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Sombrance

Alternative Rock / Gothic
St. Louis, Missouri, USA

Sombrance is a rock band from St. Louis, Missouri, that was founded by Rick Mester in 1998. While Rick has written the majority of the Sombrance songs, the band has included a number of different musicians over the years. The band's sound is dark pop/rock influenced by Pink Floyd, the Violet Burning, and Starflyer 59.

Rick Mester had left his first band, Grievance Honor to pursue a more melancholy, dark-sounding music. Initially, the new band name was to be Black Sombrance and the sound was to be gothic but the band felt that the gothic genre was too limiting. Rick dropped “Black” from the name and went with the simplified name Sombrance. The original Sombrance lineup featured former Grievance Honor bandmates Dan Needham (keyboards) and Lael Clark (Guitars) along with Jon Cheatwood (bass) and Rick Mester (vocals, guitars).

In 1998, Rick recorded the demo EP CD called The Cold Awakening on a Tascam 488 eight-track recorder. The Cold Awakening featured several of Rick's friends, including Wade Baird (Since Hector Was a Pup, Saturn Vs. Jupiter), Lael Clark (Deliverance, Harkonin), Jason Sarino (A Group Called), and Jon Cheatwood.

In 2000, Rick signed with Indie Dream Records. Indie Dream had recently also signed legendary Christian metal band, Deliverance. Deliverance front man, Jimmy P. Brown II would mix and help produce Sombrance's full-length CD, Dark Days and Afternoon Sleep. The record was completed using session musicians from Indie Dream records including Justin DeTie (Jambi's Revenge, Sanctified Sistah), Jim Calvert (Jambi's Revenge, Sanctified Sistah) and Chuck Cummings (Sanctified Sistah).

After completion of Dark Days and Afternoon Sleep, Rick assembled a band to support the record. Wade Baird (guitar), Todd Hurt (drums), and Rob Williams (bass) began playing shows in anticipation of the release of DDark Days and Afternoon Sleep. Unfortunately, disputes with management and Indie Dream resulted in the album being shelved. Following legal action, Sombrance was granted a release from their contract with Indie Dream. The album was never released after the dispute as the terms of the settlement required Indie Dream to seek permission of Rick to use the band's name in any marketing.

Over time, the band began to ebb and flow with the individual influences of band members and a sound began to emerge. Wade Baird took over the responsibilities of directing personnel. Wade made his first move by replacing Rob Williams with David Jay. It was this lineup that went into the studio in 2003 to record the Eli EP. Jimmy P. Brown II mixed the EP, played bass, and sang background vocals on “Eli”.

David Jay was replaced by Jensen Church. Todd Hurt moved to Texas and was replaced with Miq Smith (Since Hector Was a Pup) for a brief time then Bob Stahlheber (Sanctified Sistah, Since Hector Was a Pup).

During this time, Rick and Wade formed their own record label and publishing group called Zophim Records. Zophim Records was the vehicle that the band members would release their band and side projects through.

Wade Baird left Sombrance and Zophim Records in 2005 to pursue his solo project. Rick called former bass player Rob Williams who came back on board, this time as a guitarist. Also, in 2005, Sombrance signed with PsychoAcoustix Records out of Florida. The band recorded two Christmas songs for a future dark Christmas compilation (“What Child is This?” and “We Three Kings”). Sombrance prepared material for a new album, but tragedy struck when Carl Crandell (founder and owner of PsychoAcoustix) was found dead in his study. The label passed with him. The band would suffer more personnel changes over the next few years. Rick and Rob took time to work on side projects.

In 2009, the band finally solidified its lineup with the additions of Thomas Kinder (bass) and Kevin Reese (drums). Thomas and Kevin also play for the band Floodwater.

In 2010, Sombrance re-released the Eli CD with three new tracks and a special remix of “Wasting Away,” calling the album Eli 2010.

In 2011 Sombrance began working on songs for their next CD, Through Waterless Places and resumed playing live shows. 2011 also finally saw the release of Dark Days and Afternoon Sleep. Near the end of 2011, the band introduced Mike Kushins as the new piano/keyboard player via their official Facebook page. In December 2015, the song “Sunswept” from the upcoming EP Through Waterless Places was released as a single. On July 14, 2017, Through Waterless Places was finally released. December 2017 also saw the release of the two Christmas songs recorded for PsychoAcoustix Records as X: Christmas.

Discography

1998 The Cold Awakening
2001 Dark Days and Afternoon Sleep
2003 Eli
2010 Eli 2010
2017 Through Waterless Places
2017 X: Christmas

The Cold Awakening

1998 Independent

Rick Mester - Guitars, vocals
Wade Baird - Guitars
Jon Cheatwood - Bass
Jason Sarino - Drums
Lael Clark - Guitars

  1. With Fear
  2. Resonance
  3. Autumn’s Breath
  4. Tribalamawa
  5. I Live Without (bonus scratch demo track)
  6. Autumn’s Breath (bonus live)
  7. Caving In (bonus scratch demo track)
  8. Cry To Understand (bonus scratch demo track)

Dark Days and Afternoon Sleep

2001/2011 Independent

Rick Mester - Vocals, guitars, programming, keyboards
Justin DeTie - Guitars, keyboards
Jim Calvert - Drums, vocals
Chuck Cummings - Bass
Jimmy P. Brown II - Bass
Caprice Cummings - Vocals

  1. Hope Lies Beyond
  2. Annabel
  3. With Fear
  4. Purge
  5. I Need You Forever
  6. Tangram
  7. Alive
  8. Memories of the Fallen
  9. Cranberry Skies
  10. Nephilim Song

Eli

2003 Independent

Rick Mester - Vocals
Wade Baird - Guitars
Todd Hurt - Drums
Jimmy P. Brown II - Bass, vocals

  1. Back and Forth
  2. Mercy River
  3. Lucky 7
  4. Wasting Away

Eli 2010

2010 Independent

Rick Mester - Vocals, guitars, bass, keyboards, programming
Wade Baird - Guitars
Todd Hurt - Drums
Jimmy P. Brown II - Bass, vocals
Rob Williams - Guitars, bass

  1. Back and Forth
  2. Mercy River
  3. Lucky 7
  4. Wasting Away
  5. Crow on a Cross
  6. All I Want 2 Know
  7. Shades of Heaven
  8. Wasting Away (Lush Tattoo Mix)

Through Waterless Places

2017 Independent

Rick Mester – Vocals, guitars, bass, keys, programming
Rob Williams – Lead guitar, bass
Ian Baird – Drums, sounds, feedback
Kevin Reeves – Piano
Thomas Kinder – Bass
Kevin Reese – Drums
Mike Kushins – Keyboards

Mastered by Jimmy P. Brown II

  1. Rising
  2. Crown on a Cross
  3. All I Want To Know
  4. Sunswept
  5. Shades of Heaven

X: Christmas

2017 Independent

Rick Mester - Vocals, sitar, programming
Rob Williams - Guitars, bass

  1. What Child is This? (3:53)
  2. We Three Kings (6:07)