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June 24, 2021


For fans of Dillinger Escape Plan, Meshuggah, Converge, Mastodon, Botch and Strapping Young Lad 

Absolutely delighted to welcome UTOPIA to the APF Records family. We’ll be releasing their debut album Stalker on 27th August. Watch the video for first single Happiness now on the Utopia page on the APF website, or on the APF YouTube channel.

Link to watch Happiness and find out more about Utopia:


Utopia was formed by guitarist and composer John Bailey. The album features Chris Reese - of APF’s Corrupt Moral Altar - on vocals and a host of impressive musical talents: drummers Billy Rymer (yes, THAT Billy Rymer, if you don’t know who he is, Google him), Baard Kolstad (Leprous), Lee Fisher (Fawn Limbs / Psyopus) and Si Blakelock (Tangaroa / Dream Troll) alongside Simon Peter King, bassist Arran McSporran (De Profundis / Virvum) and finally keyboardist Mike Moran (Ozzy Osbourne/George Harrison/Queen/Extreme).

 John Bailey and Chris Reese

By day John Bailey is touring guitarist for the likes of Aled Jones and Russell Watson, a far cry from the extreme metal of Utopia, but with ’Stalker’ he wanted to bring together all the music he loves, creating something aggressive and intense but also well thought out and intelligent. He comments,

“I wanted it to be super heavy and crazy but also really emotional. The music combines elements of jazz and various styles of metal. The song writing is very important lyrically and structurally. The lyrics draw influence from philosophy, literature, art and film (particularly the films of Andrei Tarkovsky).

The concept of the name Utopia is a reflection of mental health / neurodiversity and social structures in the world we live in; the double-edged sword of trying to lead a happy life in a world of conflicting ideology and bad faith between humans. The pitfalls of attempting a sophisticated life despite us being poorly evolved primates who are highly individual in their own rights. Its ultimately rooted in varying degrees of sensitivity, mental health and neurodiversity based on individuals trying to interface with one another in a constructive way.'

John started writing Stalker in March 2020, just as the covid pandemic hit. Recording posed its own geographical problems with his chosen musicians living in different parts of the world. Work was finally completed earlier this year.

Utopia’s music encompasses thrilling technical heaviness, moments of goosebumps-inducing melodic beauty, challenging progressive passages, dissonance, and tungsten-strength riffs. We just know you’re gonna dig it.