Scardust choir: Basses: Jonathan Wolf, Ray Livnat, Yarden Gruman, Amit Fortus, Erez Tovi, Guy Moshkovitz, Yanai Avnet. Tenors: Elad Peretz, Baruch (Bam) Gruman, Ben Saada, Ray Livnat, Chen Sharon, Dima Fridrich, Yan Ben Yosef, Adar Elmackias. Altos: Rakefet Ann Ben Shabetai, Shani Gruman, Leah Marcu, Tali Shahar, Hadar Shemesh, Neta Ben Harush, Yael Cohen, Yael Abady. Sopranos: Rinat Gruman, Atalya Emily Shuorki, Zohar Ben Haim, Nitsan Cohen, Shaked Baydatch, Almog Dror, Carmel Cohen, Yael Abady, Hadar Shemesh. Children: Amit Brenner, Dana Maimon, Noam Minster, Gaya Maman, Ori Peretz Conductor: Noa Gruman
Drums recorded at “Bardo” studio by Yonatan Kossov, Carmel Peach Drums edited by Yonatan Kossov
Choir, Strings quartet and grand piano recorded at “Mitzlol” studio by Jonathan Barak Vocals and children choir recorded at “Gruman” studio by Jonathan Barak Guitars, bass and keyboard recorded and edited by Yanai Avnet, Yadin Moyal and Alex Nicola Extra vocals (in “Queen of Insanity”): Yotam ‘Defiler’ Avni Vocals edited by – Noa Gruman
Sands Of Time 1. Act -I Overture 2. Act-II Eyes Of Agony 3. Act-III Dials 4. Act-IV Hourglass 5. Act-V Sands Of Time 6. Arrowhead 7. Out Of Strong Came Sweetness 8. Queen Of Insanity 9. Blades 10. Gift Divine
*Editorial Op-Ed Note* For a while now I have been wanting to highlight quality progressive metal and progressive rock from the great country and state of Israel. There are certainly many bands and talent in Israel that get overlooked on the global progressive rock/metal communities. That hopefully is all about to change. Just as I believe that Israel deserves to exist as a state and nation I also believe its artists and bands from the progressive rock and metal communities deserve to be spotlighted with articles and the upcoming series of album reviews I have coming to Power of Prog.This series is also in celebration of Israel’s Independence in 1948. This series will go all the way through 2018 to mark the 70th Anniversay of Israel becoming a nation. My personal views on Israel or my album review observations do not reflect the other members and staff of Power of Prog.
In a part of the world that that is often rocked with such great turbulent turmoil there often goes a great musical community that can be easily overlooked. Surrounded by enemies from all sides and those that seek to destroy her is the nation of Israel. Centuries old conflicts on the world stage sometimes gather more attention than its very vibrant and thriving art and musical community. Among the vibrant thriving symphonic progressive metal community in Israel is none other than independent upstart’s Scardust with their debut album titled Sands Of Time.
When Noa Gruman – Lead Vocals told me she was sending a physical CD along with a digital press kit I was truly grateful. This has allowed me to follow the lyrical content, instrumental content and the artwork that seems to get pushed aside, however is just as significant as to what you hear on the album. All these factors work wonderfully hand in hand together.
Scardust are just not another Epica, After Forever or even a Delain clone from Israel. Scardust as a band have far more to offer and their own unique sound that to draw a comparison to those bands would be very unfair. I will venture to say Scardust have developed their own sound that many newer bands going forward will be taking something away from them. First of all Noa Gruman – Vocals has a death growl, a semi operatic voice and even a deep powerful power metal vocal about here and that becomes obvious throughout the entire Sands Of Time album. The Sands Of Time album is a partial concept album with the opening multi tracked 27+ minute epicSands Of Time that encompasses the first five tracks of the Sands Of Time album. In terms of any comparison, I would compare Sands Of Time the 27+minute epic to something like Dream Theater did with A Mind Beside Itself – 1. Erotmania, 2. Voices & 3. The Silent Man from 1994’s Awake album. A epic that was multi track to suffice a label yet without abandoning their fan base. Sands Of Time is that epic for Scardust.
