The Esseness Project | The Esseness Project

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Atma Anur Steve Hoffman Steve Smith Steve Smyth Steve Smyth!

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Steve Smyth performs The Afterlife live at EMGtv April 2010 Steve Smyth Performs Reflection, Redemption, Rebirth Live: EMGtv 2010 Snippets from EMG interview Sept. 2008, courtesy of Premier Guitar The EssenEss Project Show Dates in September! Review from USA \'zine 9/02/08 Review from Rise Magazine, Uruguay 8/31/08 The EssenEss Project On Tour In July! Steve Smyth Interview with,February 2008 Steve Smyth Interview with Roadie Crew Webzine, May 2008 interview with Steve Smyth 4/22/08 Review from Metal-Experience Webzine, The Netherlands 03/20/08 Review from Skylight Webzine, Greece 03/15/08 Artist Spotlight Feature on Skylight Webzine Interview with Steve Smyth Review from ShockMagazine, Hungary 03/03/08 Review from The USA 2/11/08 Zero Tolerance Webzine album review 1/27/08 Maximum Threshold Radio Interview with Steve Smyth Zero Tolerance Webzine interview with Steve Smyth. Review from Department of Virtuosity Magazine,Poland The EssenEss Project Official Website The EssenEss Project MySpace Steve Smyth MySpace Atma Anur MySpace Steve Hoffman MySpace

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Rock: Progressive Rock Rock: Album Rock Moods: Type: Instrumental
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The Esseness Project

by The Esseness Project

Instrumental project of guitarist Steve Smyth (Forbidden,Nevermore,Testament,Vicious Rumors,Dragonlord), featuring famed session drummer Atma Anur (Cacophony,Tony MacAlpine,Greg Howe), and introducing bassist Steve Hoffman.
Genre: Rock: Progressive Rock
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. The Afterlife
Steve Smyth/ Steve Hoffman
4:39 $0.99
2. Sphere
Steve Hoffman/Steve Smyth
5:10 $0.99
3. Only Time Will Tell
Steve Smyth/ Steve Hoffman
4:53 $0.99
4. Illuminate
Steve Hoffman/Steve Smyth
5:35 $0.99
5. Reflection, Redemption, Rebirth
Steve Smyth/ Steve Hoffman
5:16 $0.99
6. Strands of Fascia
Steve Hoffman/Steve Smyth
7:19 $0.99
7. It's All in Your Mind
Steve Smyth/ Steve Hoffman
6:03 $0.99
8. Learning to Swim
Steve Hoffman/Steve Smyth
6:32 $0.99
9. Just When You Think
Steve Smyth/ Steve Hoffman
4:58 $0.99
10. Can You See What I Hear
Steve Hoffman/Steve Smyth
8:18 $0.99
11. Xiv
Steve Hoffman/Steve Smyth
5:14 $0.99
12. In God's Hands
Steve Smyth/ Steve Hoffman
8:10 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes

The man behind this exciting new album project,guitarist Steve Smyth (Nevermore, Dragonlord, Testament, Vicious Rumors) is no newcomer in the metal music or shred guitar world, first being tipped for the top in Shrapnel Records president Mike Varney’s “Hometown Heroes” column in the October 1993 issue of Guitar World magazine.

A four year tenure as lead/rhythm guitarist with Bay Area power metallers Vicious Rumors started in 1995. During this time, Smyth contributed to two well received albums; 1996’s Something Burning, and 1998’s Cyberchrist (both released by Massacre Records), and toured extensively in the USA and Europe in support of both albums.

Then in 1999, Smyth began a four and a half year touring stint with Bay Area thrash metal legends Testament, touring the world in support of The Gathering album and then the First Strike Still Deadly album, playing to nearly 500,000 satisfied fans.

During this time Steve also helped form the lineup of Testament guitarist/founder Eric Peterson’s black metal side project, Dragonlord. Two successful albums followed over the next four years: Rapture (Spitfire Records, 2001) and Black Wings of Destiny (Escapi Music, 2005).

