Reviews

Before and Apace


BEFORE & APACE is a heavy progressive rock project from the creative mind of Saskatoon, Canada’s Devin Martyniuk. The project draws from the same well as Tool, The Mars Volta, and Meshuggah. Over a span of multiple years starting in the mid-2000s, while splitting time as a guitarist/multi-instrumentalist between Western Canada’s goth-punk/metal misfits, The New Jacobin Club, and eclectic folk-rock band, Old Joe and the Truth Hurts, Martyniuk began to craft the songs that would ultimately comprise the debut album THE DENISOVAN by BEFORE & APACE.

It was during this time that Devin Martyniuk met drummer Arlan Kopp (also of The Department Heads) as both were percussionists in the University of Saskatchewan’s Wind Orchestra. They bonded instantly over common musical interests and an amicable fondness for Heroes of Might and Magic III. After Devin shared some of his music with Kopp they began composing drum parts together, often beginning by sequencing the intricate parts using Drumkit from Hell (a set of drum samples created by the band Meshuggah).

Bryce Holcomb, one of Martyniuk’s closest friends and musical snob-kin since early adolescence, joined the project shortly thereafter as the vocalist and sometimes-guitarist. Holcomb’s band at the time, Moksha, were just finishing their run and both Martyniuk and Holcomb were excited at the opportunity to collaborate together musically again; they had previously been part of an acoustic guitar trio called Polysorbate-80, but with BEFORE & APACE, they would be able to explore a completely different span of the musical spectrum.

Now with just a bass player needed to round out the band, Jesse Selkirk joined BEFORE & APACE. While Selkirk would ultimately only stay with the project for a short time, he was integral in bringing focus to the final stages of composition. He would also bring in a few riffs that ended up being the first section of the opening track ‘Zeno’. Selkirk eventually stepped away from the project as he would go on to pursue his own creations: The Depth and, more currently, Sleepwreck.

Shortly after Selkirk’s departure, Kaylon Disiewich of Abscission and The Divided would step in and assume the role. In addition to his undeniably monstrous playing, Kaylon most importantly brought a sense of completeness to the band. After making the monumental task of learning the newly-finished and arduous songs, Kaylon added an unmistakable dimension to the band’s sound and would even define some of the most iconic moments (the post-intro drum-and-bass beginning of Simultanagnosia comes to mind).

With the lineup now complete and the songs finished, the band would now share the music in two ways: the stage and the recording. While BEFORE & APACE would go on to play a number of shows, nearly all in the Saskatoon area, their crowning achievement on the stage would be opening for Devin Townsend in Regina, SK. During this same period, the band would begin recording in Martyniuk’s home studio the songs that would comprise the debut album from BEFORE & APACE, THE DENISOVAN.

“The Denisovan” is due out May 11, 2021.

Album Recording Band Line Up:
Permanent/Ongoing Member: Devin Martyniuk (guitar, vocals)
Additional Members for The Denisovan:
Kaylon Disiewich (bass, Taurus pedals)
Bryce Holcomb (vocals, guitar)
Arlan Kopp (drums, percussion)

Live Band Line Up:
Live lineup as well as the lineup for forthcoming recordings is subject to change. Devin Martyniuk is the one ongoing fixture of Before & Apace.

Discography:
2021 – The Denisovan – LP
Shared Stage with:
The Devin Townsend Project, Ninjaspy, Adolyne, Sparky, Titan

Track Listing:

  1. Zeno (11:14)
  2. Limbics (9:43)
  3. Ontogeny (11:16)
  4. Simultanagnosia (19:49)

Album Length: 52:04

Before and Apace – Ontogeny

Before and Apace links:
Band/Artist location – Saskatoon, Saskatchewan Canada
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