Official press release

Meet Machines Of Grace. They are the latest among the gifted hard rock/heavy metal bands born from Boston's thriving music scene. As with their Beantown bred forefathers, (Aerosmith, Extreme, Godsmack, Dropkick Murphys) Zak Stevens (lead vocals), Jeff Plate (drums), Matt Leff (guitar) and Chris Rapoza (bass) have concocted their own proprietary formula for whiplash on a disc.

Top shelf status comes from the experience of successfully headlining major tours and support from a monumental fan base. Drummer Jeff (Trans Siberian Orchestra, Savatage, Metal Church) Plate and lead singer Zak (Circle II Circle, Savatage) Stevens have the resume to help catapult Machines Of Grace into the monsters of rock realm. The divine mix of such magnanimous talent can convert even the most stubborn music critic. Why? The method to their madness is embedded in the music... "It's just a pure, solid melodic rock sound," offers Stevens. "It has infectious grooves and its own brand of outright power. To me, it's got great songwriting with a hard rock edge and strong commercial appeal."

The rise of the "Machine" had to start somewhere…

Leff and Stevens have a lengthy history, spanning back to their days as protégés at GIT/VIT respectively. Their first band, Wickedwitch, also introduced the talents of drummer Jeff Plate, who clinched the line-up and formed the backbone of today's brainchild: Machines Of Grace.

During a considerable hiatus after the demise of the Wickedwitch project, Zak Stevens had gone on to front Savatage (and more recently, Circle II Circle), and later recruited Jeff Plate, who performs regularly with the Trans Siberian Orchestra and Metal Church. Meanwhile, Matt Leff had formed Trigger Effect, and with bassist Chris Rapoza, had toured as an opening act for Iron Maiden, Queensrÿche and Rob Halford.

Time had clearly hit the afterburners. Call it chemistry, fate or pure coincidence. A Wickedwitch fan suggested that the founding members revise, rethink, record and release the original material, and voila - Machines Of Grace was conceived.

This band accords a shot of rock and roll that infuses several music genres with an innovative twist of smoldering vocals and bludgeoning guitar riffs. Blend that with an explosive rhythm section and you've got an exceptionally powerful elixir. "I'd say we're a mix of melodic metal, hard rock, modern rock and acoustic rock," explains guitarist Matt Leff. "The current rock climate is calling for modern production, strong vocal melodies and memorable songs from guys that can really play. I think we fit that description." Bassist Chris Rapoza agrees: "The CD has an amazing vibe that just flows really well and makes you want to listen to it all the way through. To me, song writing and recording with that same quality always makes for the best type of album."

Jeff Plate tops off the sentiment: "The music is metal, but not thrash. Rock, but not pop. We could be compared to a number of different bands, and each song will give you a different impression, but in the end the sound is distinctly Machines Of Grace."

That sound is likewise attributed to the talents of veteran mixologist Paul David Hager. Credited with engineering, mixing and producing studio work by acts such as The Goo Goo Dolls, Avril Lavigne, Pink and Tracy Bonham, Hager brings to the table a record destined for the spotlight, and plenty of industry accolades.

Live, this band brings new meaning to the term full throttle. The killer studio version of the music not withstanding, Machines Of Grace takes a live performance experience to a whole new level. Fans will really enjoy the dueling guitar and vocal arrangements, while the second-to-none rhythm section welds them together perfectly. Zak promises, "You'll hear the emphasis on the album, the way the mix very closely depicts how this band actually sounds when we plug in." How many bands these days can do that?

Look for the debut, self-tilted Machines Of Grace CD this summer.


All info about the band on http://www.myspace.com/machinesofgrace.


Source: myspace.com
Band profile: Savatage
 
Posted: 23.05.2009 by Thryce



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Black Conundrum - 23.05.2009 at 21:28  
This band seems like they're pretty cool. I enjoy Savatage.
WorpeX - 24.05.2009 at 06:20  
Nice! Zak is amazing!
Permafrost - 24.05.2009 at 12:12  
For me Zak is one of the best singers in the scene and I'm a huge Savatage fan but this, to me, is rubbish.
WorpeX - 25.05.2009 at 01:59  
Written by Permafrost on 24.05.2009 at 12:12

For me Zak is one of the best singers in the scene and I'm a huge Savatage fan but this, to me, is rubbish.