Sands Of Time Parts 1-5
1. Act -I Overture
This starts out with a isolated violin and stringed section before a very explosive orchestral instrumental atmosphere in harmony with a equally explosive choir in perfect time and harmony to the instrumental melody. The instrumental contains both metal and symphonic elements within it. It only contains four verses/stanza’s however they prepare the listener a brief over view of what is to come within the Sands Of Time story.
2. Act-II Eyes Of Agony
This seamlessly transitions smoothly from the first act Overture. There is a melody of piano with heavy rhythm sections happening both in the guitar and bass/drum. Soon the beautiful feminine vocal narrative comes into being. The lyrical narrative can be seen from the perspective that a person can not shake the images of war and that those images plague them night and day, awake or in a their sleep. The instrumental does a beautiful job adding to this emotion. Soon it goes from a clean female vocal narrative to a mean and angry melodic death metal narrative done from the angrier perspective provided by the dual vocal personality of Noa Gruman herself.
3. Act-III Dials
Once again this seamlessly and smoothly transitions off of Act-II Eyes Of Agony. The choir continues to bridge the gaps and tie the over all Sands Of Time epic from the very beginning of this track. This is also a pivotal point where the band start to really tighten up their unique cohesive sound and present more as a musical brand. Accompanying the choir is a deep bass/drum rhythm section along with some reprisal portions that maintain the epic atmosphere. There is a very Chris Squire-esque Yes type of bass to keyboard section within this before it gets back into more familiar and modern progressive symphonic metal territory much like a cross between Epica and Dream Theater. Lyrically the track remains rather dark and anger driven properly and on point with the bands main objective of the Sands Of Time epic. This part of the epic ends with a very symphonic induced section that sounds like a mini orchestra with a beautiful soprano conveying the lyrical and melodic narrative.
4. Act-IV Hourglass
This continues the epic through a smooth and seamless transition off of Act-III Dials. It follows with a beautiful guitar and keyboard atmosphere before the female narrative vocally comes in with some isolation and then joined in melody with the instrumental portion of the track. It also seems the band are really tightening up everything into a core unit of sound. There is this perfect balance between progressive metal and symphonic metal really happening here in this portion of Sands Of Time. Some of the vocal narrative is almost cabaret like at times both in the singular narrative or the plural narrative in the choir. This is also the perfect transitional portion of Sands of Time to begin to close it on the final portion Act-V Sands Of Time.
5. Act-V Sands Of Time
This seamlessly transitions perfectly off of Hourglass. It begins with a beautiful piano with the beautiful female vocal. This starts as a beautiful ballad like atmosphere. The choir comes in and out lending further depth and layers into this classically endowed piece. On the lyrical side the song and story begins to come to a close thus completing the entire Sands Of Time epic.
Arrowhead starts the last half of the album. It is ironic that the band incorporate the sound of crickets and give the track the personality of a morning style atmosphere. It is symbolic to the new beginning of the other half of the album. Noa Grunman’s isolated vocal picks the listener up where it left them on the Sands Of Time epic and once again hooks them into another story line lyrically. Instrumentally this track is full of thunderous rhythmic blast beats and a very percussive bass to match the equally tuned down rhythmic stringed sections on the guitars. The other half of this song is very choir and vocal harmony driven.
Out Of Strong Came Sweetness opens up with a sound much in the tradition of Savatage’s Hall Of The Mountain King instrumentally. The levels off into a more orchestral and symphonic track utilizing various choirs and various off vocal harmonies. The instrumental really works very well both melodically and harmoniously especially when the grunts work in tandem with the choral portions. The choirs are a huge attraction to this song.
