Sound Off!: Concrete Prophet

Baltimore – meet Concrete Prophet (if you haven’t encountered them in a previous incarnation). They will be pummeling your head in now.

Born out of a network of connections and friendships at Towson’s music department, since 2005 they have been playing the area, showcasing their take on progressive rock.  Their current line-up consists of Nicholas James (vocals), Kevin Boenning (guitar), Michael Passen (bass), and Brian Dobbs (drums).

The guys were kind enough to share a medley of some early live audio recorded at a recent performance at Metro Rock University in Virginia, some of the first audio released featuring newest addition, vocalist Nicholas James.

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Concrete Prophet – Medley (“Learning to Crawl” –> “Freeze Frame” –> “Show Me A Sign” )

Much like prog-giants (and musical inspirations) Dream Theater, each member of Concrete Prophet is an accomplished instrumentalist/vocalist in his own right: vocalist Nicholas James and bassist Michael Passen, interviewed below, are both Masters students at UMD and Peabody, respectively, Brian Dobbs recently wrote, recorded an entire solo album himself, while Kevin Boenning studied at Berklee under guitarist Don Lappin, learning his impressive pianistic, two-hand tapping technique.

Clearly, ample chops are fueling the progressive-style riffs and dramatic, powerhouse vocals that populate Concrete Prophet’s library of songs that also bear marks of the touch of Queensryche and Rush.

But their approach is decidedly different from your archetypal prog band. CP never lets instrumental masturbation and virtuoso-style solo digressions take precedence over song structure and cohesiveness. Their foremost priority is to construct high quality, hook-heavy rock songs; music with a clear thematic vision and story to tell. The fact that they then blend instrumental solos and utilize them tastefully as an extra musical voice is just an added technical treat for those so inclined.

Upcoming shows:

May 30th @ 1st Mariner Arena, Baltimore, MD (Post-game show)

July 25th @ EJ’s Landing, College Park, MD

Check the band’s official site and Myspace for even more info.

Finally, watch our first exclusive video interview, where we sat down with bassist Michael Passen and newest member, vocalist Nicholas James from Concrete Prophet.

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