[ SHORT REVIEWS | DETAILED REVIEWS
(52:02, ‘Altered Symmetry’)
TRACK LIST: 1. Life Sentence 5:02 2. A Jokers Vengeance 4:14 3. A Justified Crime 3:48 4. Dream of Tomorrow 4:43 5. The Longest Journey 5:12 6. Long Lost Love 3:58 7. A Day That Changed All 3:34 8. Slave without a Master 3:56 9. When No One Cares 4:34 10. Walker 5:04 11. Lies and Fairy Tales 7:57 LINEUP: Arley Gomez – vocals Juli?n Cadena – basses Miguel Mart?nez – guitars Leonel Rojas Alvarez – drums
Prolusion. The Colombian band ALTERED SYMMETRY was formed back in 2008, based around the core duo of Miguel Martinez and Julian Cadena. Since the formation they have worked in various constellations live and in studio, releasing a handful of EPs while honing their craft. "Prologue" is their first full length production, and was self released towards the end of 2011.
Analysis. Altered Symmetry is a band that joins the ranks of myriads of others hoping to create interest amongst the relatively large audience with an interest in metal of a sophisticated nature. Bands such as Metallica, Rush and Dream Theater are stated as some of their major sources of inspiration, and the name of their initial production indicates that they have planned to stick around for some time to come, I imagine. On this initial production they explore a fairly accessible variety of progressive metal, and of the aforementioned stated influences Dream Theater is the one most easily spotted. Riff based metal with a fair degree of shifts in pace, tone and intensity is the name of the game, most often consisting of two subtly or starkly contrasted themes paired off against each other with an instrumental midsection slotted in, the latter consisting of harmonic soloing, shredding or the occasional neo-classical tinged flurry. But never really adventurous on any level: those familiar with this type of music won't encounter too many shifts or developments of a surprising nature. There are no keyboards at hand though, which does give this band a sound rather different from many other bands taking a stroll into the Dream Theater inspired musical landscapes. The majestic guitar and keyboard constellations usually found at least partially replaced by harmonic guitar constructions which, to my ears, indicates that the guitarists do know their Iron Maiden as well. And I might add that the rhythm section frequently made me think along the lines of power metal too, even if providing details for a quirky nature on a fair number of occasions. The relative brief nature of the compositions does make the contributions of the lead vocalist vital, especially as the instrumental parts are limited compared to the non-instrumental ones. And Arley Gomez is a talented singer, with a relatively good range, able to deliver different expressions as well. Snarling, talk-like vocals and powerful but dampened melodic vocals residing somewhere in between Geoff Tate and James LaBrie in timbre defines the outer edges of his repertoire, to my ears. Not always pitch perfect, and struggling a bit in the lower ranges, but by and large an able singer. And one, I imagine, could develop into a top notch vocalist if the personal desire is there and chance provides the opportunity. The instrumentalists come across as able and talented too, without any of them managing to come across as superior talents at this stage, to my mind. Well made and well delivered kind of sums up my experience of this band and this production on most levels, with mix and production as the exceptions, as I believe a highly skilled producer would have been able to add value to this recording. I find this part of the package to be slightly inferior in quality when compared to the compositional and performances aspects of it.
Conclusion. Well made and well performed progressive metal of the accessible variety is what Altered Symmetry provides on "Prologue". A production that will most likely find favor amongst power metal and progressive metal fans both, and while not representing anything innovative or the highest degree of excellence in any department, it is a well made and well performed disc that, I presume, will be well liked by those with a specific interest in this type of music.
[ SHORT REVIEWS | DETAILED REVIEWS - LIST | BANDLISTS ]