FIFTH DENSITY: Anything is Possible

Fifth Density

Progressive Metal six-piece from Phoenix, Fifth Density released their sophomore album ‘Dominion of the Sun‘ in August 2017. With an ambitious concept and excellent craftsmanship, the sextet has succeeded in creating a Prog Metal tour-de-force. Singer Avidan Elijah Wolfgang Camey-Santana spoke for Prog Sphere about tackling a challenging theme for the new album, influences, purpose beyond the music, and more.

Define the mission of Fifth Density.

We want to make pieces that speak to our listeners, invoke an emotion, and are open enough for interpretation. Meanwhile, still conveying a message; if you so choose to hear it. We want to create a style of prog music that can bridge the gap between mainstream and experimental music. The ultimate goal is to unite people through music.

Tell me about the creative process that informed your second album Dominion of the Sun and the themes it captures.

Dominion of the Sun was inspired by the band wanting to do something grandiose and ambitious. We didn’t want to write our second album just because we could. We challenged ourselves to create something bigger than each of us in the hopes that by doing so, the music born out of this mindset would speak to anyone listening, regardless of their respective musical preferences.

Dominion of the Sun is a concept album about a sentient android who learns to break free from his mechanical mind. He then fights along side the human slaves to regain their freedom.

Sentience is a reoccurring plot throughout the story. Often the question is posed: “What is living?” And “Is it free will that makes us more than just machine?

At the core though, the overarching theme for Dominion of the Sun is that no matter the odds or circumstances one might find themselves in,  anything is possible when you believe in yourself and others.

Fifth Density - Dominion of the Sun

How did you document the music while it was being formulated?

We recorded pre-production tracks, and repeatedly wrote,  disected,  rewrote and even scrapped potential songs that we felt didnt carry the tone and essence of what we wanted to convey. Eventually we found our second guitar player who opened up further avenues of musicality that we explored and cemented. We are extremely proud of the final 11 songs that made the final cut.

Is the dynamic flow of the pieces carefully architected?

I’d say 50/50. We put a good amount of thought into the composition of the music, but there isn’t a specific design. We usually jam parts out until the music feels the best. The important thing to us is how the music draws emotion.

We never approach a song with the mentality of,  “this is how this song has to be.” We have always been about feeling out the music and no idea is a bad one,  even when we try it and it doesn’t work there is still the feeling that it was worth a shot. Some of our more outlandish riffs and fills were found this way and it shows our willingness to think outside the box during the writing process, which we strive to achieve. That said,  the concept was always kept in mind and ensured that the music written lent itself well to the apocalyptic but hopeful story that we wanted for Dominion of the Sun.

Describe the approach to recording the album.

We used a pretty standard approach. 95 percent of the music was written before we went into the studio. We saved the last 5 percent for the studio. We tracked the drums first, then the first guitar, bass guitar, second guitar, and then the keyboards. The vocals were recorded in parts through the two month recording process.

Much of the story was mapped out well in advance, but the lyrics weren’t adapted in until the months and weeks leading up to the studio. Certain parts were worked on with our producer (Cory Spotts), but the bulk was written beforehand in a group effort.

How long Dominion of the Sun was in the making?

It took 4 years to complete Dominion of the Sun. But a large part of that was spent in finding our vocalist and second guitar player

We were very patient in our approach and refused to accept the music as anything less than exactly what we wanted. As a result, it was an ardous but ultimately rewarding journey from start to finish. Oh, and Tre was OK I guess.

Which bands or artists influenced your work on the release?

I believe we all have different influence, a few of the common influences are:

Tool
Karnivool
Dream Theater
Rush
Teseract
The Contortionist
Katatonia

I personally draw all of my vocal influence from Kyary Pamyu Pamyu.

What is your view on technology in music?

Technology is a great tool, as long as it’s used as a creative enhancement, and not a replacement for musicians.

Do you see your music as serving a purpose beyond music?

Yes, we hope that our music can unite people. We hope to create music that provokes inner thought. The story and theme of Dominion of the Sun calls for uniting everyone through a common event for the ultimate gain of humanity as a whole. There are many parralels to today’s climate of contention and division,  and we hope to bring intellectual thought provoking music to anyone willing to listen and hopefully, inspire them.

What are your plans for the future?

To continue writing and recording albums, and playing a few shows along the way. To continue to push our own boundaries of creation, to make art that is inspiring, fulfilling and unique. But mostly, to share what we have created with anyone who will listen.

We will continue to support and grow our fan base with concept albums that speak to the themes we find important and inspiring. Continually creating and refining our writing process to allow all of us to expand our musical boundaries is a primary goal for the band. Nothing is off the table for us. We hope to see Dominion of the Sun reach a large audience and become bigger than the ambitious story it tells.

Dominion of the Sun is available as a name-your-price download from Bandcamp. Follow Fifth Density on Facebook and Instagram.

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