Queen Of Insanity starts off with a absolute shred fest that morphs into a blistering and thunderous rhythmic frenzy. The guitar riffs remind me very much of Jeff Loomis Nevermore era, meets Mike Romeo SymphonyX. The growls and grunts done by Noa Gruman remind me of classic Mark Jansen Epica ex-After Forever. The female vocals of Noa Gruman ascend to a entirely different level and we discover her immense vocal depth and ability. She is a fine breed of both power metal and progressive metal with symphonic tendencies.
Blades opens up with a beautiful ballad like atmosphere with a beautiful duet between Noa Gruman and Jake E Amaranthe. This is all highlighted by the beautiful progressive/symphonic instrumental that is often at time atmospheric in nature with the soaring guitar solo’s and orchestral portions. This track reminds me a lot of Kamelot’s The Haunting. The guitars are very well balanced between progressive passages and symphonic passages.
Gift Divine opens up with a beautiful atmospheric piano that is soon met by the beautiful atmospheric female vocal narrative. The heavy orchestral portions of both keyboard and bass and a entirely different dimension than what the rest of the album has been. The band really know how to layer various instruments in on perfect time. The layers are very progressive in attitude yet symphonic in nature. The band has a very cunning ability to bring the listener in that is more of a warm invitation without overwhelming them. This song is a excellent example to all the band are capable of doing.
Israel is a country that is very under rated and often overlooked for their progressive rock, progressive metal contributions to the world. In a land that has given the world Orphaned Land, Reign Of The Architect, Quietus, Yossi Sassi Band, Soul Enema, Distorted Harmony, etc … Scardust are certainly a band that can continue to establish Israel as a progressive metal powerhouse on a global scale. Due its unique sound and consistent intensity, I am giving Scardust’s Sands Of Time a 5/5.
Label: Independent/Unsigned Release Year: 2017 Country: USA Genre: Progressive/Atmospheric/Melodic/Blackened/Death Metal
Matthew Cerami – Vocals/Guitars/Bass Jordan Navarro – Guitars/Drum Programming/Keyboards/Additional Sounds Jordan Navarro And Nick Shann – Drum Programming/Arrangements
Nick Shann – Guitar Solo & Stringed Arrangememnts on ‘The Long Road Home’ Violin on ‘My Father, My God Benjamin Ian Meyerson (Fin Amor) & Justin Barone (Consonance) – Additional Lyrics & Vocal Arrangements Samantha Marie Rae (Nectar) – Guest Vocals Charles Buonsera – Bass Solo on ‘Evisecrate Divine’ Ben Xenoyr (Ne Obliviscaris) – Logo & Album Artwork Nick Shann – Recorded/Mixed & Mastered
I do not know if it is the ‘Prog Metal Purist’ in me or if it is a more open mind but I find the older I get the heavier and more brutal I can accept some forms of metal. Progressive Melodic Death Metal is one of those fractured sub genres. If you would of told me 20 years ago I would fully embrace death growls or black metal screams in the confines of progressive metal I would called you a total fool and joke. Of course I have been into death metal like DEATH, Obituary, Morbid Angel, Cynic even UK’s own Ackercocke. However when it came to progressive metal I did not bat an eye until I discovered Opeth’s Still Life album and witnessed just how beautifully they took the extreme metal/death metal element and made another force in metal’s longevity in rock n roll.
From that point on my objectivity began to grow and my cynicism began to diminish concerning Extreme/Progressive/Atmospheric/Symphonic/Death & Black Metal. I discovered bands like Agalloch, Lamentation Of The Ashen, Summoning on the Black Metal side. On the more Death Metal side I continued to collect Opeth, Between The Buried And Me, Grey Skies Fallen, etc … Soon I would discover what has been branded as ‘Beauty & Beast’ metal where the female soprano is front and center along with the masculine and brutal extreme vocals by the usually the male counterpart with bands such as After Forever, Epica, Tristania, Revamp, etc .. It seems like the older I get the more I am embracing more ‘Extreme’ Metal’.