Smyth spent late 2003 touring the world with Nevermore, the well respected underground progressive metal band, in support of their album Enemies of Reality. In 2004, Smyth was invited to become part of the band’s permanent line-up, leading to the critically acclaimed album, This Godless Endeavor (Century Media, 2005), the band’s sixth full length, which featured several songs penned by Steve. A world tour followed, which saw the band play the first Gigantour, the brainchild of Megadeth mainman Dave Mustaine, and a headlining tour of Europe, as well as countless support tours.

Fate intervened when in 2006 Smyth was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease. He completed Nevermore’s 2006 US tour with Arch Enemy and Chimaira, but as kidney failure neared, Smyth found himself unable to play the U.S. support tour with In Flames, as he began treatment for his illness. During this time of treatment and subsequent recovery, as Smyth states, he found “the time, inspiration, and fire, to finish this album to the absolute best of my ability, and finally enter the realm of instrumental music, something I had wanted to do for a long time.”

“This is certainly a different path I find myself going down, more in the area of progressive rock territory,” Smyth continued. The twelve songs( all produced and engineered by Smyth) are a collaboration between Smyth and his old friend and former bandmate, Steve Hoffman, a well respected classical and jazz musician, bass teacher and instructional author in Northern California. Smyth: “For this debut, Steve [Hoffman] and I went for more of a “soundscape” type atmosphere, rather than focus purely on the shred factor. We wanted to focus on the song, not merely use this as a vehicle for shredding over.” They also knew they wanted the best when it came to a percussionist.

Enter drummer extraordinaire Atma Anur. Best known in the “shred guitar” circles as the man who drummed on countless legendary Shrapnel Records releases, Atma appears as special guest drummer on The EssenEss Project debut. Cacophony (Speed Metal Symphony), Jason Becker (Perpetual Burn), Greg Howe (debut), Ritchie Kotzen and Tony MacAlpine, are just a few of the many influential and cutting edge guitarists and musicians Atma has worked with in the past.

“We were absolutely excited when we confirmed Atma to drum on this album,” says Smyth, adding, “Steve Hoffman and I both grew up listening to Atma, and his absolutely insane progressive and innovative style. We had always hoped we might get the opportunity to work with him one day, and now it’s happened.”

Recording largely on their own, Steve Smyth and Steve Hoffman, or “Ess en Ess”, take you on a 70+ minute journey through sonic landscapes that range from wildly progressive metal riffing, to experimental rock breaks, through to jazz fusion, with a whole host of other musical influences not normally associated with rock/metal, being stirred into the musical melting pot. “We’re both into a lot of different types of music, and wanted to get as much variety into each song, in as tasteful a manner as possible,” says Smyth. One listen to this incredibly ambitious debut, will tell you they’ve hit their mark..

While Steve Smyth assumed the role of engineer, and makes his producing debut with this album, this album has also benefited from the invaluable input of two illustrious individuals on the production side of the music world.

The album was mixed by Kent Matcke (Metallica, Joe Satriani, Sammy Hagar) at his Pro Music Studios, and mastered by the one and only John Cuniberti (Joe Satriani producer) at the world famous Plant Studios.Complimented with expert artwork by Asgeir Mickelson for, these selections were no accident. “We knew we wanted the best for this album, and I think we got some of the best, most experienced ears and eyes in the business in Kent, John, and Asgeir.” says Smyth.

Due for release November 5th, 2007 through Steve Smyth’s own Two Louder Music,The EssenEss Project will take you on a journey through many highly varied, mood driven, and action packed songs. Through their brand of instrumental progressive rock, they aim to bring melody, musical diversity, groove, and shred, back to instrumental music.

World-wide CD release: November 5th, 2007, available exclusively through Two Louder Music

World-wide download release: November 5th, 2007,via iTunes and all major digital retailers, through Two Louder Music



to write a review

John T

The Essenessproject
Awesome cd. Finally good to hear Steve and the rest of his band performing their original talent!

Chris L.

The EssenEss Project
This album is more than just the traditional "shred" album.It showcases the talent of some excellent musicians, with styles ranging from pure jazz to all out shredding, and everything in between.The guitar work of Steve Smyth is phenomenal.I highly recommend this album!