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TRACK LIST: 1. Miles 4:07 2. Spectre 4:03 3. Masquerade 5:04 4. Stranded 3:34 5. Run for the Dark 4:03 6. Beyond Control 6:28 7. Days-I 4:10 LINEUP: Jozi – vocals Paul Cassar – vocals Alistair Galea – guitars Etienne Scicluna – keyboards James Micallef – basses Shaun Galea – drums
Prolusion. The Maltese band COLOURBLIND has a long history, citing 1998 as their founding year. They issued their first EP "Forever Lost" in 2001, but since then it has been quiet for the band as far as releasing material goes. In 2008 they decided to change their musical approach somewhat, first and foremost by exploring the dynamics of having both male and female vocals present in their compositions. "Spectre" is the first full-length album by the band, and the first production where they explore their newly redefined stylistic expression.
Analysis. Metal bands sporting either female lead vocalists or a dual male/female vocal partnership have been the latest fashion for so many years now that it has almost become unfashionable again. Many of those bands aim to reach a mainstream-oriented audience, and more often than not follow in the footsteps of acts like Nightwish and Evanescence to accomplish just that. And, while Colourblind may not offer anything original and new to this type of music, they should be given credit for doing so in a more progressive way than many of their contemporaries, as well as doing so in an impeccable manner. That said, this is first and foremost mainstream-oriented progressive metal, and those not already attracted to the genre will most likely not be convinced by this specific act. However, those who might fancy a band pursuing a style of music somewhere in between Nightwish and the more accessible parts of Dream Theater's antics should feel right at home with what Colourblind has to offer. Relatively short songs with frequent changes in pace and intensity, most of them following an old but effective formula: they open in a gentle and subdued manner and gradually increase the overall intensity towards a richly layered fully developed sound towards the end. Structurally a bit more advanced than your ordinary verse and chorus build, but far from as advanced as the more adventurous bands in this genre. Moods and melodies are given focus all along, and whatever sophisticated features utilized are to mostly hidden beneath an arguably slick mix and production. In the vocal department we're treated to a male lead vocalist accompanied by a female guest vocalist: something of an odd choice for a mainstream-oriented outfit pursuing this style of music perhaps, but a good one. Especially since the choice to opt for a difference in the vocal dynamics is a recent change for the band, I would assume that at the point in time when this disc was created they were still exploring the possibilities this revised approach could add to their repertoire.
Conclusion. Those seeking adventurous, advanced and challenging progressive metal will most likely not find this effort to be of interest. But of you find acts like Nightwish to be interesting, and would like to experience a band offering a slightly more sophisticated take on mainstream-oriented progressive metal, Colourblind might be what you're looking for: melodic and atmospheric, but with a few additional twists and quirks.
OMB=Olav M Bjornsen: March 3, 2010
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