The above mentioned bands are basically first generation bands. After 30+ years of Extreme Metalit appears there is no sign it is going to wane nor vanish anytime soon. Bands like Iapetus out of New York almost guarantee the certainty that Extreme/Progressive/Atmospheric/Symphonic/Death & Black Metal will continue to grow a evolve with great strength as the years continue. Iapetus’ The Long Road Home has everyone of those elements present within the general construct of the entire album. Iapetus are definitely on the front line as front-runners of the next generation of this style and genre of progressive metal music.
On the surface at first full listen it appears the band have created a concept album. In many ways on the instrumental side they have. On the lyrical side it runs more of a common conceptual theme of science fiction more so than a full conceptual story having a beginning and a end. Throughout the rest of this review I will point out the Extreme highlights, Progressive highlights, Atmospheric highlights, Symphonic, highlightsand Death & Black metal highlights with a track to track analysis.
Nomads begins with a very heavily synthesized effects and a almost spoken word effect laden inside the those synth effects. The spoken word effects either sound like a newscast or something from ground control in Houston Texas. It simulates the beginning of a migration towards the cosmos. Like every track on the duration of the album, Nomads bleeds and transitions seamlessly into … Of Hangmen & Vertebrae.
… Of Hangmen & Vertebrae picks right up as Nomads is coming to a close. The transition is beautifully and tastefully done. Nick Shann certainly knows what to do with the compositions of the band as far as recording and mixing. This begins with a thick and heavy atmospheric progression before going into a semi low-fi black metal style guitar riff. That riff is soon met by a more progressive thrash riff with a lead solo in harmony with the low-fi rhythmic chord progression. This track blisters in and out of various chord progression and various time signatures including heavy atmospheric section towards the end of the track. The atmospheric sections do a great job melodiously articulating a space or a cosmos atmosphere. This track transitions very fluidly into the next track Lachrymae Rerum with another spoken word section that serves as a introduction to Lachrymae Rerum.
Lachrymae Rerum this one explodes into nothing short of a serious death metal assault on the senses that is further compounded by some very aggressive death growls with a blackened crust just on the surface. The instrumental portion remains heavily progressive based and does not deviate much from its progressive aesthetic. Instead of placing the entire track in the center of the head the band have a very uncanny ability to hit both the right and left channels in the listening experience where the entire composition envelops the senses. This is a song on the album that perfectly introduces the ‘Metal Purist’ to a more progressive leaning style. Among the vicious blackened death growls there are some spoken word elements to articulate some of the story. About the 4:10 mark the track takes a break from the assault and lures the listener further in with a very beautiful atmospheric passage eloquently done by the acoustic guitar. Think Opeth The Moor from Still Life or even Serenity Painted Deaththat is what I am reminded of with this song. Once again towards the end the song carries the album towards a interstellar space atmospheric passage where it bleeds and transitions seamlessly into the following track I Sing Of Satellites.
I Sing Of Satellites transitions perfectly off of Lachrymae Rerum with a gentle acoustic guitar passage created a heavy atmospheric passage. This serves like a intro into Savior Solitude where the track transitions seamlessly into the beautiful beginning of Savior Solitude.
Savior Solitude starts off beautifully with a warm, yet open double acoustic guitar passage that allows the listener to be brought into the track further. Then the senses are once again assaulted with the low-fi black metal style of vocal along with a blackened death metal vocal. All the progressive death metal frenzy is met by a very warm and inviting female vocal done very well by Samantha Marie Rae of Nectar. Samantha Marie Rae is a real wild card and dark horse on the album that adds depth to a already deep contented album. This is a very progressive track going in and out from various time signatures and chord progressions that are very obvious. The chord progressions are in the tradition of Periphery, Between The Buried And Me, Textures even Alkoloid. Once again the song transitions seamlessly into the following song My Father, My God.
