Andeavour - Once Upon A Time,
The roots of Andeavour cane be traced back into the 80’s when guitarst Steve Matusik was in a metal band called Damien Steele, a local covers band from Erie Pennsylvania. Steve was writing original material, but keeping it to one side. In 1993 he played this material to bassist Doug Peck, who had also been in Damien Steele. He liked what he heard and put words to Steve’s music and also took on the role of singer. Needing a drummer he thought of Steve Starvaggi who he had played with in Loudhouse, and Andeavour were born. Chris Rodler (Drama, Leger De Main, RH Factor) had been watching these guys were doing and realised that they were struggling in the live environment with Doug trying to sing, play bass and keyboards all at the same time so he offered his services as keyboard player, and also had his own recording facilities and label.
In 1999 the band released their debut CD ‘Once Upon A Time’ to great acclaim – fuelled by a strong performance at Powermad ’99. It was the second best selling album in PMMs catalogue and in 2008 talk of the 10th anniversary led to the album being remixed and remastered. The result is a very clean album that shows a band very much in the prog metal mold, probably more Fates Warning than Dream Theater, more hard rock Rush than metal Threshold. To be honest, the band they remind me most of in many ways is Winter, but as they only released one mini-album on SI Music (if you ever see it grab it – just awesome) I doubt that they could have been a major influence. This is an incredibly enjoyable album, one that takes the best of all of the above mentioned bands and bringing it together in an extremely melodic whole. Chris takes more of a back seat than I have normally heard from his work, here he is acting to bringing it all together as opposed to acting as a major soloist in his own right, and the feeling overall is that this is very much a band playing songs as opposed to just a vehicle for a group of musicians to show how clever they all are.
The one small niggle that stops me from acclaiming this as essential is that I am not 100% convinced of the vocals – I get the impression that Doug is on the very limit of his ability, and sometimes the strength and pitch isn’t quite there, but for the vast majority of the time he is bang on. But, when he keeps within his own boundaries this really is a joy to listen to.