Byron Nemeth Group's Digital Nations debut, The Force Within, is their third full length effort and fourth release overall. Recorded at Nemeth's own Pacifica Studios, the album is a tour de force of guitar acrobatics and prog rock sensibilities comparable to the masters of the genre.
Nemeth was bitten by the musical bug at the age of 5 when he first heard The Beatles and was then turned onto the likes of Randy Rhoads, Michael Schenker, Jimmy Page, Steve Vai and Joe Satriani, all of whom influenced his playing, along with Dream Theater, Rush and jazz and classical music. When he was 18 Byron formed his first band, Sacred Heart and played the Cleveland club circuit up to NYC landmarks such as CBGB and The Cat Club. Nemeth began making a name for himself as a guitarist to keep an eye on throughout this time period.
After his commissioned performance as first guitar with Richard Hendrickson’s rock opera “Ozone Hour” in 1997, Byron made the decision to move forward with his solo career. In 1999, he released the four song Ep Byron Nemeth Group. Byron exercised his abilities as a multi-instrumentalist and producer with his next release '2000,' where he played all instruments and produced each track. '2000' was so well received that he was given the opportunity to play on the Japanese release of the tribute album 'Warmth in the Wilderness,' in honor of Jason Becker; Nemeth paid homage to Becker with his rendition of “It’s Showtime."
After the success of '2000', Byron put together a new manifestation of Byron Nemeth Group (BNG) and composed, recorded, and produced '100 Worlds.' The album was mastered by the legendary engineer Nick Webb (Duran Duran, Gary Moore, Roy Wood, etc) at Abbey Road Studios. ""I got in touch with Nick thru a friend of mine that used to work for Yamaha Instruments Europe," Byron relates. "Abbey Road would be one of his clients for studio gear and he had visited Abbey Road many times. When he found out I was looking to Master my CD he immediately introduced me to Nick and the rest, as they say, is history."
The Force Within, once again produced by Nemeth and recorded at Pacifica, was also handed over to Nick Webb at Abbey Road and was one of the last projects Webb did before his retirement. It's also Byron's first album to feature cover art from world renowned artist Hugh Syme (Rush, Def Leppard, Whitesnake, Dream Theater, etc) "I could not imagine when I first saw Hugh Syme's work years ago with early Rush albums that later on he would also be doing art work for me," Nemeth says. "What a great feeling it is to be working with such a master artist that brings out the vibe of the music thru the CD cover. Art that totally represents the band." The opus kicks off with "Satrianimal", which is, exactly as the title suggests, a tribute to Joe Satriani. "Since Satriani has been the master of guitar to many of us guitar players it felt only natural to write an original song with a twist on the song title that tributes his name and music in that flavor," Byron states. The album's title track follows and is an epic 8 minute plus run, incorporating several different genres bridging crunchy riffs with uber melodic soloing all the while focusing on the song and how it fits into the realm of progressive art rock. The Force Within closes with Nemeth's take on The Beatles classic "I Am The Walrus," which ironically, enough, was, of course, recorded at the very same studio The Force Within was mastered - Abbey Road.
Byron talks about the inspiration, both musically and conceptually for The Force Within: "The inspiration for came from the human element that we all have about knowing that you can do anything. It's the inner spiritual being within all of us that allows amazing things to happen. That human element is 'The Force Within.' Hugh Syme captured this concept perfectly with the artwork. The boy with the WWI gas mask represents the perils of humanity, the open fields represent the openness of potentiality, the storms represent changes in life and the rainbow represents the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow that is "The Force Within" element in each of us.
One interesting tidbit about the mastering of the album: "Nick Webb let me play the piano that John Lennon recorded "Lucy In The Sky" on - amazing vibe!!!" Talk about taking your dream full circle ...