Barry Kuzay, The Movers of the World, 2021
Tracks: Overture 2021 (2:43), The Movers of the World (6:20), Alone in the Mountains (8:28), The Virtues of Greed (9:09), The Pirate (7:26), The Twentieth Century Motor Company (12:33), Who is John Galt? (2:45), Enigmatic Engine (4:21), Wyatt’s Torch (5:27), Superspreader [bonus track] (2:57)
Barry Kuzay may be an unknown name in the music world, but that doesn’t mean he’s without talent. A civil engineer from northern Wisconsin by day, Kuzay rocks out by night. His 2021 album, The Movers of the World, is a concept album based upon Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged. The record has a classic heavy metal sound with elements of thrash and power metal.
Kuzay wrote the album, sings the vocals, and plays guitar, and his brother Ben plays bass. Drums are played by Matt Thompson of King Diamond, and there are a few other guest vocalists playing particular parts on the album. Kuzay has two styles of singing on the album. His quieter vocals are not as strong as his full on heavy metal vocals. When he sings his heart out, he sounds like Dee Snider. That grit works perfectly for this music and makes for an enjoyable listening experience.
Tim “Ripper” Owens (lead singer for Judas Priest in the late 90s and early 2000s) provides guest vocals on “Wyatt’s Torch,” and he has some epic metal shrieks that provide a classic thrash sound. This may be the best track on the album. Since this is the final track in the story, the album goes out on a high note.
Musically the album rocks. There are symphonic elements that layer on top of the pounding drums and shredding guitars. This gives the album a bit of a European power metal flair. There are quieter tracks that help move the story along, but the album is at its best in its heavy metal moments. There are some clever musical moments, as well. The opening of “Enigmatic Engine” has a really cool guitar, bass, and drum riff that sounds like a steam engine. It’s a fun instrumental track that manages to move the story along, even without lyrics.
I haven’t read Ayn Rand, but I’m at least vaguely familiar with her views and her works, which have influenced other progressive rock albums, most notably Rush’s career-saving masterpiece 2112. There arguably hasn’t been a more fitting time than now to adapt Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged since 2112 and the economic malaise of the late 1970s. Things are far worse now. In fact they’re worse now than they were when Kuzay wrote and recorded this album in 2020 and early 2021. [I’ll spare you the long rant I wrote about how and why America is on the verge of total collapse.]
All this to say that many elements of Kuzay’s musical adaptation of Rand’s novel directly apply to contemporary society. Sometimes you forget that this is actually telling a story and not commenting on modern events, although I suspect this is intentional on Kuzay’s part. The lyrics are well-written, and thus the story he tells is compelling and rewards on repeated listens.
The bonus track might tick some people off, but I love it. Kuzay pulls no punches, and he says what’s on his mind. I agree with him completely, and it’s nice to finally hear someone in the music world go against the narrative. The song has a great drum intro too, reminiscent of classic thrash metal.
I also want to mention that the album artwork is great throughout the CD booklet. The art is science fiction and steampunk-themed, which fits the story. I’m guessing Kuzay spent quite a bit to have the artwork done, because it looks like something from a big-budget album. Definitely pick up the CD, if you’re so inclined.
Give The Movers of the World a spin. The production quality punches far above its weight as an independent release, and the album is enjoyable on repeated listens.
Buy the album at http://themoversoftheworld.com.