A storm is brewing

Last time What’s Up Yukon spoke with Whitehorse-based prog metal artist Rick Massie, he had just released his debut solo album, Eclipse. Now, only five months on, Massie is already working on new music. He has about two more albums worth of material. “You can only promote an album for so long,” he said. “You want people to not forget about you.”

While Massie really made Eclipse as a personal project, he was surprised and pleased with the overwhelmingly positive reception it received. According to Massie, it can be difficult to imagine art that is so personal to the artist resonating with someone else, but many listeners were able to find their own meanings in Massie’s work.  While he works toward the completion of an as-yet-untitled second album, Massie plans to semi-regularly release new music in the form of singles. His hope is this will keep up his creative output and let listeners know he hasn’t fallen off the face of the Earth. His latest offering is an epic, eight-minute, mixed-styles song called “The Storm.”

Massie is originally from Newfoundland. He had been following a Newfoundland organization called Heavy NFDL, when he saw a call for songwriters to submit music to be featured on a compilation album. The proceeds would be donated to a local anti-racist organization. Though he didn’t have anything completed at the time, the callout inspired Massie to write a song that could be a stand against racism, inequality and injustice. “That was the kick I needed to get this song out of me,’ he said. Massie wrote and recorded the entire song over three nights in July. He self-released it digitally in early September. He said that all his music is driven by themes of hope and positivity. This song is no exception. In his words, it is about “coming together and not allowing hate to win.”

“The Storm” starts off quiet and calm, with melodic guitars and orchestral vocals, before giving way to pounding drums, distorted guitars and rumbling vocals. It has a symphonic feel all the way through, and is as much black metal as it is Massie’s signature progressive metal sound. The song marks a new musical direction for Massie while still staying true to his unique sound. As always, his influences are proudly displayed in the music.

With “The Storm” out to let people know Massie has not gone anywhere, he still has his attention focused on continuously releasing songs until the arrival of his next full-length record, hopefully sometime next year. Last December, Massie released a cover version of the Christmas carol “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” and says he plans to release another metal Christmas cover this year. As for which song he’s recording, that’s something we’ll all have to wait and find out.

Both “The Storm” and Eclipse are available online on all streaming platforms, as well as on Massie’s Bandcamp page. Head over to Massie’s music website, RickMassie.com for more music, news and other material.

Total Eclipse of the Heart

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