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Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews

Event Horizon

Naked on the Black Floor

Review by Gary Hill

This outfit have produced a disc here that will certainly appeal to fans of progressive metal. The disc has a texture that is consistent with that sound, but also leans at times upon the heavier progressive rock tendencies of such bands as Dream Theater. While I would definitely not call these guys prog, they certainly will appeal to fans of the more metallic of that genre. This is powerful music with some great performances from all involved. While you can hear elements of other music here, this sound is all their own. There really isn't a weak song on show here, but overall the disc works best taken as a whole.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2006 Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Everything That Begins...Must End
Incidental sounds eventually give way to a dark and heavy, but still rather sedate keyboard texture. Hints of something more begin to emerge in a very techno manner. This is just an instrumental introduction that runs straight into the next track.
Deconstructed
This one pounds in heavy, and a spoken word segment leads one to think it might be rap metal. However, after that segment real sung vocals enter to let us know that this is a heavy and very powerful metal jam with prog metal tendencies. The spoken segment returns later. This one takes on both Goth and techno elements as it carries on, and cool keyboard oriented bridge leads one to think progressive rock just a bit. The textures that come in as over layers later add a nice touch.
Bited
Percussion begins this and as the other instruments join in a fast paced jam it feels a bit like some of the neo-prog ala Dream Theater. These guys run through this for a time, then drop it back down to a more straightforward progression for the verse chorus pattern. This one should appeal to fans of DT and other more metallic prog bands, though. I wouldn't consider this progressive rock by any means, but it has enough intriguing changes and instrumental firepower to make it of interest to people who enjoy such music. This turns much heavier later in a powerhouse jam that feels like modern metal to the extreme. The guitar solo that shows up here is exceptionally tasty and it is only one part of a killer frantic instrumental movement. There is a scream on this one that really calls to mind some of the best of classic metal.
Again
Keys begin this one in playful tones and carry it for a time. Then the band pounds in with a heavy sound that is quite dark and meaty. This turns into the main riff of the band, one of the coolest and catchy ones on show here. They expand and compound this one ever so slowly and gradually. It's one of the most effective tracks on the whole disc, and is a personal favorite here. It feels a bit like Fates Warning, but still has its own identity, too. The keys on some of the later points add a cool more melodic texture to the number, but this still remains super heavy. The instrumental segment is another example of how these guys stretch their sound outward in the direction of progressive rock. Dream Theater can again be heard a bit on this one.
The Road To Myself
A staccato, ultra heavy pattern starts this and the band pound that out with a new fervor as it carries forward. Then it drops to a mellower segment of just bass for a time before the rest of the guys come back in and create another variant on the songs themes. Next it moves to just keys and this takes it into the verse segment. This section is the most contemplative and mellow of anything we've heard (other than the opening intro) on the disc so far. It's extremely evocative and the band eventually power it up increasing the volume and the intensity. This one is another winner. It is also in many ways one of the more dynamic cuts on show here, moving through a number of variants (and particularly breaks for the band members to solo) throughout its course. It's not often that you get to hear a full on bass solo on music like this, but here we do get one, and a strong one at that.
Fragments of Insanity
Dark keys again start this one, and run through with sound effects for a short time. Then a very metallic progressive rock like staccato pattern enters, at first tentatively. As this takes over the tone of it shifts even more towards the metallic end of the spectrum, but this segment is another that can make one think of Dream Theater. This sound, though, doesn't remain long. As they move into the verse they drop it to a more stripped down, incredibly dark segment. This is in many ways among the most purely metal portions of the album, and is incredibly tasty. We get some bass pyrotechnics on this one, too, but we also get an exceptionally ripping guitar solo, too.
Zero
Weird keys start this one off, then it drops to just percussion. The cut shifts into a nu-metal/alternative rock sort of approach for the main segment. This one also includes some of the most prog sounding keyboards on show here. They aren't exceptionally flashy, but the sound is very nice. The bass even turns a bit funky here. This one is probably the most unique and difficult to classify number on show here.
The Flying Feather
This cut is just plain crazed. It's frantically quick with lines of instrumental fury laid all over it. It's overall just a fast paced metal cut, but they shift it around a lot. It also includes a killer segment later that feels just a tiny bit like Black Sabbath. This is possibly the most impressive piece of music on show here.
The Wall
This one comes in feeling like a techno/goth track with just rhythmic keys and vocals holding the track for quite some time. Even then only more layers of keyboards join them until after the first verse. Then the group stomp in with some seriously crunchy, heavy rocking music to carry it forward. Once this happens I'd say that the texture is sort of like epic metal with some tinges of Rainbow thrown in for good measure. It also has some killer epic/technical metal instrumental work in a segment later. This one is a strong one - but then again pretty much everything here is strong. It makes as good a disc closer as any of them would. No matter which song you chose to finish off this disc the listener would find himself wanting more.
 
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