The Music of Citizen Cain & Stewart Bell

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Phil Allen

Phil – ©Brian Hill

Phil Allen – A long term love of heavy metal music inspired Phil to take up the lead instrument of that genre and after aquiring his first guitar at age 12, and spending a few months in tuition, he quickly learned the tricks of the trade that his musical heroes had pioneered, and set about forming his first band with some schoolmates. This saw the beginning of his musical career and several years and some reshuffling of band members later, Sanity Falls was born. Inspired by metal classics like Iron Maiden, Megadeth and Dio and prog classics such as Rush, Yes and Marilion they started to write their own brand of prog/metal. Phil left school and spent two years in college studying music while the band continued writing, recorded a demo and gigged locally.

Meanwhile a new breed of metal performers were emerging and the unique sound of groups like Dream Theatre, Fates Warning and Conception caught the attention of Phil and comrades who subsequently adopted this new innovative style. As the years passed by and their writing style became more mature and complicated their lives also took on this complexity. Personnel problems, personal agendas, other work commitments and a lack of any real interest in prog metal in the local scene saw the band gradually become little more than a hobby and, although regular rehearsals continued, Phil longed to be part of something bigger.

Never straying far from his love of the instrument he spent his days as a guitar technician in a local music shop. One day an old friend arrived at that shop, fresh from an audition for a local prog rock outfit. He admitted that he didn’t feel he had what it took to commit to the project they were currently undertaking and suggested that Phil would be better suited for the job. He handed over the contact details for the band. Phil made the call, sent off a demo and within a few days was warmly welcomed into the ranks of Citizen Cain…