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Friday, February 2, 2024

Jack's Back? Metro Society release Ripper concept album


Band: Metro Society
Album Title: The London Conspiracy Chapter I 1898
Release Date - March 1, 2024
Label: Metro Society Records
Distribution: Distrokid

Track Listing:
1. London 1898 - 2:59
2. City Streets - 7:34
3. Lost Souls - 6:29
4. Pieces of the Past - 9:25
5. Society - 6:37
6. Underground - 5:33
7. Inferno - 7:23
Album Length: 46:02

Album Credits:
Album Recording Credits: Chris Mangold, Ian Ringler, Will Mangold, George Margaritopoulos
All songs written by: Chris Mangold, Ian Ringler, Will Mangold
Produced by: Chris Mangold, Ian Ringler, Will Mangold
Mixed and mastered by: Rob Murray and Kyle from Wilderfox Studio, Vermont
Album artwork by: Harley Velasquez at Infinity NucleartStudio

Album Band Line Up:
Chris Mangold – Guitars / Keys
Ian Ringler – Bass
Will Mangold – Drums
George Margaritopoulos – Vocalist


About The Album Artwork:

Late 19th century Victorian London.  A mix of intrigue, mystery, Old London cityscapes, conveying the investigative story of a Detective in 1898 London.

About the album as a whole (LYRICALLY & MUSICALLY):
This album is based on a conceptual story written by Chris Mangold and Ian Ringler. The music and lyrics are formed around the dynamics of the storyline. The main theme running through the album and lyrics is the following:  There is a very thin line that separates the thirst for knowledge and the addiction of obsession.

Story setting:

Set in the city of London during the year 1898, a new century approaches as the Victorian age draws to an end. It has been ten years since the horrific murders of Jack the Ripper gripped the city in fear. The darkness of those gruesome events still casts a grim shadow over the city and its citizens.  An up-and-coming detective is thrown into a murder mystery involving the suspicious death of his former mentor the now-retired Metropolitan Police Commissioner. The Detective has vowed to solve this case and begins to discover far more than he ever imagined. Clues and raised suspicions all lead to a twisted tale of betrayal, secret societies, and murder all seemingly linking back to the Ripper. Will the Detective uncover the long-hidden secrets of London’s sorted past or will he become a victim of his own unrelenting obsession?


1. London 1898 (Instrumental)
- This song is a shorter instrumental track that is meant to place the listener into the setting of the story which is the city of London in the year 1898.

2. City Streets
- This song is the first song on the album with lyrics. This is a Prog rocker with driving guitars and catchy melodic vocals.

3. Lost Souls
- This song features heavy crunchy guitar riffs with heavy-hitting drums. The song transitions from the heavy into sober moments then back.
4. Pieces of the Past
- This is the epic of the album. This song ranges from up-tempo heavy hitting to Progressively synced parts and incredible lead vocals and vocal harmonies.

5. Society (Instrumental)
- This is the 2nd instrumental song on the album. This is a heavy heavy-hitting Prog Metal song with many guitar riffs and intricate drum and bass work, this also features an extended guitar solo from guitarist Chris Mangold.

6. Underground
- This song takes on perhaps the most unique sounds recorded for the album. The tone of the instruments and lyrics are very much reflective of the underground tunnel-like setting of the storyline. Lots of layered dark keyboard work from Chris Mangold and the chime/crunch tones from bassist Ian Ringler’s 12 String Bass work.

7. Inferno
- This is the heavy hitter's final song on the album. Lots of heavy guitar and drum work on this song along with heavy melodic vocals.

Fun Facts - Story Angles:

1. Chris Mangold initially recorded guitars to click tracks to get the vibe down for the feel and flow of the tracks for London.  This did cover a longer span of time than normal; 2019 until 2023.  We came up with 115+ minutes of music, so we are going to carve that up and do 2 releases for the London album in 2 chapters.  When we were tracking the main elements for Chapter I, Chris would share this to see what the guys thought.  If I got riffs and verses stuck in my head, I knew those were it.  All the music was inspired by the London story.  Would constantly envision the story in the feel of the songs.  Some themes were captured on acoustic initially and then transcribed over to electric guitar.  With the exception of tracks Society and Underground, most of the songs were guitar-driven.  Recording did take longer; band members were across multiple states, and George was overseas.  All music was tracked and recorded through ProTools pulling in tracks and sessions over online share drives.  Needed to pull them down.  Guitars and Keys were recorded in Missouri, Drums recorded in Montana, Bass in Colorado, and George's vocals from his studio in Europe.  Brought that all together in ProTools later to be mixed/mastered online. A true product of the digital age.

