The Gabriel Construct is the avant-prog solo project of Gabriel Lucas Riccio, a vocalist, composer and performer from Salisbury, MD. His debut album, ‘Interior City’, is a dark and atmospheric concept album featuring Travis Orbin (Darkest Hour, ex-Periphery, Of Legends) on drums, Thomas Murphy (ex-Periphery) on bass, David Stivelman (ex-Debbie Does Dallas) on guitar, Soren Larson on saxophone, and frequent collaborator Sophia Uddin on violin. The album unites players from rock, metal, classical, and jazz backgrounds to create a sound which incorporates influences from a wide variety of genres, including progressive rock, 20th century classical music, extreme metal, drum-n-bass, jazz, ’90s grunge and space rock, ’80s pop and more. The album’s densely layered vocal harmonies, distorted pianos, dissonant chords, and complex rhythms envelop the listener in a hallucinatory wall of sound.
Gabriel graduated from Swarthmore College with a Bachelor of Arts in Music in 2011, where he won the Melvin B. Troy Prize in composition after studying under Gerald Levinson. Levinson was a student of George Crumb and Olivier Messiaen, both of whom became large influences on ‘Interior City’. Gabriel’s rock background combined with classical training provide him with a unique perspective which allows him to create a sound entirely his own.
Just as the music of ‘Interior City’ attempts to overcome the limitations of genre boundaries, the album’s concept is concerned with overcoming the mental programming which holds each of us back. It is a story about paranoia and escapism, based on a simple idea: in a society which respects nothing, every individual learns that they are not worthy of respect. The album follows one person’s tumultuous journey to regain their self respect and their ability to fully engage with the world around them, in the process revealing the darkest thoughts that drive society as a whole.
Gabriel wanted “to create a work which encourages people to live with respect and compassion, both for the world around them and for themselves. In an increasingly globalized world, it is more important than ever to recognize how our actions and lifestyles affect others.” With ‘Interior City’, he has musically documented his personal journey towards manifesting that compassion.
Gabriel currently resides in Chicago, IL, where he’s been working on sheet music books for King Crimson and performing live with The Gabriel Construct and Sacha Mullin. His live band features players drawn from the local Chicago scene, including members of CHEER-ACCIDENT, Lovely Little Girls, and more.
“Interior City is a soaring, melodic creation that makes me want to turn it up and drown out everyone else. Unless they shut up and listen quietly.” – Leyla Ford, Metalsucks (11/21/2013)
“If I would have to decide about the best progressive rock album of the last 10 years, The Gabriel Construct’s “Interior City” could be my choice… Everything about this record is breathtaking.” – It Djents (4/22/16)
“It is extremely rare that I encounter an album that totally engrosses me in the sense that I can just sit and listen to it with nothing else. In fact, [Interior City] compels me to do this… I foresee this being the album of the year for me. 10/10” – Matt Ward, Metal for Music Majors (07/27/2013)
“The album musically narrates Gabriel’s dual existence, the dark side and the light side. To escape the outside world, he retreats to an internal phantom metropolis.” – Marcel Hidalgo, Huffington Post (07/30/2013)
“Gabriel Riccio may have only graduated from college two years ago, but his compositional prowess—which is in full-force on his debut LP, Interior City, is of the strength that one would expect from a musician of a much better age pedigree.” – Brice Ezell, Sea of Tranquility (07/16/2013)
“There are still bands who truly seek to make music progress. The Gabriel Construct is one of them, and such a deep and thorough composition doesn’t come every year or every two year. It’s a life’s work, and we’ll be incredibly lucky if we ever see another release of the same quality from the same people.” – Dave Tremblay, Heavy Blog Is Heavy (11/25/2015)
“…a progressive rock project that makes more famous collectives such as Trans-Siberian Orchestra sound like kids playing toy instruments.” – Music Emissions (07/27/2013)
“Eerie, distorted piano progressions, dissonance, layered harmonic vocals, and a swarm of complex rhythms create a wall of sound that encompasses us like a single-person space craft about to blast us back home… I would say [the album is a] masterpiece.” – Joshua Smotherman, Middle Tennessee Music
“And then along comes an album so deep, so personal, riffs that mirror your deepest darkest worries, words that eloquently phrase your underlying angst, notes that hit the perfect highs and the perfect lows at the perfect moments. Interior City by The Gabriel Construct is all that and much more.” – Karan Khurana, Instantfilter (06/12/2013)
“The album is theme-rich, commenting on our collective dogmas and programming, and the negative aspects of our “no respect” society for the individual. If that sounds a bit lofty for your typical music listening, then get ready for the music itself, which is a virtual hurricane of chaos, dissonance, atmosphere, and haunting melodies.” – Rhythm and Truth, BL Rag (07/15/2013)