Ya... I was thinking the same thing. I only heard one song, maybe the rest are better.
LeChron James - 25.05.2009 at 02:06  
Sounds interesting. ill keep my eye out for it.
Marcel Hubregtse - 25.05.2009 at 02:35  
I find it far-fetched to say this band features Savatage memebrs. Cause to me ONLY Jon and Criss Oliva and Steve Wacholz and John Lee Middleton are TRUE Savatage members the rest are just people who played in Svaatge AFTER they wer big anfd good and innovative
WorpeX - 26.05.2009 at 04:59  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 25.05.2009 at 02:35

I find it far-fetched to say this band features Savatage memebrs. Cause to me ONLY Jon and Criss Oliva and Steve Wacholz and John Lee Middleton are TRUE Savatage members the rest are just people who played in Svaatge AFTER they wer big anfd good and innovative


lol, what? Sorry, gonna have to disagree with that one. By your line-up, your referring to everything before Streets. I hate to say it, but they didn't stop being good and innovative after those albums came out. Dead Winter Dead brought a little song with it known as Christmas Eve (Sarajevo 12/24), which as many of you know, was where the idea for the Trans Siberian Orchestra came from. Besides that, many other of Savatage's more famous songs came around after Streets as well including, One Child, Sleep, Alone You Breathe, and Chance. I would definitely consider Zak Stephens at least, a very important member in the Savatage line-up. Jeff Plate was also around for awhile, but I wouldn't consider him the more talented member in the band. Good drummer though.
Lord_Regnier - 26.05.2009 at 05:03  
I'm by far not a Savatage specialist but I agree with Marcel. For me, the classic Savatage line-up would be Jon Oliva, Chriss Oliva, John Lee Middleton and Steve Wacholz. It's with this line-up that the band became famous and critically acclaimed.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I heard the band went downhill after "Gutter Ballet".
And I remember that "Gutter Ballet" was criticized and disliked by many, when it has been released in the early 90s. Lots of people thought it was a letdown after "Hall of The Mountain King".
WorpeX - 26.05.2009 at 20:13  
They didn't go downhill, their style just changed from being less heavy to more progressive. Personally, I like the bands newer stuff more then the older work. Dead Winter Dead, Handful of Rain and The Wake Of Magellan are their best albums for me. Its all just a matter of taste.

If you look at the ratings of the albums here on MS, im not the only one who feels this way. The ratings for all of their albums is very high.
Lord_Regnier - 26.05.2009 at 22:33  
Written by WorpeX on 26.05.2009 at 20:13

They didn't go downhill, their style just changed from being less heavy to more progressive. Personally, I like the bands newer stuff more then the older work. Dead Winter Dead, Handful of Rain and The Wake Of Magellan are their best albums for me. Its all just a matter of taste.


By going downhill, I didn't necessarily mean becoming less good musically, but less popular and less appreciated by their older fans.
Marcel Hubregtse - 27.05.2009 at 12:43  
Written by WorpeX on 26.05.2009 at 04:59



lol, what? Sorry, gonna have to disagree with that one. By your line-up, your referring to everything before Streets.


I am referring to everything up to and including Streets. Streets still has the classic line-up of Criss and Jon Oliiva, Steve "Doc"Wacholz and Johnny Lee Middleton.
After Streets their albums weren't as good, too much shitty songs on them and only one or two great songs. Yes I know the newer albums are rated higher HERE on MS, so what? Their popularity actually DID DECLINE after Streets. Their Gutter Ballet tour was actually the tour that was visited best by the fans and the Streets tour was also a successful tour. AFter that their tours started drawing less and less people and also the album sales figures became less and less. And IMO rightly so, because they lost their soul by losing Jon's vocals and Criss' guitar player. The people that came in the band for them are technically good musicians but lack the soulfulness Criss and Jon possessed, but then again that is a problem with almost ALL so-called progressive music and musicians, all technically good btu so band and soulless.
Marcel Hubregtse - 27.05.2009 at 12:47  
Written by Lord_Regnier on 26.05.2009 at 05:03



Correct me if I'm wrong, but I heard the band went downhill after "Gutter Ballet".
And I remember that "Gutter Ballet" was criticized and disliked by many, when it has been released in the early 90s. Lots of people thought it was a letdown after "Hall of The Mountain King".


Well Gutter Ballet is a bit weird, it was praised to high heaven in Europe (as was Streets) but was immensely criticised in the US and such. But then again Savatage were always way more popular in Europe than in the Americas.
The huge letdown album of the GREAT CLASSIC line-up was Fight For The Rock, which got bad reviews and such all across the world (and rightly so I might add) but then they redeemed themselves with that monster of an album Hall Of The Mountain King, and Gutter Ballet was clearly a transitional album from their heavy sound to their more so-called progressive (which they actually never were or became) sound. Streets is clearly the entire concept of songs such as Gutter Ballet and When The Crowd Are Gone put on to one album.

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