My Father, My God transitions seamlessly with perfect continuity from Savior Solitude. This is once again accomplished by beautiful acoustic guitar passages that seem to be part of the root backbone to the album. It is not long before the track takes on a more metal direction. This is also the first of two 15+ minute epics on the album. The heavy guitar passages go on for a bit in progressive fashion to set up other parts of the composition. After a thunderous opening the song drops into a very easy acoustic passage adding layers upon the atmospheric side of the album. The acoustical atmospheres are very appropriate for the progressive element to the track. They allow the listener in to experience a auditory journey even with the more extreme elements that are within the composition. The metal half of this track moves the band in a much more European flavored of metal represented in the composition.
The band uses a very unorthodox method to take the low-fi black metal style riff and layer it as if it were a symphonic piece in the composition. At the same time it is a very atmospheric riff as well. The vocals are very blackened melodic death metal in nature. There are spoken word elements to give the senses a reprieve from the guttural assault. The spoken word elements come from both the feminine and masculine perspective. That is something rare in this style and genre of music. Elements like that will invite a female fan base eventually that will help in the growth of the band. My Father, My God transitions quietly into the following track Crown of Stars.
Crown Of Stars begins with a beautifully done acoustic guitar to keep the listener consumed within the album in its entirety. Here the band confirms that its more progressive elements have roots in the 1970’s more so than any other decade. After the lush acoustic guitar opener the band goes into a more symphonic route with various vocal chants running in harmony with solid guitar riffs before the track drops again to a more atmospheric side. By now the band has pulled many elements out for the listener to feast on. By now they are putting them all together with beauty and ease.This serves as a intro to the next track that seamlessly transitions into the following track Eviscerate Divine.
Eviscerate Divine transitions beautifully from Crown of Stars. The band opens it up with their elegant acoustical chord progression before the all out death metal assault hits you with a wall of sound. This track continue to see the band explore all the extreme/death/black/symphonic/atmospheric and progressive boundaries into uncharted waters. The band are certainly very experimental and never afraid to take chances. This track is another validation of all that. They are also not afraid to show the more mature progressive side with very atmospheric acoustic and semi acoustical guitar passages. The layers upon layers they utilize within all the guitar work shows that they not only record but understand the craft it itself. There guitar work spans from 1970’s progressive rock, to late 1970’s to early 1980’s NWOBHM galloping guitars to the low-fi black metal aesthetic we have heard for the last 30 years in the tradition of Hellhammer or a Mayhem. This transitions very atmospherically into the final song The Long Road Home.
The Long Road Home begins with the trademark beautiful lush acoustic guitar passage. These passages are very welcomed when you get them. Oddly the acoustical passages really allow for the progressive elements to shine throughout the album including the last song on it here. This is another epic at 15+ minutes in length. From the beautiful lush acoustical passage comes a very NWOBHM oriented guitar passage with galloping riffs that move the song forward. This song goes in and out from the heavy to the not so heavy passages. In like minded progressive form the instrumental portions are a lot longer. The journey is a beautiful thing with the objective listener. The guitar work is still rooted within a 1970’s element, yet with very modern elements as well. Matthew Cerami, Jordan Navarro and Nick Shann must of had some killer brainstorms as far as the actual recording and mixing. They definitely have a winning infrastructure in play as far as Iapetus as a project is concerned. The Long Road Home really brings all the elements together the band used throughout the album.
I honestly came into this album expecting nothing and getting a lot more than I could ever expect in my own imagination. Iapetus The Long Road Home is definitely on the front-line in the next evolutionary step into the Extreme/Atmospheric/Death/Blackened/Progressive Metal. When we look back on 2017 this will be one of the albums I can say opened more doors into the possibilities of what progressive metal can do and be. I am definitely a believer in the project. I would like to see them create a full band out of this and tour this if possible. The world deserves to hear and Iapetus deserves to be heard. I give Iapetus The Long Road Home a solid 5/5.
Throughout the history of most human existence we have striven for a peaceful world a utopia, a paradise. To achieve this goal some have turned to organised religion, others have turned to education and higher learning while others just have no belief at all and turn to vice’s or various other activities. Let’s say for a moment that the human experience believes it has already reached its maximum Utopian society where you did not have to worry about offending other people, there were no wars, plagues, famines, etc . What if we were not even allowed to feel emotion, love, anger, forgiveness, rage under this utopia. One would assume all world issues were solved.
