Zack Zalon of the unabashedly progressive and ambitious Into the Great Divide wanted to tell a story… with music. He has possessed a lifelong passion for instrumental progressive rock, inspired by everyone from Kansas and Rush to Dream Theater and Steve Vai.
Rather than simply cut instrumentals, he looked to innovate the medium and introduce a new paradigm for recorded music — the “rock novel.” The self-titled debut, featuring the epic drum performance of Dream Theater‘s Mike Mangini and produced by Rick Chycki, is 100 percent instrumental and guitar-based.
The album is streaming in full at Gear Gods. Listen here.
“I love instrumental guitar music,” Zalon says. “However, most of these instrumental records don’t have any context. You’re only listening for virtuosity. You can’t tell what any of the tracks mean relative to each other. I wanted to do something different, to connect people to instrumental, progressive rock by bringing them along on a journey.”
He furthers, “Each track is actually a chapter following a narrative, and each reflects that part of the story. A narrator guides this journey. I felt like this was an opportunity to do something new and tell a tale inside of music differently than what had been done before. I wouldn’t compromise on the kind of music I enjoy; I’d just change the way we present it, so that it connects with people on a more fundamental level.”
Go here for a breakdown of the project and its chapters.