Monday, April 2, 2012

Kevin Max - Fiefdom of Angels (EP and Graphic Novel Teaser)

(Here's a new post I recently did for NoiseTrade.)

There’s no question that singer/songwriter/poet/creator Kevin Max is a bonafide renaissance man and a modern day agent of creative dissent. With his newest project,Fiefdom of Angels, Max combines a novel, graphic novel and an accompanying soundtrack to create an origin story for angels. While on paper that may sound daunting, Max delves deep into races, locations, connections and conflicts to shape characters worth caring about and a story worth telling. The graphic novel is rich in detail, plot and emotion and the soundtrack uses cover songs and Kevin Max originals to enhance the characters and arcs laid out in the story. Kevin has graciously offered a teaser of the graphic novel and Side One of the soundtrack here on NoiseTrade for a limited time.

Fiefdom of Angels: Side One is a five song EP comprised of four cool covers and one reimagined original. Using a spacious orchestral vibe and a haunting choir of layered vocals, each song breathes with atmosphere, melody and texture. With long intros, lush instrumental passages and airy moments of stasis, it’s no surprise that the listening experience, just like the overall story itself, is truly enhanced by a certain attentiveness. These songs do not want to get somewhere, as much as they want to create somewhere. While the new wave-esque cover selections were intentionally picked to relate to the story, they certainly could’ve been chosen on great song merit alone. Real Life’s “Send Me An Angel,” Joy Division’s “Shadowplay,” Queen’s “Dragon Attack” and Muse’s “Take A Bow” all get the same cinematic, chamber music treatment with inspiring results. “End of the Beginning” is the sole original composition on the EP and has been floating around in demo form since Max’s Stereotype Be days.

The graphic novel teaser included with the download is a stunning 28 page collection of arresting story frames, helpful angelic race cliff notes, detailed maps, elaborate character bios and a condensed prologue to get you up to speed. More than just a story, Max has unfolded an entire mythology that is dense with individuals, collectives, places, practices, cultures and clashes that will tug at your head, your heart, your beliefs and your imagination. No matter your religious leanings (or lack thereof), Fiefdom of Angels will certainly get you thinking, feeling, discussing and dreaming in ways that you may not have before. Max refers to Fiefdom of Angles as “my Magna Carta and my Opus, my Fifth Symphony and my White Album, all rolled into one” and with the magnitude of what he’s conveying, I think that’s dead on. I encourage you to simultaneously listen to the EP and read through the graphic novel, letting both the audible and visual elements weave together and reach you at the same time. With more stories and songs to come in theFiefdom of Angels collection, wouldn’t it be better to immerse yourself from the beginning instead of trying to cram it all in later? Zero Issue awaits…

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