Now what would happen if one day a young man suddenly had a raging headache or felt something snap inside his body that would begin a downward spiral? The Utopian filter he used to see a paradise is now collapsing into a nightmare Dystonia society. Buildings decay, economies fall all around the world, lust enters the heart and suffocates and confuses true love. This entire downward spiral all began when a implanted micro chip malfunctioned within this young man. This is the world that Irish guitar genius Graham Keane has created with his monumental debut The Vicious Head Society Abject Tomorrow.
After a personal struggle and turmoil in his own life Graham Keane began to question everything much like the character in the story after the implant failed. It also served as a motivator to start work on Abject Tomorrow. Graham was not by himself and enlisted some of the very best musicians in the world to meet his goal with the album. Musicians enlisted are Derek Sherinian – Alice Cooper/Yngwie Malmsteen/Dream Theater, Kevin Talley – Dying Fetus/ Misery Index/Chimaira/Six Feet Under, Wilmer Waarbroek – Ayreon and Pat Byrne – Hedfuzy. With all that talent and Graham Keane’s vision The Vicious Head Society’s Abject Tomorrow has a lot of depth and substance that most debut concept albums lack. There is a little bit of everything on Abject Tomorrow from traditional high range progressive metal, to the more modern elements with the use of death growls and djent elements. I will point that out along the way with some highlights from every track with a track by track analysis.
The Sycophants begins with a very beautiful Hammond organ style synth passage that serves both as a melodic and percussive instrument. This creates for a haunting eerie atmosphere before the guitars come in with intricate chord progressions and various time signatures. This works very well as part of the overall introduction of the album. The vocals and rhythm sections come in and really anchor the listener into the composition and album rather quickly. There is a lot going on in the first 2:50 minutes to apprehend the listener’s attention. The instrumental portion compliments the emotion of the lyrical content and story quite well. About the 4:50 mark the bass takes a wicked percussive chord progression that is magnified by the keyboard atmospheres and time signature changes that are much like Haken and Dream Theater. The rest of the track is a roller coaster in and out with time signature changes.
Abject Tomorrow transitions with ease off the previous track The Sycophants. This track opens up with a very blistering, yet thunderous display of profound rhythm sections both in the areas of the bass and drum and even the guitar. The opening is straight up textbook progressive metal at its finest. The keyboard provides a very eerie atmosphere in the back by which the thunderous rhythmic time signatures and interchanges. The vocals come in very dark brooding matter. The vocals are partially a very wicked spoken word section that is soon met with a cleaner high end vocal to match match the instrumental narrative before the track gets out right brutal.
The track takes a very tuned down instrumental approach with a tuned down guitar and the bass working both as a melodic and instrumental tool. This bleak heaviness is met much like earlier Opeth and Katatonia with the death growls at the 3:00 mark. The heavier more progressive death metal element within the song really conveys anger and rage both on a lyrical and instrument front. The death growl’s help to convey the fear and anger the character is now waking up to. It is much like a scathing indictment on the Dystopian society with the death growls carrying some of the lyrical narrative. The rest of the track takes a very heavy melodic directive. The death growls even become more of a instrument towards the close of this track.
Downfall (Voice In The Sky) opens up with lush ethereal keyboard layers that continue to build along with the electric guitar solo at the onset. Soon the rhythm section of drums and bass come in to help anchor the track and eventually set the song and story narrative up. The heavy rhythm sections really work well in harmony with the stringed and keyboard progressions before the track drops and all we here is a bass and isolated vocal take the story into another passage. The track takes on a very unusual dynamic with a more neo progressive keyboard synth with some very brutal death metal vocals. It makes this portion of the track a more progressive melodic death metal passage for the time of the verse. The double tracked vocals add a very odd time signature and depth to this track as well. The song takes a break and the beautiful harmony of piano, bass and guitar and violin coming together helps bring the entire track to its climatic conclusion.
