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Friday, October 15, 2021

Incoming ! The Shape


The Shape

Formed in 2006 by multi-instrumentalists Brian Almeida and Christopher Carlino, The Shape has been a steady and popular live force in the Connecticut, New England, and East Coast music scenes; having toured & played over 600+ shows, recorded 6 albums and an EP in the band's 15-year existence.

Blending their mutual love of horror, human psychology, and philosophy with their passion for a wide variety of metal and dark rock influences, The Shape brings a unique and ever-evolving take on heavy music. Fusing thrash, melodic, death, and extreme metal with gritty hard rock, punk, gothic and atmospheric splashes, the band weaves a pastiche of unique authenticity to their sound; bucking repetition with each release.

Their debut album, "The Last Great Awakening" in 2009, garnered a small but faithful underground fanbase and critical goodwill with its combination of spacey stoner metal and alternative sounds.

Sophomore follow-up, "The Impurity (...Of Gods, Monsters, Heroes, and Villains)" took them into unchartered waters, blending technical melodic death metal with a deep emphasis on progressive elements. Despite the less commercial prospects of "The Impurity", the band relentlessly hit the road in support; playing over 300 shows between 2009 - 2013.

2014's "Masque of the Red Death" saw a major boost in popularity for The Shape, earning several independent awards for Metal and Rock Album of the Year in New England and "Hardest Working Band in CT". Released on Halloween night 2014 as direct support to The Misfits and Jasta, "Masque" became the band's staple record, with the band selling over 5,000 physical copies independently, launched by the single and video for "Burn Before Reading".

The Shape's breakthrough came with 2017's effort, "The World Away", landing at #1 on the Billboard Northeast album charts, #24 on the Hard Rock album chart, and #192 on the Billboard 200. Supported by steady radio play and tours, the album spawned the charting mainstream rock singles "The World Away" and "Where The Sun Sleeps", as well as heavy rotation in metal and college radio for fellow singles "The Devil In Your Eyes" and "Decimation".

2020 was a tumultuous year for all, with the band taking a live performance hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic. During this time, and after a brief time period away from the band, Chris Carlino returned, creating two brand new efforts to be released in 2021 and 2022 respectively, that showcase the heaviest, darkest sides of The Shape's sound and message, and also their most pensive and versatile. With "The Age of Doom and Fear", the band needed to look no further than the real-life terrors of the world of 2020 and the beyond.

"The Age of Doom and Fear" is an emphatic musical analysis and statement of life as it is currently and the paths of horror and hope that may follow our choices. The Shape looks forward to mesmerizing live audiences again in 2021 with a brand new selection of sound and vision.

Brian Almeida

Brian Almeida is the co-founding songwriter, vocalist, and guitarist of The Shape. He is also a podcaster, screenwriter, oddities and occult enthusiast, horror aficionado, and pro wrestling and mixed martial arts enthusiast, and enjoys a good cigar and better whiskey.

Hailing from New Haven County, CT, Brian has been immersed in art and music his whole life. Son to life-long CT/NY radio DJ Gary Peters, and brother of NY independent theater and film actress, writer/director, Jes Almeida, Brian was playing drums and guitar by age 6 and working on horror films and writing music since his teenage years. Along the way, acquiring and lending bass, piano, keyboard, strings, percussion, banjo, and mandolin to his repertoire and The Shape recordings.

Inspired by a wide range of artists from Iron Maiden, Guns N' Roses, Metallica, Rush, and Megadeth to Pink Floyd, Radiohead, The Pixies, The Cure, and Prince, he began writing songs and honing his craft as a songwriter. A love for extreme and technical heavy metal, gritty hard rock, punk, and classic and extreme horror cultivated a long-lasting partnership with co-founder Chris Carlino in the early 2000s, leading to the formation of what would eventually become The Shape in 2006.

Brian has been the constant in The Shape since day one and has taken the show on the road opening and supporting his idols and in the studio non-stop since. 15 years, 600 shows, an EP, and 4 albums later (with two more on the way), The Shape is ready to return reinvigorated from their Pandemic hiatus, refreshed and renewed.

Brian Almeida exclusively uses Shure Microphones, Jackson Guitars, Diezel Amplification, Ernie Ball strings, Dunlop picks, and EMG pickups.

Chris Carlino

After a brief live hiatus, Chris Carlino, co-founding member, has returned to The Shape. Hailing from Stratford, CT, Chris is a co-author of the majority of the songs in the band’s catalog and plays rhythm & lead guitar, while also providing alternate vocals.