2. One special track is Underground.  If you know Metro Society, the underlying theme is based on the Metro train systems of the world, influencing story and emotion into the music.  Paris album was based in 1996 around the Metro system, while London is based in 1898 and shrouded in mystery encapsulating the origin of the London subway system post Jack the Ripper murders.  The underground track was based on a keyboard idea Ian Ringler came up with.  Chris Mangold took that idea and wove that very small idea into a dark flowing track.  It’s a song of transition, unknown, and the pathway for the Detective to venture to the next place and phase of his investigation.  It’s amazing when a small sequence of sound unfolds into various parts, connected to form a whole, layered into a complete song.  The sound of the track was inspired by some of Queensryche's darker tracks from Rage for Order and from the track Pulse by the band Wolverine.

3. Bit of a story and concept around the track Society, from the London album.  An idea that we had was to have an instrumental track on each album.  The track, Metro, was on A Journey in Paris emphasizing the sounds and darkness of the Paris metro.  For London, we came up with the idea of Society.  When you listen to them back to back, you’ll notice some riffing carried over.  Chris Mangold was inspired by the motion and sound of the Metro subway cruising down the tracks.  Gives it that driving fast-moving riffs to give the listener that feeling we were after.  We will see what the future holds, but we have done a storyboard idea for a future album based on New York and was potentially having an epic instrumental track called, Metro Society.

4. What has been amazing is the collaboration between Ian and Chris when it comes to various song structures and ideas.  Chris has a tendency to come up with endless riffs where we usually have more than needed, and Ian has an uncanny way of reducing or expanding sections to give them better flow.  We bounce off of each other, talking about song structure and how it applies to the story.  We keep things free-flowing for the most part, but because we are not 100% married to some of the parts, we can rearrange when needed.  Creating a story, sprawling concept album helps with creating songs.  The songwriter needs to have an idea in mind beyond coming up with a melody or a jam section.  The story and concept drive the making of the song and truly inspire the emotion we are shooting for.  Yes, we are truly engrained and focused on more complex progressive appealing tracks, but having enough structure that still keeps the element of a song.

5. Something we were striving for on the London album was the feel.  When someone thinks of British music, we incorporate that rock and the swagger.  That driving, flowing, and pumping feeling.  What Chris Mangold took into account when coming up with the main riffs of City Streets, Lost Souls.  England has come out with endless music gems and when you pluck out that driving feeling from Billy Idol, Porcupine Tree, The Beatles, Def Leopard, Threshold, and Rolling Stones you get a plethora of ideas to work with.  Chris Mangold, inspired by the Deadwing album by Porcupine Tree, truly inspired the track City Streets.  Listen carefully and you’ll get it.  Check out, Pieces of the Past, and there are sections in there inspired by bands The Who and Boston (okay, not British but damn good) and many other great bands.  Inspiration comes from the story, the bands we know and love, and what album you’re working to achieve.  Mold these varying styles into a genre such as progressive metal and you end up with quite the song you were hoping for.  Trust the process!


About The Band

Metro Society is a progressive rock/metal project group from the mind of guitarist/songwriter Chris Mangold. Mangold teamed up with bassist Ian Ringler to collaborate on writing the music for a new project. During the writing sessions, an idea surfaced to combine the songs with a conceptual storyline based on the Paris Metro system. After the recording of the guitars, bass, and keys, the group took on new life when other musicians were invited to record the remaining parts. Vocalist Corey Brown (Magnitude 9, Balance of Power, Section 16) was asked to perform the vocals for the entire album and delivered a world-class performance. The project turned into a family effort as both Doug Brown, Corey's nephew, and Will Mangold, Chris' father, stepped in to record the drums tracks. Final recording, production, and mixing took place at Royal Recordings Studio with the assistance.

band comments "We feel that fans who have been following the band over the years are in for a treat. The production and songwriting have taken a big step forward in overall quality and there is a dark storyline involved that we think listeners are going to want to know “What happens next?” after each song. Each member of the band has moments throughout the songs that are rooted in the Progressive Rock / Metal style and really showcase what the band is capable of on their respective instruments/talents. Guitarist Chris Mangold has some amazing lead guitar work in the songs “City Streets” and “Society” for example. Vocalist George Margaritopoulos gives an impressive vocal performance throughout the album that showcases his dynamic range of vocal styles. The rhythm section consisting of drummer Will Mangold and bassist Ian Ringler provides a thunderous and intricate backdrop that drives each song forward while not skipping out on complex technical nuances.

We are going for the full album front-to-back listening experience with this album. This is a story-based album that we are hoping listeners will dive into the full album experience. The songs are really meant to be listened to together as a whole, however, we also feel that any of the individual songs could be listened to on their own and still tell their own story. Hopefully, after listeners hear one or two songs they’ll want to jump into the full album to hear the rest." - Metro Society

Band: Metro Society
Album Title: The London Conspiracy Chapter I 1898
Release Date - March 1, 2024
Label: Metro Society Records
Distribution: Distrokid | | | Spotify | Apple Music

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