Agenda (I) Cryptograms (II) A Digital Self opens up with certain sound effects that transport the listener to a proverbial wasteland in the theater of the mind. Soon the track takes off with some serious deep tuned down rhythm chord progressions to give the track a level of brutality. The guitar is way tuned down. It is a six string guitar tuned down to sound like a seven string. The 5 string bass really gives the instrumental portion a really brutal depth that works in perfect harmony with the death metal growls. Then the track takes on a very odd yet appropriate unusual power metal melody. The melodic death metal elements run along in the vein of a Amon Amarth or even later Carcass. This track is a monstrous roller coaster of emotion between the cleaner more melodic parts in balanced harmony with the deep tuned down melodic death metal portions. The spoken word section continues to elaborate deeper into the conceptual plot of the story on this one. The guitar wide open guitar solo really allows the listener of track and the album to begin to absorb the album.
The 11th Hour starts out with a open keyboard chord progression along with a dark and bleak spoken word section. Then the track takes on a ultra melodic approach with high ranged harmonies. This is briefly interrupted in spots by further melodic death growls and dark spoken word elements. All of those elements allow for the illusion of multiple characters or perhaps personalities within the mind of the main character. It is as if the music is reflecting these multiple emotions within the character , characters or personalities.
Psychedelic Torture Trip is a very intelligent instrumental track. It allows for the listener who is really following the concept to absorb the story even further. It also allows for the listener that just likes innovative musical time signatures and chord progressions to devour the album from a melodic perspective. The keyboards are obviously the signature of the one and only Derek Sherinian with his fusion style blended in harmony with Graham Keanes guitar passages.
God’s Of The New Age opens up with a wall of fury between the thunderous drum and bass rhythm section. The rhythm guitar also comes into play to add a very deep tuned down rhythm chord progression. This also allows for the cleaner vocals to pop and really stand out on the track to carry all sums of the parts in perfect harmony. Soon the melodic death metal growls come in. The death metal portions are very easily understood for those with a objective mind and ear. The chord progressions off the guitar are really modern progressive metal much like a Haken meets Leprous meets Zero Hour.
Analogue Spectre: (I) Reflection (II) Thought Data Stream (III) The Passing (IV) Amaranthine (V) Ghost in the Machine (VI)is the 18+ minute epic and final track to close out this epic conceptual story. It begins with some heavy keyboard effects with a spoken word section that seems like artificial intelligence speaking to the listener. The keyboards are a more vintage 1970’s keyboards that are more Pink Floyd. The drums slowly come in and soon the guitar and the grand introduction begins. Yes this track is for those listeners with longer attention spans. The track soon drops into a smooth guitar and bass rhythm section with the vocal briefly isolated before the track really picks up and we hear multiple vocals all in harmony with the stringed passages.
There are multiple parts to this epic that all begin to tie both the track and the entire album together. To those that listen for the story and music you will be able to understand this more and more with every listen. Throughout the epic the time signatures and chord progressions go from traditional progressive metal to modern more recent djent style chord progressions. This is truly a very guitar driven track due to the length of the composition. About half way through there is a break where there are some beautiful keyboard passages in harmony with percussion cymbals. The guitar once again takes the track to another depth and dimension.
In music or any form of artistic expression we are only limited by our imagination. The human imagination can be used to transport others imaginations to areas unknown if we allow it. The Vicious Head Society’s Abject Tomorrow is a dynamic example of the true power the human imagination really has. The Vicious Head Society’s Abject Tomorrow is a science fiction show set to music. The Vicious Head Society’s Abject Tomorrow is also the best independent/unsigned progressive metal concept album and artistic expression I have heard in the last 10 years. If this is the debut I will enjoy the journey to follow this new franchise. I am giving The Vicious Head Society’s Abject Tomorrow a very strong 5/5.
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