75 Bands in 75 Days - Day 41: Hidden History

(Written November 27, 2014)

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome, welcome, to 75 Bands in 75 Days, where we’re showcasing some of the best talent that the Pacific Northwest has to offer, at least one band per day, leading up to December 31st, to ring in a new year. This list is in no particular order and it is not a chart or a countdown. It’s merely a list of bands or musicians that we feel are worthy of checking out. The band for Day 41 is Hidden History from Seattle.

Hidden History blends alt-metal guitar riffs with electronic and orchestral elements, energetic bass lines with powerful drum rhythms, and strong lead vocals to forge a dynamically unique sound. The band’s various influences include Muse, Red, Thrice, Chevelle, Linkin Park, Scary Kids Scaring Kids, Saosin, and Incubus. 2014 highlights include headlining the summer’s biggest rock festival at one of the most popular Seattle venues (The Flame Fest @ El Corazon), supporting local charities and benefits including Rock Out for ALS (ROALS) and the Benefit for Oso Fire Department and Slide Victims’ Families as well as providing local support for several touring bands such as Girl on Fire, Dennis is Dead, and Hotelier.

HH evolved into the band it is today through the perseverance of Danny Bullis (Guitar, Lead Vox) and Joel Burgess (Bass, Backing Vox) who kept the fire alive after previous band members left the band in the fall of 2010. Tyler Messer (Drums) joined HH in 2011 to complete the rhythm section, and, in 2013, Jay Brescia (Artist Manager) enlisted to help take the band to the next level and beyond. In 2014, HH partnered with Bryan Lash (Producer) and Pavel Fateev (Engineer) to record and produce their first full-length LP, Mysterion, which is nearing completion. HH is on a mission to impact others through their music and break new ground in the Alternative Rock genre.

Hidden History - Mysterion (Independent Spotlight, by Brett Stewart)

Last month, the alternative indie rock outfit, Hidden History, released ‘Mysterion,’ a lengthy studio effort that was the result of over six years of tireless work. The namesake of the album is biblical in nature, referring to ‘divine mystery,’ or the long-awaited revelation of what God has planned for mankind. Right off the bat, I should make an important distinction: even though the group’s faith is a driving force behind their passion, this music is still pretty secular in nature. (Think Muse, Linkin Park, Incubus, etc.)

Touching first on the production of ‘Mysterion,’ I found a very well-organized effort. The mixes are perfectly mastered and every element of these rather complex songs feels articulateand meticulate. Overlapping string sections mash elegantly with distorted rock and roll and gritty lyricism and vocals. ‘Paradise’ is an excellent entry-way into that style. In fact, that track is a pretty good gauge of the band’s style. If ‘Paradise’ is far from something you dig, than you probably aren’t hopping in the right boat.

With that said, ‘Paradise’ isn’t the best track of the bunch, though it does stand defiantly as an intriguing number that truly exhibits what Hidden History is toying around with. ‘Black & Blue’ is a fantastic track as well, though I’d argue that ‘Cold Of Apathy’ is a beautiful culmination of what makes Hidden History a solid group. That intensified rocker is well-written, magnificently well-performed, and sonically compelling.

If there’s any major fault within ‘Mysterion,’ it’s that it doesn’t stand well as a full entity. Once Hidden History establishes their sound, they don’t deviate too far from the formula. (Hence why tracks like ‘Cold Of Apathy’ and the experimental ‘Mirror’ will feel like a breath of fresh air.) Many indie bands struggle with this, and I don’t count it against Hidden History too heavily. In future efforts, though, they need to focus more on creating different landscapes in these songs. Some of the tracks blur together and you lose track of what’s what - That’s never a good thing.

Hidden History is chock-full of potential. It’s not my choice of genre, but I can acknowledge when a band is doing it properly. I know plenty of indie music fans that would eat this up. (Mostly women, actually.) In any case, ‘Mysterion’ is an admirable effort worth checking out. In the future, I hope the group breaks themselves out of the box they’ve put themselves in. It’s a great place to be... for now. The next effort will be the true test of their longevity. Or lack thereof. We’ll have to wait and see.

Hidden History – Mysterion (by Crossradar)

Mysterion is a blistering collection of fresh hardcore tunes, ready and waiting to burst your eardrums before kissing them better again.

