Review by Wiley on March 10, 2010.
Progessively arched talent blending a select brew of the greats of their genre into one heaving musical beast. What lurks in this pot is nothing short of Vanilla Coke in a can - that being a flavor we all knew and enjoyed when originally presented, but someone decided to repackage it, resell the novelty to us in a slightly more comercial way (assuming most of you remember this presentation and remember good old syrup flavor mixed with an already thick syrup from the tap... but that's besides the point).Nevermore stranded on a stranded vessel with Meshuggah and Orphaned Land with the cats from Atheist moderating the whole mess. And a truly wonderful mess it is....
Dynahead rip through hard edged rhythms with multiple time signatures, enough seperation of percussive chugging, weighty melodic riffs, and acoustic interludes to provide a refreshingly tasteful batch of songs. The lead melodies are wonderfully woven into the fabric of each piece. The drums are very tight and acoustically charged - not suffering the "too much trigger" restraint of most prog production. Every nuance and groove accent can be deciphered and felt smoothly. The bassist makes a beautiful low end appearance as well locking in the sweet space between drums and guitars with tasteful movements and complimenting riffwork. Then...there's the vocals... Warrel Dane derivative would be a kind way of describing it as 80% of the time it's as if he were hired to session for them, the other 20% is meandering somewhere between Orphaned Land's vocal harmonies, and Meshuggah-esque growling. Mind you, if you were going to rip vocal styles from any three bands for a Progressive Metal project - these aren't bad choices. Once past this glaring detail, this CD is a beautiful creation.
It could be argued allowing your vocallist to record your CD for you is a questionable endeavor.Antigen is maybe a rarity where this worked out, but one could also argue James Murphy's (Death,Cancer,Testament, Disincarnate, etc) mastering job probably played into this greatly as well (just accept that everything the guy works on is quality shit). The totality of the mix is so clear and well
brought together; inviting is a good word. Warm, bright, full, punchy, and sustainingly consistent - an accomplishment of some serious detail oriented slaving.
The packaging on the promo isnt much to speak of - digital renderings of a tree amongst flowers holding upon it's branches worm ridden apples. Why this when the most wonderful version of this is the grand cathedral on the back overgrown with the same flowers and several of these same trees outside the gaping windows??? One can probably assume there is some heartfelt explanation behind the concept dealing with edgy intellectual ideas and progressive concepts better worth not trying to interpret. Still wondering about how that fits in with the bandmate wearing a shirt confessing that "any girl is pretty after five beers"???...
A wonderful Prog Metal album for fans there of, and newcomers alike. Approach with caution and awareness that the rendering might be lost in an almost Lego like construction of what has become expected from said "Progressive" Metal, respectively.
Categorical Rating Breakdown
Rating: 7.6 out of 10