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The Welcoming - Crafting Calm in the Heavy Metal Storm

24 Jun, 2023 16

In a recent live stream session, I had the pleasure of being introduced to an intriguing new band. Immersing myself in their entire album, I found myself captivated by their unique sound. For those who enjoy the intensity of heavy music but also seek a melodious balance to accompany their daily rhythm, "The Welcoming" strikes the perfect chord. Balancing heavy, catchy, and compelling elements, this album is definitely worth a listen.

"The Welcoming", the brainchild of James Ferrell (Big Math, Red Era, etc.), has managed to entwine the styling of metalcore, progressive metal, and math rock into this album. A decade-long labor of love, this album is an intriguing journey through genre-shifting tunes, embodying the spirit of the craft.

Each song in the album seems to paint its own musical landscape. Tracks like "Snakeholder" skillfully grab your attention with interesting pattern interplay before launching into full gear, then drop back, creating an ebb and flow of heavy and calm. This dynamic songwriting is emblematic of the album’s approach, keeping you invested and curious about where the music will take you next.

The vocals, performed by Ferrell, cut through the mix with a captivating and beautiful melody, bringing an unexpected calm to the raging storm of chugging guitars and slamming drums. His voice forms an integral part of the melody, rising and falling with the instrumentation, a quality that makes "The Welcoming" stand out in the genre.

Critics seem to agree with this sentiment. Adedamola Adeniyi notes that the album offers an "interesting and compelling dive" into Ferrell's solo work, expressing appreciation for the genre-hopping variety packed into the LP. Adeniyi’s favorite track, "Loop," perfectly exemplifies this amalgamation of styles, deftly maneuvering between heavy and melodic, intense and serene.

Listeners have also showered the album with praise. One fan, spacepengu, lauds the "melodic yet brutal guitars," and the "perfectly matched percussion," while particularly appreciating the vocals, which they describe as a "breathe of fresh air -especially in this genre."

Whether it's categorized as progressive metal or not, the consensus is clear: "The Welcoming" is definitely making progress in the right direction. So, if you're looking for a sonic experience that melds the hard-hitting nature of heavy music with the captivating essence of melody, give "The Welcoming" a spin. Dive into the calm within the storm, and discover a new side to heavy music.

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The people behind the album

  • The original arrangement and various guitar sections on "Revived" were brought to life by Scott Galarza, Will Moore, and Gabriel Valdivia.

  • Some of the captivating guitar parts on "Orchestrators of War", "Snakeholder", "Obsidian", and "The Zealous and the Blind" were originally crafted in collaboration with Scott Galarza.

  • Ben Beronda lent his creativity to some keyboard sections on "Orchestrators of War", "Snakeholder", "Revived", "Obsidian", and "The Zealous and the Blind".

  • Vocal melodies and lyrics on "Revived" and "Obsidian" are the brainchild of a collaboration with Ian Caruthers.

  • Ian Caruthers and Ben Beronda teamed up to create the vocal melodies and lyrics on "The Zealous and the Blind".

  • Tom Corino and Matt Iacovelli contributed to the arrangement and the bridge guitar lead on "Righteous".

  • Tom Corino's genius shone through in the first half of the pre-chorus guitar lead on "Loop", a contribution that served as the inspiration for the entire song.

  • "Mountain Heir" features barking vocals by Moose.

The credit for everything else, from recorded vocals, guitars, bass, drums, and keyboards to audio engineering, mixing, mastering, and album art, goes to James Ferrell.


A heartfelt thanks to Heather Linton for her patience and support throughout the creation of this album.

Appreciation is extended to Ken Mcafee, whose encouragement was pivotal in pushing James Ferrell to write and record his first solo album. Gratitude also goes to Heather Linton, Ken Mcafee, Matt Eden, John Apicella, and Matt Tieuli for their continuous cheerleading and unwavering belief in this project.