Blending a number of influences that range from Thrice and Underoath, to Biffy Clyro and even offering flickers of the chopped up digital artefacts of early Linkin Park, it’s an album that delivers in spades. Opening track ‘Callous Heart’ sets things off in exactly the right way, with a darkness in its tone, and guitars that teeter on the edge of full metal tones but always stay reined in tightly like the unpredictable velociraptors from Jurassic World. Vocally, the album is rich in its depth, with vocals that move perfectly between sung and screamed, leaning towards Saosin at times, while the guitars splinter and shatter their way through the entire album, at moments touching on the raw aggression of Norma Jean. The sheer dynamic range of the record is to be commended, with ‘Cold of Apathy’ starting off sounding so distant and etherial, before exploding into a punchy sound that borrows from classic rock and roll sounds delivered in Hidden History’s own signature sound. At the mid point of 2015, this is an exciting release in the world of hardcore music.

Interview with Peter Vidani

I love how you manage to render your tracks so personal and organic. Does the music come first, or do you focus on the lyrics the most?

Answer:

It varies. As the vocalist, part of me walks through life kicking around lyrics in my head, trying to retain memorable thoughts that I think are good lyrics. Sometimes I find myself thinking about a concept that I believe would make good lyrics. I have a few on-going lists of lyrics that I keep handy (I have a list of notes on my phone, for example) that has random one-liners like “die a hero” or “volunteer slavery,” and other notes that have full-on lines and lines of random lyrics that I try to pen when I can’t actively write music. For me, it’s kind of similar to writing riffs on a guitar; you don’t know how or when you might use a certain riff but having it in your back pocket means that on the awesome occasion that it fits perfectly into a new song, you can just grab it. Sometimes I do start with music though. I like to write full-on instrumental tracks or map out an entire song with just an acoustic guitar. Then I’ll listen to it over and over for a few weeks and let the vibes of the song tell me what kind of lyrics they’re asking for. One thing's for sure though, I don’t like to sing about arbitrary things, so even if the music does come first, I try not to skimp on the lyrics.

Do you perform live? If so, do you feel more comfortable on a stage or within the walls of the recording studio?

Answer:

Yeah we perform live. We spent so long (like 4 years) before we got out and started playing shows. Which is ridiculous by many standards and its a long story :]. At this point, we probably feel more comfortable off stage, but it didn’t take us long to feel perfectly within our element on stage. We really enjoy playing live and in many ways it brings us together a lot more than spending hours off stage does. You are very hard pressed to replicate the passion and energy of a live show in the studio and we feed off of that energy. We always walk out of a show feeling very fulfilled, so I’m sure that over the course of the next couple years, my answer would definitely change.

If you could only pick one song to make a “first impression” on a new listener, which song would you pick and why?

Answer:

I would personally say Down. Mostly because I think that song has the most energy and dynamics and showcases a wide variety of the different things we like to do and the direction that we’re heading. It’s also the shortest song on the album, so people are more apt to give it a shot than they would be if I went up to someone and asked them to sit through my 8 minute song :]. We’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback from people on the songs on our album and it’s not clear to us what the most popular song is; everyone seems to have their own favorite. Which is really cool, reassuring, and validating so I’m really thankful that each song can bring something different to everyone.

What does it take to be “innovative” in music?

Answer:

I think it comes down to passion, ultimately. It takes the passion to recognize that making positive strides in the music industry means facing a lot of adversity, challenges, uncertainty, doubts and factors outside of your control. Having passion gives you the fire to want to push through all of that and all of the pain, heartache, frustration, and fear that comes with it. Having passion is what drives your attention to detail for your art and what enables you to let loose and generate something that is raw, powerful, meaningful and engaging. Having passion hones your attentiveness to the market, its booms and throes, and gives you the awareness to make creative and bold decisions about how to react to an ever-changing market. Having passion helps you stay relevant, because passion is a timelessly valued quality even though genres and styles change. Having passion gives you the discipline you need to get better at your own abilities and performance so that you’re equipped with the tools you’ll need to do something no one’s done before. Having passion gives you the determination to disprove the people saying it couldn’t be done.

Any upcoming release or tour your way?

