Check it out here:

JANUARY 14TH, 2009:

Guitarist Steve Smyth Forbidden/The EssenEss Project (ex-Nevermore/Testament/Dragonlord/Vicious Rumors) has been confirmed to perform and appear at the following booths at this year’s Winter NAMM show.

Randall Amps: Friday, January 16th at 2pm (performing/meet and greet, Booth 5244B)

BC Rich Guitars: Friday, January 16th at 3pm (meet and greet, Booth 4884)

Randall Amps: Saturday, January 17th at 2pm (performing/meet and greet, Booth 5244B)

BC Rich Guitars: Saturday, January 17th at 3pm (meet and greet, Booth 4884)

Smyth will be performing a brief compilation of his solos from the 2005 Nevermore disc he was part of, This Godless Endeavor. Then, alongside bandmate Steve Hoffman, the two will be performing songs from their debut instrumental album, The EssenEss Project, with Smyth demonstrating Randall’s MTS Series head and cabinets.

Says Smyth, “I am pleased to be making a return trip to this year’s Winter NAMM 2009! Steve Hoffman, the other “Ess”, and I will be performing material from The EssenEss Project debut at this year’s NAMM. We’ll be performing at the NAMM Randall Amplifier booth on Friday, and one more time on Saturday with. I am very pleased to announce in my search for great tone, I have arrived at the door of Randall amps, and could not be happier with the MTS series head. A very versatile amp, and great heavy tones, this amp has it all, and does it all! I’ll also be over at the BC Rich booth, checking out the new BC’s coming out this year, and discussing a very killer surprise coming to you in 2009. Looking forward to the show!”


Saturday, September 20th 2008 3pm:
Digitech Digitruck Skip's Music
2740 Auburn Blvd
Sacramento, CA

Saturday, September 27th 2008 8pm:
Direct support to Uli Jon Roth
Last Day Saloon
120 Fifth St. @ Davis St.
Santa Rosa, CA 95401

JULY 1ST, 2008:

This July, guitar masters Steve Smyth (Nevermore, Testament), Doug Doppler (Guitar Hero), and L.A. fretmaster Adrian Galysh are bringing Shredstock to venues across California. Six guitar filled nights featuring a 45 minute set from each artist are guaranteed to satisfy the guitar fanatic in you. And if you've got the goods, you could open up the show if you're a winner in the the Shredstock Viral Video Contest!

About Shredstock: Shredstock's roots lie in guitar legend Uli Jon Roth's Sky Academy Concert series, where Steve, Doug, and Adrian were invited to join the founding father of both the Scorpions and Neo-Classical Rock on stage. From there they joined forces and created Shredstock. According to Doppler, "The impact of Guitar Hero has been nothing short of amazing in terms of inspiring multiple generations of guitar players. There are so many players at home chomping at the bit to jump up on a real stage with a live audience. Steve, Adrian and I decided it was a great time to hit the road to promote our discs and to give guitar fans a different kind of guitar tour – one that they could actually be a part of."

About the Shredstock Viral Video Contest: Three winners for each city on the tour will have a chance to open the show with a solo or song of their choice. Contestants simply need to visit, upload a of video of themselves playing, send a link to friends and family, and he or she with the most plays wins!

Shredstock Tour Dates:
Monday 7.21.08: The Axe Shop, Los Angeles, CA (clinic show)
Tuesday 7.22.08: The Baked Potato, Los Angeles, CA
Wednesday 7.23.08: Fishlips, Bakersfield, CA
Thurdsay 7.24.08: The Last Day Saloon, Santa Rosa, CA
Friday 7.25.08: Ireland's 32, San Francisco, CA
Saturday 7.26: Hertlein Guitars, Dublin CA (clinic/show)

JUNE 30TH, 2008:

Interview with Steve Smyth in Imhotep, Norway

Interview with Steve Smyth in Roadie Crew Magazine, Brazil

Interview with Steve Smyth in Skylight Webzine, Greece

Band profile on The Prog

The album can now be bought from Guitar Nine Records

JUNE 25TH, 2008:

FEBRUARY 13TH, 2008:

The album can now be bought directly from iTunes, Audio Lunchbox, mTraks, Rhapsody and Ruckus. Please check out the merch-section for info on where to buy download versions of the album.


Maximum Threshold Independent Radio

Zero Tolerance-interview

JANUARY 11TH, 2008:

Guitarist Steve Smyth (The EssenEss Project/ex-Nevermore/Testament/Dragonlord/Vicious Rumors) has been confirmed to perform and appear at the following booths at this year's Winter NAMM show.

BC Rich Guitars: Friday, January 18th at 12pm (meet and greet, Booth 4884)

Krank Amps: Friday, January 18th at 2pm (performing/meet and greet, Booth1684 Hall E downstairs)

SIT Strings: Friday, January 18th at 3pm (performing/meet and greet, Booth 5976, Hall B)

Digitech Effects: Friday, January 18th at 4pm (performing, Booth 205A, upstairs)

BC Rich Guitars: Saturday, January 19th at 2pm (meet and greet, Booth 4884)

Digitech Effects: Saturday, January 19th at 4pm (performing/meet and greet, Booth 205A, upstairs)

Smyth, alongside bandmate Steve Hoffman, will be performing songs from their debut instrumental album, The EssenEss Project, with Smyth demonstrating Digitech's GSP 1101 Preamp Processor, as well as Krank's Krankenstein Head and cabs.

