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Hailing from South Wales, U.K., Godsticks are a four-piece progressive heavy rock band whose music has frequently been described as imaginative and original. Godsticks’ musical style is intricate yet accessible; an abundance of melody played with precision and panache.

The band released their eponymously titled EP at the beginning of 2009, with little in the way of promotion or expectation. To their surprise, the sheer originality of the music was greeted with enthusiasm and the EP received overwhelmingly positive reviews with the band being considered “a refreshing approach to the contemporary music scene”.

The band line-up that features on their latest album had existed since 2010. Drummer, Steve Roberts, was hired by founding member Darran Charles to play on the debut EP and subsequently joined the band. Bassist Dan Nelson was brought on board a short time later (original bass player Jason Marsh left in late 2009), having been discovered by Darran via a YouTube video Dan had posted of himself playing a Godsticks tune. Recently, Steve Roberts has departed the band and an additional guitarist, Gavin Bushell, has joined along with new drummer Tom Price.

In July 2010, the band released their debut full-length album Spiral Vendetta – the culmination of 16 months of writing and a lengthy production process. The extensive production proved worth it as the album received a unanimously positive response, being described as ‘mesmerising’. One reviewer said: "Spiral Vendetta has it all in spades with chops, emotion, musicality and imagination, the songs pack a breathtaking amount into concise pieces and the album in no way outstays its welcome."

A worldwide distribution deal was secured on the strength of the debut album and the band completed a number of tours and festivals, supporting such acts as ‘The Pineapple Thief’. In March 2012, Godsticks were also the supporting act on a 5-date UK tour with ‘The Aristocrats’; featuring world-renowned guitarist Guthrie Govan. The tour was a huge success and introduced the band to a much wider audience.

At the end of that tour the band went into the studio to record The Envisage Conundrum. The recent and extensive live work had influenced the newer material and it became much heavier and more guitar-driven. None of the band's vaunted originality was lost but The Envisage Conundrum represented a more focused and settled band, still offering an eclectic array of songs, but in a much more accessible package.

The Envisage Conundrum was released in 2013 and packed a hard punch in places, whilst maintaining a steady move forward in musicianship and writing. Kerrang Magazine said: "From the stuttering hard rock of Caught In A Bind to epic three-parter Borderstomp's electric jazz, we get flashes of innovation and virtuoso class". In 2013 Godsticks supported ‘The Mike Keneally Band’ on a 13-date tour of Europe and co-headlined a UK tour with ‘Knifeworld’. A three-week European tour in 2014 supporting ‘The Aristocrats’ followed, and that tour in particular indirectly forged a path towards an even heavier sound.

In April 2014, shortly after their European tour supporting ‘The Aristocrats’, Godsticks set to work writing what would become their third full-length studio album titled Emergence (released 4th September 2015). Following in the footsteps of 2012’s The Envisage Conundrum, the band continued to explore the heavier side of their musical style and created a work that included more concise song-writing, filled with addictive grooves and memorable choruses. Fans need not worry though, there is still plenty of the signature Godsticks style throughout the album. Never a band to play things safe, Emergence signifies a milestone in the progression of the band from complex crossover progressive music to a more focused heavier style.
A great deal of research was spent in achieving the sound they had in mind for this album. Drums were tracked at Monnow Valley Studio in November 2014, whose incredible and acclaimed live room provided the perfect foundation for the heavy guitar tracks that were to follow. Producer James Loughrey, known for his work with Rock acts such as Skindred, Manic Street Preachers and Def Leppard was also brought on board.

Godsticks frontman Darran Charles commented that:

“A conscious effort was made only to select songs for the album that maintained a stylistically consistent theme throughout. The original premise of Godsticks, to ensure that a song remains interesting from start to finish, was still intact but our live shows seemed to have an overarching influence on every new song written - the more we play live, the heavier our sound seems to get. Guitar pretty much shared duties with keyboards on the early Godsticks releases but lately it has become the driving force, and this is epitomized in ‘Emergence’. So in essence: we’re the same, but different! We can’t wait for people to hear it!”


Godsticks are: Darran Charles (vocals, guitar, keys), Dan Nelson (bass), Gavin Bushell (guitar) and Tom Price (drums)

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Image © (C)Mike Evans 2015

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