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Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews

The Foreshadowing

Days of Nothing

Review by Gary Hill

I suppose the most obvious reference to mention when referring to this disc is Tool. Certainly comparisons to that band are warranted. Certainly this music teeters between goth and prog metal sounds. The music is pretty much always moody and dark. If I had a complaint or two the first would be that there’s not as much variety here as I’d like. Mind you, these guys change things up at just about the last possible moment – so it never feels really monolithic, but it comes close. The other is that the disc seems like it could have been paced better (and made into a stronger release) but shifting a few tracks around – well, pretty much everything – no track seems to be in its optimal location in terms of making the CD flow as a strong entity. All in all, though, this is a good album that had the potential to be a great one.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2009  Volume 6 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Cold Waste
The mellow motif that begins this almost makes me think of The Rolling Stones' "Angie" just a bit. They turn it out into a super heavy, crunch drenched metal arrangement from there. This is like stoner metal turned nu-metal in a lot of ways. It turns slower later, really emphasizing that stoner metal thing. That said, the Gothic elements permeate it. Those get intensified as it works out to a keyboard laden movement. This is a powerful cut that's a great introduction.
The Wandering
This is still quite slow and more goth metal in texture. The thing is, it’s got more character than the opener. I’m still not sure it would have been a good choice for that slot, but it could definitely be argued it would have been a stronger option.
Death is Our Freedom
Much heavier and more powerful, this one should have been the opening salvo on the set. It’s rather like a modernization of a Black Sabbath sort of sound, but with some definite goth and prog metal elements put into the mix. It turns more pure goth as it carries on.
Departure
This pounds in slow and heavy and there’s a short break for a bit of a bass solo. The track comes back in and continues the musical concepts from the last one, but perhaps the prog metal sound is the more prominent one here rather than the gothic one. There are some definite Tool leanings. It drops down to a piano based ballad section mid-track but returns to its origins after that.
Eschaton
This one is powerful and a bit closer to the modes of “Death is Our Freedom”. While this and the two previous ones are considerably stronger than the two opening pieces, they are a little too similar to one another and the lack of variety is beginning to wear a little heavy. It would have probably been a better idea had they opened with one of these three and then used the first two tracks on the disc to separate the three pieces from one another.
Last Minute Train
Not a huge change, this is nonetheless enough of an alteration to bring some needed variety to the table. It’s more focused on the moody end of the spectrum and works quite well. There’s a killer drop back to a spoken sound bite. It’s got a great prog metal meets goth texture to it there. As they bring it back out from there I’m definitely reminded of Tool.
Ladykiller
This heavier and one of the highlights of the set. There are some awesome overtones built into it providing some additional flavoring. I’d say this is possibly my favorite cut here. Overall the formula isn’t really thrown out, but this is just a more successful rendering.
The Fall
There’s a dark, but rather pretty, retro textured sound that starts this. It feels like a keyboard oriented motif. The track builds upon this as a moody ballad. After a verse like this it explodes out into a killer modern metal riff. This is one of the heavier tracks on show here and another bit of variety on a disc that comes close to struggling with being monolithic. They alternate between mellower and harder edged music as they carry it forward. This one seems to change around a bit more than some of the other music and is definitely a highlight of the set. 
Days of Nothing
More typical of the music on the rest of the disc, this is a good song, but not really a highlight of the set. If we hadn’t had a couple changes in the last few numbers it would be too samey, but thankfully they saw fit to alter the scenario enough to keep it interesting.
Into the Lips of the Earth
A mellower number, this is moody and rather pretty. It’s a definite piece of variety, but perhaps far from a highlight. I think (as they didn’t do a good job of picking an opener) they missed the ticket on choosing a compelling piece to use for the closing slot.
 
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