Says Smyth, "I am pleased to be making a return trip to this year's Winter NAMM 2008. Steve Hoffman, the other "Ess", and I will be performing material from The EssenEss Project debut at this year's NAMM. We'll be performing at the SIT Strings, Digitech, and Krank booths on Friday, and one more time on Saturday with Digitech. Digitech has asked me to demonstrate the GSP 1101 preamp processor. It's an awesome and very versatile piece of gear, and I look forward to demonstrating what the GSP 1101 can do. The Krankenstein is still the best, sickest sounding amp I have ever played, and I look forward to shredding it up over at their booth this year as well. I'll also be over at the BC Rich booth, checking out the new BC's coming out this year. Looking forward to it!"


The man behind this exciting new album project,guitarist Steve Smyth (Nevermore, Dragonlord, Testament, Vicious Rumors) is no newcomer in the metal music or shred guitar world, first being tipped for the top in Shrapnel Records president Mike Varney’s “Hometown Heroes” column in the October 1993 issue of Guitar World magazine.

A four year tenure as lead/rhythm guitarist with Bay Area power metallers Vicious Rumors started in 1995. During this time, Smyth contributed to two well received albums; 1996’s Something Burning, and 1998’s Cyberchrist (both released by Massacre Records), and toured extensively in the USA and Europe in support of both albums.

Then in 1999, Smyth began a four and a half year touring stint with Bay Area thrash metal legends Testament, touring the world in support of The Gathering album and then the First Strike Still Deadly album, playing to nearly 500,000 satisfied fans.

During this time Steve also helped form the lineup of Testament guitarist/founder Eric Peterson’s black metal side project, Dragonlord. Two successful albums followed over the next four years: Rapture (Spitfire Records, 2001) and Black Wings of Destiny (Escapi Music, 2005).

Smyth spent late 2003 touring the world with Nevermore, the well respected underground progressive metal band, in support of their album Enemies of Reality. In 2004, Smyth was invited to become part of the band’s permanent line-up, leading to the critically acclaimed album, This Godless Endeavor (Century Media, 2005), the band’s sixth full length, which featured several songs penned by Steve. A world tour followed, which saw the band play the first Gigantour, the brainchild of Megadeth mainman Dave Mustaine, and a headlining tour of Europe, as well as countless support tours.

Fate intervened when in 2006 Smyth was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease. He completed Nevermore’s 2006 US tour with Arch Enemy and Chimaira, but as kidney failure neared, Smyth found himself unable to play the U.S. support tour with In Flames, as he began treatment for his illness. During this time of treatment and subsequent recovery, as Smyth states, he found “the time, inspiration, and fire, to finish this album to the absolute best of my ability, and finally enter the realm of instrumental music, something I had wanted to do for a long time.”

“This is certainly a different path I find myself going down, more in the area of progressive rock territory,” Smyth continued. The twelve songs (all produced and engineered by Smyth) are a collaboration between Smyth and his old friend and former bandmate, Steve Hoffman, a well respected classical and jazz musician, bass teacher and instructional author in Northern California. Smyth: “For this debut, Steve [Hoffman] and I went for more of a “soundscape” type atmosphere, rather than focus purely on the shred factor. We wanted to focus on the song, not merely use this as a vehicle for shredding over.” They also knew they wanted the best when it came to a percussionist.

Enter drummer extraordinaire Atma Anur. Best known in the “shred guitar” circles as the man who drummed on countless legendary Shrapnel Records releases, Atma appears as special guest drummer on The EssenEss Project debut. Cacophony (Speed Metal Symphony), Jason Becker (Perpetual Burn), Greg Howe (debut), Ritchie Kotzen and Tony MacAlpine are just a few of the many influential and cutting edge guitarists and musicians Atma has worked with in the past.

“We were absolutely excited when we confirmed Atma to drum on this album,” says Smyth, adding, “Steve Hoffman and I both grew up listening to Atma, and his absolutely insane progressive and innovative style. We had always hoped we might get the opportunity to work with him one day, and now it’s happened.”

Recording largely on their own, Steve Smyth and Steve Hoffman, or “Ess en Ess”, take you on a 70+ minute journey through sonic landscapes that range from wildly progressive metal riffing, to experimental rock breaks, through to jazz fusion, with a whole host of other musical influences not normally associated with rock/metal, being stirred into the musical melting pot. “We’re both into a lot of different types of music, and wanted to get as much variety into each song, in as tasteful a manner as possible,” says Smyth. One listen to this incredibly ambitious debut, will tell you they’ve hit their mark..

While Steve Smyth assumed the role of engineer, and makes his producing debut with this album, this album has also benefited from the invaluable input of two illustrious individuals on the production side of the music world.

The album was mixed by Kent Matcke (Metallica, Joe Satriani, Sammy Hagar) at his Pro Music Studios, and mastered by the one and only John Cuniberti (Joe Satriani, George Lynch, Michael Manring producer) at the world famous Plant Studios, all complemented by the excellent artwork from artist Asgeir Mickelson/MultiMono (done covers for Borknagar, Vintersorg, Conception etc). These selections were no accident. “We knew we wanted the best for this album, and I think we got some of the best, most experienced ears and eyes in the business in Kent, John and Asgeir!” says Smyth.

Due for release November 5th, 2007 through Steve Smyth’s own Two Louder Music label, The EssenEss Project will take you on a journey through many highly varied, mood driven, and action packed songs. Through their brand of instrumental progressive rock, they aim to bring melody, musical diversity, groove, and shred, back to instrumental music.

World-wide CD release: November 5th, 2007, available exclusively through Two Louder Music

World-wide download release: November 5th, 2007,via iTunes and all major digital retailers.