West View: Progressive Metalcore From the Midwest USA
Written by Cindy Chittenden
Rooted in Wisconsin, West View is putting a fresh spin on the traditional progressive metal sound by adding creative breakdowns and mixing harsh and clean vocals. Influenced by the bands Color Morale, Northwind and In Hearts Wake, West View is quickly securing their place in the metal scene.
Kevin Giersch on bass, Shane Nerad on drums, Allan Barth on Vocals and Ben Prendergast on guitar, these four friends met in high school, all of which played in various bands together. Additional members came and went and the name of the bands changed. But, in 2015, these four band members stuck it out and decided to take their music in a new direction.
“We started West View as a side project,” Barth explains. “Eventually the band we were in ended up dissolving, so we moved forward with West View because we had complete control over every aspect of the project, and felt we could create something unique. We built our own studio, built the computer and all the programs.”
The first EP, titled Foundations, was self-produced by the band and released in May of 2015. With the second EP, Lapse, the band decided to take a different approach to producing.
“We decided to spend the money to have a professional recording made” Prendergast explains. “This is the first time we have done something like this. The guitarist of Narrow Hearts, Jared Block recommended we meet with producer Jack Schroeder from Random Awesome Studios in Midland Michigan. Already fans of his work, we took the road trip In July of 2016 and recorded the EP. “
The band released Lapse to the public in October 2016, and immediately played local gigs to follow. West View scored the opening act for their friends Narrow Hearts at the Metal Grill in Cudahy, WI.
With emotional lyrics and guttural vocals, it’s clear that Allan Barth expresses his soul and leaves nothing to hide with his performance.
“I am just a sad guy, “Barth says with a laugh and a subtle undertone of seriousness. “I have written since freshmen year of high school and I try to be as personal as I can be. With the latest EP there is an overarching story; each song has a part in that story, even though each one is still based off a personal experience. The EP is a play off of the five stages of grief with the first being the initial experience and how that affects me and the last song focusing on acceptance and how it may not get better, that’s how I write, I try and be as realistic as possible with the experience I’ve been given.”
With two extended plays under their belt, a studio of their own, a music video and tour dates in the works, West View is going full blast this year.
“We are looking to do something different,” Prendergast say. “We want to differentiate ourselves, and continue to make our own sound.”