Growing up listening to blues music formed his earliest inspiration for his love of guitar. Since starting the band in 2006, Chris has shared the stage with bands such as Shadows Fall, The Misfits, Flotsam and Jetsam, Enslaved, Dark Funeral, and countless others.

Heavily influenced by melodic death metal, and the fusion of blues and metal guitar, Chris exclusively plays Strandberg Guitars, Dunlap Jazz III Pitch Black picks, NYXL strings, Basiner Acme Vital Grip straps, and Diezel Amplification.

When his hands are not on a guitar, Chris is also a licensed mental health counselor, avid world traveler, and homebrewer of fine libations, and is very much looking forward to taking the show back on the road!

Jesse Neafsay

A monster of the low end, Jesse Neafsay has been playing bass for over 17 years. He exclusively uses Fender basses, Acoustic bass amps, DR strings, Darkglass, and boss pedals.

He was drawn to the bass after hearing Paul McCartney play on the Back in the US live album, Abbey Road and Sgt Peppers.

It wasn't until high school when he discovered his love for metal and progressive music; specifically influenced by Megadeth, Rush, Jethro Tull, Dream Theater, Annihilator, and High on Fire. More extreme genres such as deathcore and melodic death metal soon followed. All of these influences have given Jesse an appreciation for many styles of music to become an incredibly dynamic player.

Currently a member of CT death metal band Mortifica, Jesse has performed over the last decade in several eclectic projects such as Kings of Nothing (progressive blues/hard rock), Shadow Kingdom (traditional/thrash metal), and Soul Conversion (death metal). A longtime admirer, Jesse joined The Shape in 2020, bringing the perfect dynamic combo of aggression, groove, and articulate melody to the band.

Jason Northrop

Having studied under the tutelage of Alice Cooper's Glen Sobel, Jay has vast live experience across the United States supporting Lynch Mob, Kamelot, Epica, Moonspell, Dragonforce, Between The Buried and Me, Amorphis, The X's, Strapping Young Lad, Joey Belladona of Anthrax, Slunt, Enuff Z' Nuff, Living Colour, Kofi Baker, Flotsam and Jetsam, and Angel Vivaldi among countless others.

With a wide palette of influences across the musical spectrum, Jay has two decades worth of experience playing blues, jazz, pop, alternative, rock, world, progressive music, and all forms of traditional and extreme metal through his past live and studio projects all over the United States across his two decades of active playing. These projects include The Storm Front, Mandragora, Metadox, Tyrant, Kross, Old Boreas, The Autumn, Margene Without Borders, Very Heavy Rainbow, Circadian Rhythm, Chalice, Hounds of Justice, Sinaro, Khasm, Wild America, and Murray The Wheel as a live/session player and full-time member. Jay has extensive recorded projects under his belt, having worked with the likes of Mike Viscera of Loudness, Obsession, and Animetal, and Nick Bellmore of Dee Snider, Jasta, Toxic Holocaust, Kingdom of Sorrow, Kings and Liars.

When not recording or playing shows, Jay builds all things stages for live events, is a staunch 4/20 advocate, and an avid bone and skull collector, both human and animal. A long-time friend and fan of the band, Jason Northrop is the perfect fit for the macabre sound and style of The Shape.

Alicia Marinelli

Alicia Marinelli is an accomplished multi-instrumentalist from Providence, RI. Growing up, Alicia was greatly influenced by her grandmother's musical talents as a pianist and accordion player. By age 6, Alicia was already singing and playing piano in hopes to write and perform music on stage. At age 12, she began to play the guitar and never look back; playing at least 5 hours a day before the age of 13 to hone her craft. Inspired by the likes of guitar idols, the late Randy Rhodes (Ozzy Osbourne/Quiet Riot), Oli Herbert (All That Remains), and Dimebag Darrell, Alicia crafted her own unique style of heavy melodic playing, blending a wide variety of musical styles.

By 2011, Alicia had performed in For Solace, before creating her own band, Shred of Salvation; playing hundreds of shows across the East Coast over the last decade with Shadows Fall, Diecast, Spineshank, Revocation, and even performing on stage with Gary Cherone of Extreme and Van Halen and Barry Goodreau of Boston. Alicia has further expanded her horizons in mid-2020 joining The Shape as guitarist and co-vocalist in their 15th anniversary year in support of their upcoming releases!


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