 1996 and finally they recorded the first album “Into The Eye Of The Storm“, showing immediately their good qualities and musical orientations. From 1996 they recorded 7 albums before they split up in 2005, but reformed in 2016 with the intention of record new studio material, in this 3 year they only played live. The sound of Artension is an “Aggressive Neo-Classical Metal“, this is the description made by Kuprij on an interview and i think it’s a perfect description. The Keyboards and the Guitar collaborate as well creating fast solos and riffs with marked classical music influences. The vocal parts are tuned as well with the music and texts talks about sci-fi, ancient cultures, nature and technology. One of the most appreciated character of their sound is the choice of the organ and synths in pure Prog style, giving a real agreeable touch and collocate Artension not only in Metal genre but we have to consider them also for their Prog and Neo-Classical vein. An excellent band that have made so interestingworks, the right choice not only for all who like Prog Metal but also for Hard Prog fans.  

Discography

Into the Eye of the Storm (1996) Phoenix Rising (1997) Forces Of Nature (1999) Machine (2000) Sacred Pathways (2001) New Discivery (2002) Future World (2004)  

Lineup:

John West – Vocals (1996–2005, 2016-Present) Roger Staffelbach – Guitar (1993–2005, 2016-Present) Vitalij Kuprij – Keyboards (1993–2005, 2016-Present) Chris Caffery – Guitar (2016-Present)  

Former & Past Members:

Steve DiGiorgio – Bass (2004–2005) Mike Terrana – Drums (1996–1998, 2001–2005) Kevin Chown – Bass (1996–1998, 2001–2004) John Onder – Bass (1999–2000) Shane Gaalaas – Drums (1999–2000)

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Author: Jacopo Vigezzi

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