Exposé Online banner

High Wheel — Back from the Void
(Ipso Facto 001, 2002, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2003-12-01

Back from the Void Cover artThe first thing I thought of when I put this CD on was "Echolyn with a German accent." That sums High Wheel up pretty well (at least superficially), but it doesn't tell the whole story. I don't know whether the band is intentionally emulating Echolyn or if they just have the same base influences, but the music comes out rather similar. Complex arrangements, elaborate vocal harmonies, bright sounds, heavy reliance on keyboards, and so on. The accented English is only really noticeable on the softer moments when the singer (three of the members sing, so I don't know who it is at any given time) is not supplemented by backing vocals. The worst of these times is on "Dark," a short acoustic tune based on an old German song reminiscent of "Greensleeves" with a medieval arrangement. But then the band kicks right back into high gear with the rhythmic opening of the 32 minute suite called "Blind Archer," which is divided into ten sections, some of which are continuous from track to track. The story involves prophecies and kingdoms, so it's probably best not to examine the lyrics too closely. For the most part I find it easy enough to enjoy the music and let the words slip by as notes without meaning. It would be easy to dismiss High Wheel as derivative or unoriginal, but I find the music catchy enough and the arrangements complex enough to grab my interest and get my head bopping happily.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 28, 2002 releases

Related artist(s): High Wheel

Latest news

2021-04-01
New Aristocrats Live Album on the Way – No foolin'! These supreme musicians toured Europe early in 2020, just before touring ceased to be a thing musicians could do, and there were some hot performances captured. On May 7, some of these will be releases as Freeze! Live in Europe 2020. » Read more

2021-03-25
Return of Jerry Lucky's Progressive Rock Files – After much consideration and surprisingly, positive feedback, Jerry Lucky is announcing the launch of the progressive Rock Files podcast, featuring the latest progressive rock music from around the world. » Read more

2021-03-14
Jewlia Eisenberg RIP – The sad news has come out that Jewlia Eisenberg has died. As a founding member of Charming Hostess, Eisenberg changed the face of music, bringing together Balkan klezmer, American folk, and experimental rock in a distinctive blend that garnered much praise. » Read more

2021-03-11
RIP Roger Trigaux – The sad news has come to our attention that Roger Trigaux, the guiding force of Present and former member of Univers Zero, passed away on the evening of March 10, 2021 after a long ilness. » Read more

2021-02-14
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Gods of Electricity - Sundiving – Introducing a world where standard sci-fi is just too darn human to be plausible. If there are any advanced life forms out there taking joy rides through post-supernoval remnants or losing the space...  (2007) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues