A Big Goodbye – Sounds & Silences

A Big Goodbye is a heavy progressive rock band from Georgia that’s been receiving some attention from the prog underground lately. They are one of those bands that catches on to the idea that most prog fans are getting tired of the same ’70s anterograde amnesiac ‘prog’ and tries to fuse something a little newer-sounding into the art rock formula. A band that at times leans to metal, and at others, simply forward thinking alternative rock, ‘Sounds & Silences’ is a very professionally done debut, although the strength of the execution here far outweighs the merits of the band’s actual writing itself.

A trio of musicians, each of the members in A Big Goodbye takes a very distinctive role. Andrew Glisson handles the percussion here, while older brother Matt works with all of the guitars and keyboards. Daniel Mills adds some vocals here to round out the hard-edged rock sound of the band. Although A Big Goodbye is an independent effort and is not yet backed by any label support, ‘Sounds & Silences’ has turned out to be a remarkably professional sounding album, with clarity of sound and a polished performance from all musicians involved. Matt’s work with the guitars manages to pull off both the wistful acoustic guitar passages, or energetic and surprisingly heavy electric guitar parts that pass me as having both the tone of Opeth’s guitars, but also Omar Rodriguez-Lopez of the Mars Volta’s burstfire sensibility. While the ‘heavy’ aspects of A Big Goodbye seem to be mixed a little too highly here, the production is impressive, and lets the band’s music come through very well.

The band’s actual performance is very good as well. Particularly Matt Glisson’s performance here was impressive; the guitar riffs here show a number of different influences from Floyd to Opeth, and the electrics are all played with skill and soul, although the acoustic moments here sounded a little too refined and mechanical for my tastes. Daniel Mills voice sounds sometimes close to the acrobatic ad-libbing of Pain of Salvation vocalist Daniel Gildenlow, although Mills is a little less adventurous when it comes to the showman’s wails. His voice is powerful when the band’s energy is high, although the feeling dissipates somewhat when he uses his voice in the softest moments that A Big Goodbye. As far as the writing goes for this band, I would say that they do have a great sense of melody, but the song structures here felt fatally predictable, having some great ideas to start with, but using them in a fairly unimaginative way. Everything sounds good more or less, but I rarely found myself surprised by what the band was doing.

A Big Goodbye is a band with alot of potential, and their heavy stuff is very promising. True enough, the band’s ‘Sounds’ are better than their ‘Silences’, and although the album has not completely captured me, this is a band with alot going for it.


1. Thinking Out Loud (6:13)
2. Solitude (5:12)
3. The Great Divide (9:34)
4. February Girl (4:03)
5. The Door (4:56)
6. In My Dreams (4:12)
7. Memories (14:11)


* Matt Glisson – guitars, bass, keys, vocals
* Andrew Glisson – drums
* Daniel Mills – vocals



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