Wednesday, June 26, 2013

different colors of prog metal: De Profundis; Surgeon; Trials

Today there are 3 talented and different prog metal bands that I want to tell you about.
De Profundis (U.K.): "The Emptiness Within"
De Profundis is not an old-school prog metal band. Instead, it is new-jack, "extreme" metal that sounds a bit close to melodic black metal, while at the same time, they are much more varied than the style of melodic black metal.
It would appear that De Profundis asked themselves: "How can we make prog metal more exciting? We like prog, but if we speed it up to energetic, and often blasting death/black levels?"
The vocals are mostly growled, and the overall energy is that of "modern," and "extreme" metal.
Where they sound different is in the ways that the music allows for wandering, melodic segments, in which the instrumentality kicks it upfront and the musicians have a chance to show their abilities through melodic soloing or giving the bass guitar room to breathe, and not just follow the guitar. De Profundis wants the listener to hear the bass guitar. In a lot of metal, the bass just seems difficult to hear, but this is not the case here.
Of course, there is a lot "noodling" and "shredding," too, and they are quite good at it.
To me, they sound enthusiastic and a perhaps a bit too ambitious, which will give fruitful results in the future, for sure. Personally, I enjoy the combination of speed/blasting. That makes things a bit more interesting. The band does not really make use of traditional singing, although the melodic singing on "Release" lacks a bit of passion, to me. That aspect needs a more confident approach, I think.
In general, De Profundis is a promising band and I could make a long list of positives about the band. Suffice to say, those looking for a younger approach to prog will find something a bit new here.
Surgeon (U.S.): "Chemical Reign"
Surgeon plays traditional, melodic prog heavy metal. Thus, Surgeon does not use "extreme" metal as a significant component of what they do.
This is where you go when you want traditional singing, guitar-hero finger-twisting, heavy metal and semi-thrashy riffs, and a tight bass guitar-and-drum backbeat. Expect playing of a high quality, and a serious approach to metal.
The songs are catchy, but not "super melodic" or "poppy" sing-along style, because Surgeon doesn't play that game of pandering to the audience that wants "easy songs." It does take time for the "proggy" to sound "musical," but it is not very difficult to understand for the willing listener.
Without having investigated it, I simply got the impression that Surgeon might be on Sensory Records, which, as prog fans know, is a premier place for prog music.
But no. Surgeon is not on that company and they are actually independent.
This sounds so good! Don't assume that just because it is a self-release that this sounds like a demo because it sounds like a professional album, to me.
Surgeon deserves the support of prog fans!
Trials (U.S.): "In the Shadow of Swords"
Trials is much more of a prog thrash sound, with a very "modern" combination of growling and singing, melody and intensity, and the sound it's a bit of different genres, but they surely concentrate on headbanging music.
They sound thrashy, and execute the material very well.
I would recommend this to fans of Nevermore, not because they sound like Nevermore per se, but because Trials sounds like a band that thrash people would like, as long as it is understood, that this is a different type of "thrash." The guitar tone gets to close to death metal heaviness at times, and the music is thick, heavy uptempo headbanging style.
Most important of all, the songs do not take many listens to understand. There are bits and pieces of other genres, and the result is a lively selection of songs that will appeal to the thrash public, the prog listeners, and the traditional heavy metal followers, as well as other fans, too.
Apparently, this is another self-release, but it sounds very professional. Definitely worthy of being looked into.

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