Atlanta-based progressive rock band Six Elements was founded in 2007 by keyboardist Michael (Misha) Shengaout, whose dream was to create conceptual music combining meaningful, inspiring lyrics (like Rudyard Kipling’s famous poem “If”) with arrangements in the tradition of Russian Romantic composers (think Rachmaninoff and Tchaikovsky). Misha spent the next two years developing material for the band’s first album.
He met guitarist Jeff McGahren in 2009. They hit it off, co-wrote two songs for the album, and spent the next year developing arrangements for their first CD. In mid-2010 bassist Dave DeMarco (Crack The Sky, Oblivion Sun) and drummer Marc Norgaard signed on for the recording sessions. It was Dave who introduced Misha to vocalist Stanley Whitaker (Happy the Man, Oblivion Sun), ultimately completing the three-member band.
Six Elements took the next year to lay down their inaugural album, Primary Elements, after finding Brandt Fincher, a top-tier sound engineer who could mix their ambitious, polyphonic arrangements into crisp, clear, compelling tracks, many of which flow seamlessly into the other. By the end of 2011 the album was perfected, and the release date for Six Elements’ debut album, Primary Elements was set for March 5, 2012 under the Tower of Harmony label.
Critics compare the band’s vocals to early Genesis with Peter Gabriel with solo guitars reminiscent of Pink Floyd. Whatever their influences, Six Elements’ vocals and guitars are harmonic gift wrap for the band’s message, which Victorian novelist George Eliot summed up well: “It’s never too late to be what you might have been”. Not surprisingly, the album’s break-out single is the song “If”, which channels the inspirational words of Rudyard Kipling’s poem “If”. The song is featured prominently on the first page of the semi-monthly webzine “All Things If”, which is devoted to the ideals of this poem.