Answer:

Yeah! We’re dropping our debut album Mysterion on June 5, 2015. The album is the result of over 6 years of writing, re-re-re-re-recording, and a lot of random difficulties. It feels a bit like a frankenstein album, like taking the wheels of a ‘57 chevy, the fender of an ‘83 buick, the body of a ‘71 Grand Prix, and the engine of a 2008 Escalade and somehow making a vehicle that is hopefully going to get us from point A to point B over the next year. But at least it’s got a killer paint job and a badass sound system :].

Anywhere online where curious fans can listen to your music and find out more about you?

Answer:

Our facebook page is sort of the hub of our communication to the outside world. We’ll have a bunch of stuff available on our website as well. We’ll have the entire album up for free on soundcloud and eventually youtube. It’ll also be available on Spotify, iTunes, Amazon, etc.

facebook: facebook.com/hiddenhistorymusic

web: hiddenhistorymusic.com

youtube: youtube.com/hiddenhistorymusic

soundcloud: soundcloud.com/hiddenhistory

itunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/mysterion/id993310456

 

MYSTERION REVIEW, ROCK PUBLICIST (UK)

"This Album is a must for anyone who is into bands like Thrice, Scary Kids Scaring Kids & Linkin Park. I have heard few albums where you can hear such dedication to each song, and this is one of those rare bands that actually gives 100% at all times. You can tell these guys have been growing together for 6 years, and they are clearly tuned to each other very well. I think you can really hear how hard they must have worked on this album if you listen to the whole thing from start to finish. It is in fact so good that it is worth talking about each song individually (and that’s very rare these days)! 

The album starts with ‘Callous Heart’ and the intro alone will blow you away. It features an amazing build-up and it really rocks throughout, but also quietens down for the verses. The lyrics are very well sung and I am amazed at the high quality of this recording. This is mixed and mastered to perfection, and each instrument is not only played perfectly, it also has just the right volume to not distract too much from the vocals. It is also worth mentioning that this is only a three-piece band, so to sing this well and play guitar at the same time is quite hard to do. 

The second track is called ‘Down’ and it is not too similar to the opening song, yet not too different for it to be a different genre. I definitely love the guitar riff in this track and the drum-work is outstanding. There are some fill-ins in there that unbelievable! 

The third song has the title ‘Black & Blue’ and it is again quite a serious song, yet the overall message of this band is positive. I love the line ‘fight until you’re black & blue’. This song is a little calmer than the previous ones, which makes a nice change. The guitar is kept quite simple in this, but the bass totally makes up for that. The song also builds up to an amazing finale and I love the drumming at the end. 

‘Mirror’ basically rocks from start to finish and is again a very serious song. I love the synthesizer in the verse of this and the vocals of singer & guitarist Danny Bullis are amazing in this track as well. 

‘Stalemate’ features a Piano intro followed by an incredible bass solo, which is always great to hear. I also love the riff towards the end of this song. These guys really know how to rock. I have never heard the words ‘I am done with you’ in such a powerful way before. 

The album ends with the song ‘Goodbye’ and I love it when bands save the best for last. This is a perfect song to end the album with and it basically makes you want to listen to the whole thing all over again!
— TANBAY, ROCK PUBLICIST

The next track is called ‘Cold of Apathy’ and it features an amazing string intro, which almost sounds classical. Once the drums, guitar and bass kick in it starts to really rock again immediately and this band is very good at coming up with memorable riffs that just work really well with just one guitar. 

The seventh song has the name ‘Paradise’ and this track features very positive lyrics, mixed with quite serious sounding guitar riffs. There are some amazing screams in this as well towards the end, which show just how versatile this band really is. 

‘Hold On’ has a very sweet sounding intro with a clean guitar that builds up very nicely towards the chorus. This song is a little slower than the previous ones, but nevertheless still really rocks from start to finish and the drum work in this is again outstanding. It also features an incredible piano & bass solo towards the end. 

The album ends with the song ‘Goodbye’ and I love it when bands save the best for last. This is a perfect song to end the album with and it basically makes you want to listen to the whole thing all over again! 

This album is truly inspiring and I think a lot of people can relate to it, even though there is a mix of styles going on here. I think it is this mix that makes Hidden History stand out and that makes them memorable! For all those reasons this definitely deserves 5 out of 5 stars!”

- TANBAY THEUNE, ROCK PUBLICIST (UK)

Hidden History Music, LLC © 2015