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Mad John the Wise | Voyager

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Metal/Punk: Sludge Metal Rock: Progressive Rock Moods: Mood: Angry
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by Mad John the Wise

Chop some metal riffage, throw some punk rock vocals in the pot and add a big stoner groove with a proggy twist. Bring to boil with a pinch of folk and you can get a taste of this band.
Genre: Metal/Punk: Sludge Metal
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. The Only Chance
4:40 $0.99
2. Knee Scratch
5:35 $0.99
3. Whisper's Load
6:11 $0.99
4. The Karman Line
7:15 $0.99
5. Call of the Wild
2:49 $0.99
6. Banishment
6:47 $0.99
7. Monolith
10:19 $0.99
8. The Way of Grace
10:54 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Mad John the Wise - Voyager

Our first album consists of 8 songs that describe the emotional sequence of a lonely traveler. Voyager symbolizes the journey to maturity and evolution, passion for exploration of the unknown and adventure. We chose these songs, or they chose us, in such a way that they fit in meaning, in a tracklist that gets increasingly heavier and invokes darker emotions. In a nutshell, the disc gets harder as it progresses, just like the issue it deals with. It is not a concept album in the classical sense, but it was made in order to make clear sense in its entirety. We have experimented a lot with the orchestration and we tried to match musical themes originally perceived incompatible. Besides, this is the purpose of Mad John the Wise.
We recorded “Voyager” at Made In Hell studio in Athens from May 18th to June 3th 2016 and our good friend David Prudent took over the production.

The Only Chance
We chose this song to open the curtain as it has the introversion that one feels when starting a lonely journey. We like the tranquility that the instruments bring to its intro and which refers to more gentle music styles. It is, of course, misleading as after 1 minute the tension rises sharply and to contribute to this contrast we recorded acoustic guitars, backing vocals and harmonies influenced by Bad Religion. The song escalates and finally breaks out with a monologue inspired in part by Dave Grohl's work on Monkey Wrench. The Only Chance is the most pop rock moment of the album. And the only one.

Knee Scratch
"Everything is a game and it should be. A game in which you run faster than you can, just because it's funny until you trip and scratch your knee to make a beautiful memory. It does not matter the scratch, that’s not happiness. But it is the imprint of its end, a fragile cycle that you do not know when it started or when it was over, until scratch occurred." This song is a hymn to truancy! Truancy symbolizing the passion for adventure and the unknown, the sense of limited freedom, the sweetness of postponement that sometimes is enough to wake up creativity and satisfy our repressed thoughts. Knee Scratch's lyrics are influenced by Stephen King's books "The Body" and "It", as well as our own scratched knees. It is the most punk moment of the album and a tribute to The Who.

Whisper's Load
The title of this song is inspired by a painting made by a friend. The idea for the gang vocals in the last chorus came about in the studio and they were done on the spot. It was the first song we recorded and it’s groove made us feel comfortable with the studio and David. The lyrics and the idea behind the song relate to that whisper that we all have inside of us and that guides us. It is also about the sense of fear for the unknown as the unorthodox sign of life that we are walking in the right direction.

The Karman Line
Many times we jam without having the limitation of a pre-determined theme in our minds. Sometimes beautiful ideas arise from such experiments. The Karman Line is a whole song that came out this way and the last part of it was written on a beach, at midnight with acoustic guitars, ukelele and vodka. Since it does not feature vocals, we thought it would be missing something without the 5 "voice" of the band and that's why we invited our friend Chris Konstantinidis to "sing" with his violin on the main riff. The Karman Line is the phenomenon appearing at the top of the atmosphere whenever the Sun rises and its first rays illuminate the outline of the Earth (which is not flat!).

Call of the Wild
Since the beginning of Voyager's journey, we have gone through so many places and have seen what is out there. So do we eventually come back? Call of the Wild is about the dilemma between what is calling you and what you have to leave behind. We wanted Eleni Papalitsa's vocals to give an ethereal sense to something so heavy and soul crushing.

In this song, Voyager faces the price of freedom he chose. He is on the verge of giving up and we wanted to describe his inner struggle, as well as his confrontation with the society he left behind, in a violent and primitive way. He is in despair, feeling exiled but without signs of repentance. Here our stoner metal influences become clear as well as the years we spent listening to the riffs of Matt Pike. The closing part, however, is sprinkled with a little bit of magic influenced by the band V.I.C..

From artists to scientists, every great discovery is the outcome of hard work, devotion and knowledge. But there is a moment of pure inspiration that acts as a trigger when the pieces of the puzzle are mysteriously united and the answer reaches the souls of people through the Universe. Like the Monolith from Stanley Kubrick's A Space Odyssey this song is dedicated to these moments. It's the heaviest song on the album and we wanted to make it nightmarish as it refers to something inexplicable. The lyrics are written as a spell by a Shaman who describes what he sees and what he calls upon and ends up in an electric storm.

The Way of Grace
The title of this track comes from Terrence Malick's movie The Tree of Life. This song talks about the battle of life, how it is to fall and rise on the basis of your values, your ideals and the passion for redemption. The Voyage is coming to an end and that's why we wanted to set up a feast. We invited violins, acoustic guitars, tambourines and all the appropriate bells and whistles to celebrate Voyager and show him that he did not suffer in vein. After all, he managed to survive, and even if he did not succeed to reach his destination, it is important that he dared and that through his journey he matured. Perhaps it is worth mentioning that the ideas for this song have been with us for years but we managed to finish it just 3 days before we entered the studio, while the lyrics were written a few hours before the recording. The main musical theme is influenced by the summer in Ikaria (a Greek Island) and the last part is our attempt to write music like a soundtrack. Definitely our most folk moment, such as to properly close the album we made.

All music composed, arranged and performed by Mad John the Wise.
All lyrics by Dimos Ioannou except on “The Way of Grace” by Dimos Ioannou/Dimitris

Mad John the Wise
Dimos Ioannou ● Guitars & Vocals
Orestes Katsaros ● Bass
Dimitris Ntolkas ● Guitars
Spiros Stefanis ● Drums & Percussion

Recorded, mixed and mastered by David Prudent at Made in Hell studio in Athens, Greece during the months of May 2016 to May 2017.
Lead vocals on “Call of the Wild” by Eleni Papalitsa
Additional backing vocals on “The Only Chance” and “Knee Scratch” by Eleni Papalitsa
Gang vocals on “Whisper’s Load” by The Insiders Vocal Band
Violin on “The Karman Line” and “The Way of Grace” by Christos Konstantinidis
Art direction, artwork and design by Dominic Sohor
Mad John the Wise logo (font) by Vagelis Prountzos
Management by Panagiotis “Mapas” Christoforidis
We would like to thank: David Prudent for his patience and guidance, Panagiotis
“Mapas” Christoforidis for his tremendous support, Eleni Papalitsa and Christos
Konstantinidis for lending us their talents, George and Steve Skalidakis, Faidon
Passias, Vodka Juniors and all of our fans, families and friends who helped,
supported and inspired us in any way during the making of this album.



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