Review and Commentary by Joseph Timmons: IndiePulse Music Magazine
COMPOSER STEVE WHEELER LAUNCHES SOLO CAREER IN EPIC FASHION WITH “TERMINAL VELOCITY “ A PERCUSSIVE, SYMPHONIC EP THAT SETS THE STAGE
FOR HIS UPCOMING FULL LENGTH DEBUT.
Listening to Terminal Velocity, one will feel the awe inspiring talent in musical composition and the power behind and infused in every piece, in every movement, the music inspires a cinematic masterpiece in the mind, moving it into inspiration, the music of Steve Wheeler belongs not only on the big screen, but in the hearts of action / adventure lovers everywhere. Think of any recent movies you have seen, and replace it’s music with that which is in Terminal Velocity, and the movie in your mind will be richer, more seductive and more than it was before.
As a prolific music for media composer/producer on staff with renowned music production house Unified Sounds, Steve Wheeler’s eclectic vibes have been a major part of the soundtrack for CBS Sports – including The PGA Tour, NCAA March Madness, NFL and SEC College Football. His projects for Sony include the hit virtual reality game Farpoint.
Always wanting to explore new musical horizons and working with an expansive sonic palette, the Cape Cod bred, Orlando based studio powerhouse takes his passions for rock, jazz, hip-hop, concert band, metal, techno, musical theatre and other genres to the next level with the release of his first solo project. Carving out his own niche in the realm of 21st Century classical/symphonic epic music, Wheeler is releasing the three-track EP Terminal Velocity as a clever introduction to his sweeping, melodic, densely percussive sound in advance of his upcoming full length (approx. 15 tracks) debut The Endless March of Time.
Amazingly in light of the bold, booming and occasionally brassy textures he fashions, the multi-instrumentalist creates his rich sonic landscapes using only a Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S61 MK2 keybed, electric guitars, a 6505 mini-amp and a drum controller. “As far as these compositions go,” Wheeler says, “I’ve been a fan of artists of trailer and film music creators Two Steps from Hell, the epic music group E.S. Posthumous and legendary composer Hans Zimmer and have always enjoyed writing for larger ensembles like orchestra and concert band. I am also influenced by my early love of metal music and greats like Megadeth and Faith No More.”
In only two minutes, the opening track “Terminal Velocity” conveys deep power, energy, strength and tribal intensity via a fiery mix of soaring strings and brass, vocalizations, trippy electronic sounds and dense percussion. Titled after a spell cast in one of his favorite games, Diablo II, “Fist of the Heavens” is another brief piece drawing on all those elements (plus an ominous break in the action and even a glitchy assault) and making full use of multi-track percussion. Wheeler estimates that each track has 10-20 of its 70-80 individual tracks dedicated to percussion. At over five minutes, “The Endless March of Time” – the title track to the upcoming album – takes its time building its dramatic musical narrative, from a lighthearted melodic flow to darker, more haunting and cacophonous textures. The piece taps into a universal theme about the innate struggles people have in working against time, whether it’s a musician trying to beat deadlines or someone battling a fatal disease whose days are numbered.
“The pieces on Terminal Velocity stand alone from the other work I do for media,” he adds. “I have always composed pieces on my own, but I feel like I finally have the tools and knowledge to actually say something that might be worth hearing apart from the sports and video game worlds. I feel like with these tracks, there are no restrictions in terms of what I can do with them, and in that sense, it’s very creatively freeing. They’re about pushing boundaries and enjoying the opportunity to stray from my usual compositional comfort zone.”
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