Thursday, May 31, 2018

Video Review: THE CHRIS CYANIDE BASS SOLO PROJECT 8 String Bee Sting by Dave Wolff

8 String Bee Sting (Official music video)
Place of origin: New Rochelle, New York, USA
Genre: Prog rock, heavy metal, industrial
Shot and edited by M. O'Neill.
Special thanks to Alen Petrovic
Release date: October 1, 2017
This is the new solo project from Chris Cyanide, who has worked with several local acts through the years and is still working to generate a buzz around Long Island and upstate NY. His project’s first promotional video was made for a song called PsychVamp; it was more of an introductory clip to showcase his musicianship. It can be found at Cyanide’s Youtube profile with live videos and promotional stuff. If you like cover bands (I personally don’t care for them, with few exceptions), there are several clips of a Black Sabbath tribute called Covered In Black. From what I understand the bass is difficult to play. I have seen an increasing number of videos featuring bass artists that establish the instrument as an integral part of a band’s sound. Geddy Lee, Joey DeMaio, Peter Steele and other musicians pushed this envelope for years. Today bassists carry it further in inventive ways. This is happening not just in progressive rock but in extreme metal, especially death metal. I admit at first I wasn’t feeling 8 String Bee Sting as much as I first listened to it. But additional listens to this and other Youtube videos something started to take root. Cyanide writes and performs instrumental compositions accompanied by drum programming; this arrangement is where the prog/metal/industrial angle comes from. Keyboards, synthesizers and effects serve to enhance the bass lines just enough for additional push. The formula is well improved in his live performances, with ambience and heaviness. In this video the programming sounds thinner but a few beats complement the bass lines nicely. Cyanide uses an eight string custom bass in this piece; from watching him in the video he handles it like a four-string and channels much concentration into his lines. The song is accompanied by a series of seemingly unrelated images. One shot of a masked Cyanide performing in a graveyard is followed by another of him preparing to eat a bowl of nails. I would guess this represents the effort he is making to pull his influences into a cohesive shape, to find his niche in the growing number of solo bassists making independent videos. The bee imagery seems to be about his claiming center stage after many years of playing in bands and showing what he is capable of as a solo musician. The project’s Facebook profile hosts some more live clips as well as rehearsal videos. Check them out and see what you think of them. -Dave Wolff

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