Machines Of Grace featuring TSO, Savatage and Metal Church members ready debut release.
Meet Machines of Grace. They are the latest among the gifted hard rock/heavy metal bands born from Boston’s thriving music scene. As with their Beantown bred forefathers, (Aerosmith, Extreme, Godsmack, Dropkick Murphys) Zak Stevens (lead vocals), Jeff Plate (drums), Matt Leff (guitar) and Chris Rapoza (bass) have concocted their own proprietary formula for whiplash on a disc.
Top shelf status comes from the experience of successfully headlining major tours and support from a monumental fan base. Drummer Jeff (Trans Siberian Orchestra, Savatage, Metal Church) Plate and lead singer Zak (Circle II Circle, Savatage) Stevens have the resume to help catapult Machines of Grace into the monsters of rock realm. The divine mix of such magnanimous talent can convert even the most stubborn music critic. Why? The method to their madness is embedded in the music… “It’s just a pure, solid melodic rock sound,” offers Stevens. “It has infectious grooves and its own brand of outright power. To me, it’s got great songwriting with a hard rock edge and strong commercial appeal.”
The rise of the ‘Machine’ had to start somewhere…
Leff and Stevens have a lengthy history, spanning back to their days as protégés at GIT/VIT respectively. Their first band, Wickedwitch, also introduced the talents of drummer Jeff Plate, who clinched the line-up and formed the backbone of today’s brainchild: Machines of Grace.
During a considerable hiatus after the demise of the Wickedwitch project, Zak Stevens had gone on to front Savatage (and more recently, Circle II Circle), and later recruited Jeff Plate, who performs regularly with the Trans Siberian Orchestra and Metal Church. Meanwhile, Matt Leff had formed Trigger Effect, and with bassist Chris Rapoza, had toured as an opening act for Iron Maiden, Queensryche and Rob Halford.
Time had clearly hit the afterburners. Call it chemistry, fate or pure coincidence. A Wickedwitch fan suggested that the founding members revise, rethink, record and release the original material, and voila – Machines of Grace was conceived.
This band accords a shot of rock and roll that infuses several music genres with an innovative twist of smoldering vocals and bludgeoning guitar riffs. Blend that with an explosive rhythm section and you’ve got an exceptionally powerful elixir. “I’d say we’re a mix of melodic metal, hard rock, modern rock and acoustic rock,” explains guitarist Matt Leff. “The current rock climate is calling for modern production, strong vocal melodies and memorable songs from guys that can really play. I think we fit that description.” Bassist Chris Rapoza agrees: “The CD has an amazing vibe that just flows really well and makes you want to listen to it all the way through. To me, song writing and recording with that same quality always makes for the best type of album.”
Jeff Plate tops off the sentiment: “The music is metal, but not thrash. Rock, but not pop. We could be compared to a number of different bands, and each song will give you a different impression, but in the end the sound is distinctly Machines of Grace.”
That sound is likewise attributed to the talents of veteran mixologist Paul David Hager. Credited with engineering, mixing and producing studio work by acts such as The Goo Goo Dolls, Avril Lavigne, Pink and Tracy Bonham, Hager brings to the table a record destined for the spotlight, and plenty of industry accolades.
Live, this band brings new meaning to the term full throttle. The killer studio version of the music not withstanding, Machines of Grace takes a live performance experience to a whole new level. Fans will really enjoy the dueling guitar and vocal arrangements, while the second-to-none rhythm section welds them together perfectly. Zak promises, “You’ll hear the emphasis on the album, the way the mix very closely depicts how this band actually sounds when we plug in.” How many bands these days can do that?
Look for the debut, self-tilted Machines of Grace CD this summer.
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