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Damascus

Progressive Metal
Mt. Prospect, Illinois, USA

Formed as Haze in 1975, changed name to Damascus in 1982.

Discography

Demo

1983(?) Independent

  1. Lead Me On
  2. Psalm Ad
  3. Reckless

Will I Find You There?

1984 Independent

Dave Coy – Drums, percussion
Tom McKeown – Lead & background vocals, electric guitar, organ, piano, synthesizers
Marc Reich – Lead & background vocals, electric & acoustic guitars
Cliff Zweibruck – Electric bass, background vocals

  1. Will I Find You There?
  2. Truth
  3. A Father’s Only Son
  4. His Love Today
  5. Circle of God’s Love
  6. The Lost Prayer

Timeless

1987 Independent

David Coy: Drums and Percussion
Tom McKeown: Vocals, Keyboards, Guitars
Marc Reich: Vocals, Guitars
Cliff Zweibruck: Bass Guitar

Timeless recorded Jan. 1986 - Jan. 1987 at Damascus Studio, Master Tracks, Reel Productions
Produced by Tom McKeown / Engineered by Tom McKeown, Marc Reich, Steve Moroniak
Mixed by Tom McKeown, Marc Reich

  1. Time for a Season (words by David Coy, music by Tom McKeown)
  2. What Four? (words by David Coy, music by Tom McKeown)
  3. A Knight to Remember (words by David Coy, music by Tom McKeown)
  4. Timeless (words and music by Tom McKeown)
  5. Lord of the Mountain (words and music by Marc Reich)
  6. The Keeper (words and music by Tom McKeown)

This recording was almost DOA. We spent a great deal of time recording the bass and drum tracks along with some scratch guitar and vocal lines at our own studio on a four track machine. We then transferred our tapes at Master Tracks and added the vocals, keyboards and guitar parts. The first mix we did at Master Tracks was so discouraging that we scrapped the entire project for nearly a year. We just couldn’t get the sound we were looking for. Many months later, after reading an ad in a magazine, I gave a guy named Steve Moroniak a call at Reel Productions. At first he felt the project might be too big for his “songwriters” studio, but thankfully, we finally got together. We ended up remixing the entire recording at Reel Productions. I don’t think we will ever forget the huge mess of cabling we had all over the studio while mixing down the multitracks. Though I was never completely satisfied with my performance on the songs, I am still very grateful to Steve for helping save these tunes from extinction.


Soon… The Doors Will Open

1990 Independent

David Coy: Drums and Percussion
Tom McKeown: Vocals, Keyboards, Guitars
Marc Reich: Vocals, Guitars
Cliff Zweibruck: Bass Guitar

Soon.. recorded July 1988 - Oct. 1988 at Damascus Studio and Reel Productions
Produced by Tom McKeown / Engineered by Tom McKeown and Steve Moroniak
Mixed by Tom McKeown

  1. Decisions (words by David Coy, music by Tom McKeown)
  2. Psalm AD (words by David Coy, music by Tom McKeown)
  3. An Angel (words by David Coy, music by Tom McKeown)
  4. Reckless (words and music by Tom McKeown)
  5. Lead Me On (words and music by Tom McKeown)
  6. Blind Peace (words by David Coy, music by Tom McKeown)
  7. Something to Live For (words and music by Tom McKeown)
  8. Still Waters (words by David Coy, music by Tom McKeown)
  9. Waves (words by Kathy Coy, music by Tom McKeown)

I think we finally started hitting our stride on “Soon..” . Our earlier years were always plagued by our inability to make our music as powerful on tape as it was live. I finally decided that the studio recordings didn’t have to be an exact copy of the live shows. We ended up doing what ever it took to get the song across on tape. I went with layering multiple instruments in an attempt to capture a bit of what I had always heard in my head, and for the most part it worked. Drums are one of the toughest instruments to record well. It takes a lot of time to get the right sound. We all know, time is money and we didn’t have much money, so we once again layed down the bass and drums tracks at our studio and then transferred the tapes over at Reel Productions. By this time we had developed quite a friendship with Steve and his wife Carol. (his dog yappy is another story) Through the recording and process, I started to feel as though I lived over at Reel Productions. Someone from the band was always over there recording something. The sessions went very well and the first mixdown I did with Marc. The mix was pretty good, but after some intense listening, I ended up remixing all the tracks. Steve did an excellent job of chopping up the little bits of tape we had all over the studio while getting the masters ready for duplication. We were able to release the tapes before Christmas in 1988 to coincide with some record release shows. This was definitely a high point for us collectively.


Damascus 5

1991 Unreleased

David Coy: Drums, percussion, and keyboards
Tom McKeown: Vocals, keyboards, guitars
Cliff Zweibruck: Bass Guitar, bass pedals, and keyboards

  1. The Turning Tide
  2. Time is a Tool
  3. Ice of My Desire
  4. A Passing of Moments
  5. So the Story Goes
  6. Screwtape
  7. On a Wire

Shortly after the release of “Soon….” , Marc let us know he had accepted a job offer in Oregon. I still remember him telling us he was leaving as we were loading the truck for some shows in Michigan. It hit us like a bomb shell. I think most of us were in total shock for the entire trip. At that point, we had been together as Damascus for ten years. I had known Marc and played in bands with him since we were in high school. This was one of the darkest times for us. Later, we all did a lot of soul searching to decide what to do next. Should we split the band now or continue on? I was glad we decided to continue our path together. We first thought of replacing Marc with another guitars / vocalist, but soon decided to work as a trio. Technology became a huge player in our future. Though we never used sequencers live, we did use thirteen keyboards. Everyone had multiple jobs now. Cliff played bass, bass pedals and keyboards. Dave played drums, percussion and keyboards triggered from pads. This was a new era and a very exciting one. Rearranging our songs for a trio proved to be quite difficult. We rearranged what we could and started writing again. We had many successful shows as a trio and in 1991 we recorded a demo of some of the new material. I still feel these songs were among the best we ever wrote. We continued to play out and shopped our demo to some record labels, but sadly, interest was still not there for our type of progressive rock music. The Christian market was filled with “fluff” and we flat out refused to change. We were told that we could be big if we would just get in the mainstream. That was never meant to be. That year, we left the church we were rehearsing in for the last 11 years because of theological differences. We then set out to turn Cliffs garage into our new studio. Once completed, we turned our attention to recording what was to be Damascus 5. The songs were great, all we needed to do was capture them on tape. That also, was not ot meant to be. Shortly after we began recording, the lights went out for the last time. Dave told us he just couldn’t do this anymore. The lack of recognition from the industry had weighed us all down. Dave was just the first to express what we all felt. Maybe someday we will put together what would have been our fifth and finest recording.


Anthology I

199? Fort Wayne Publishers

Since there is an Anthology II, a first volume is assumed. Still looking for info.


Anthology II

1998 Fort Wayne Publishers

David Coy: Drums and Percussion
Tom McKeown: Vocals, Keyboards, Guitars
Marc Reich: Vocals, Guitars
Cliff Zweibruck: Bass Guitar

Damascus Anthology II was digitally remastered for CD in “The Garage” by Tom McKeown. Special thanks to Steve Moroniak for the DAT tapes of the original masters.

This CD was a compilation of Timeless and Soon… The Doors Will Open.

Notes by Tom McKeown Dec. 1998