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ALTERED STATE

Heavy Prog • United States


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Altered State biography
ALTERED STATE is a California band that combines Primus-like metal with a Pink Floyd understanding of art pop production, and should not be confused with avant rock band Altered States or pop-rockers Alter'd State. The group was formed in Huntington Beach in 1990 by Gregory MARKEL(vocals,guitar), Chip MORELAND(drums), Howard ULYATE(bass) and Curtis MATHEWSON(guitar,keyboards) from the ashes of SHOW of HANDS. This lineup was picked up by Warner Records which released their self-titled debut in 1991.

Bassist ULYATE had left during the recording (leaving MATHEWSON to take his place), so when the remaining three members began their support tour for the debut album, multi-instrumentalist Riz STORY took over bass duties. In 1992, hot off the sleeper hit "Ghost Beside My Bed", the group settled down for another album and another change in bass players - this time friend Paul EDWARDS - resulting in 1993s 'Dos', a combination of new and earlier material stretching back to the Show of Hands days.

Despite a couple of radio hits, 'Dos' was to be the quartet's last album (so far). In 1995, Altered State split up and its members sought separate solo careers. However, in 2006 the band reformed briefly with Markel and Moreland reprising their roles, joined by Christian NESMITH on guitar (the son of the Monkee) and Howard Ulyate, the original bassist. Since 2007, the team appears to be on hiatus again but it seems that wherever MARKEL and MORELAND are playing together, there Altered State shall be.

Stylistically the boys draw influence from hardrock/classic metal as Led Zeppelin and Rush as well as eighties Alternative like U2, with richly produced ballads sharing the same space as crunchy, erratic heavy rock. The material on Dos found the band experimenting with avant-garde metal and alternative jazz, but Altered State rarely moves too far from lush, loud, progressive songwriting.

- Whistler -

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DosDos
Warner Bros. 2011
Audio CD$9.00
$1.94 (used)
Altered StateAltered State
Warner Bros. 2011
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Warner Bros.
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ALTERED STATE discography


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3.05 | 2 ratings
Altered State
1991
4.39 | 13 ratings
Dos
1993

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ALTERED STATE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Dos by ALTERED STATE album cover Studio Album, 1993
4.39 | 13 ratings

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Dos
Altered State Heavy Prog

Review by Rivertree
Special Collaborator PSIKE Team & Band Submissions

4 stars I'm sure this album was never intended to deliver prog music as such, however has enough substance to be assigned to this genre in my opinion. Provided with excellent musicianship the band is something like an insider's tip I would say. Which means here we have a bunch of tricky heavy rocking songs - really enjoyable, although this is not dedicated to prog purists, the only thing you must know. Stylistically oriented at hard and heavy rock bands like Led Zeppelin and Rush they are throwing a proper experimental attitude in here and now.

Just take the high speed racing Where Is Harrison Ford? which bears a significant fusion touch and therefore proves the band's variety at best. Puzzling - I can't file I Wish It Would Rain - the main chorus sounds so remarkable to me, it's just like a deja vu - as if this has been produced in the 1970s, buried in my memory for a long time and finally digged out not long ago. Not the band's most representive song, because very catchy, probably peering hard at a place in the charts, never mind - enjoyable nevertheless.

Although the German song title means 'fear', Angst is a charming ballad on the contrary. If you still may have the impression that this comes as a simple rock album - Made of Gasoline will teach you better at the latest. And anyway - this is rather unusual - I have the impression the album qualitatively grows the more it comes to the end. This points to the closing monster track Thinkin' About Movin' to a Catatonic State - partially heavy - tending to prog metal - partially mellow. It all closes for the first time at 11:30 with some spacey/ambient soundscapes, you have the chance to relax then with complete weightlessness until they decide to attach some more time provided with a bubbling blistering atmosphere.

An extraordinary composition really, rich on variety, surprises ... and experimental approach if you take the last minutes. Following this I also have to mention The Waking Dream - a bluesy ballad basically ... but wooooow ... spiked with some striking extras, speaking of the irresistible dynamic, other-wordly vocals, psychedelic guitars - a fantastic solo included - aso aso. And so my final conclusion goes like this: 'Dös' is an entertaining album and - intended or not - has forwarded them into the prog olymp with ease.

 Dos by ALTERED STATE album cover Studio Album, 1993
4.39 | 13 ratings

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Dos
Altered State Heavy Prog

Review by Evolver
Special Collaborator Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams

5 stars If there is any album that I just could not live without, this is it. More than any other album from the last two decades this just strikes a chord with me. I was first taken in by the incredible musicianship on Where Is Harrison Ford (?), but was soon enraptured by just about every song on the album.

This is inventive, mostly high-energy hard rock, that has some elements of Crack The Sky and Pink Floyd. The hardest rocking songs, This Just Might Take Me Down and Made Of Gasoline, have more than enough prog flourishes to satisfy this prog fan. And Licking The V... (yes, it is about what you think it's about) is one of the sexiest songs recorded.

Darkness Visible is an amazing piece, with snakelike guitaring in an eastern sounding metal motif, and it leads to Thinkin' Bout Movin' To A Catatonic State, which is, in my opinion, the greatest prog metal song ever recorded.

Special mention must be given to the lyrics. Rarely, in any form of music, does a lyricist capture my attention, and just amaze me with his adeptness with words, like Gregory Markel does here. Some of the lines still, after hundreds of listens, bring a tear to my eyes.

An amazing thing, this band's albums can be found on many sites selling at 99 cents. Get them. It will be the best buck you ever spent.

 Altered State by ALTERED STATE album cover Studio Album, 1991
3.05 | 2 ratings

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Altered State
Altered State Heavy Prog

Review by Evolver
Special Collaborator Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams

3 stars When I first received this album, it was in a promo package that compared the band favorably to 10CC. Warner Brothers records appeared to be very excited about them. And I actually heard the song Step Into My Groove on the radio a few times. I never suspected that this band's next album, "Dos", would become one of my all-time favorite albums.

This album is more like crossover prog than heavy prog, but there are still some elements. There is definitely a 10CC feel, especially in Step Into My Groove and Do What You Want. But there is also a psychedelic Pink Floyd vibe, the best example being Ghost Beside My Bed.

I enjoy this album more than I originally did, because of the second album they recorded. But I still can't rate it better than three stars.

It's just too bad that Warner Brothers had no idea how to market the band.

Thanks to atavachron for the artist addition.

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