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Protomythos - 2013 - "In Human Sight"

(54:43, ‘Protomythos’)


1.  In Human Sight 5:02
2.  Cage Bound 6:32
3.  House of Slaughter 4:52
4.  Inside a Square 4:08
5.  The Blind Spot 7:49
6.  Condiments and Blood 4:50
7.  Science Moved On 6:26
8.  Part of the Fold 4:59
9.  We Bleed for Real 4:33
10. Voiceless 5:32


Tom Treivish – vocals; guitars; keyboards
Ethan Raz – drums 
Adi Har Zvi – bass  

Prolusion. The Israeli project PROTOMYTHOS appears first and foremost to be the creative vehicle of composer and musician Tom Treivish, who in 2012 decided to develop material he had written over a number of years to the level where these compositions could be recorded and released. The end result became the album "In Human Sight", which was self-released in the late summer of 2013.

Analysis. I made a number of agonizing observations while listening to this rather fine debut album by Protomythos. The main amongst them was that I heard a great number of familiar sounding details that I couldn't really place into a particular context, a bass or a guitar motif, a specific type of arrangement, a certain contrast or the tone of the vocals or some other detail that I knew was similar to something I've heard before. There's a strong sense of familiarity that is an ongoing feature throughout this production, but one I can't really pinpoint. I suspect that this is a band that knows their Pink Floyd and Porcupine Tree, alongside mid-to-late 80's Rush and probably Eloy as well, but there's really no truly striking similarity with any of these bands to take notice of, but again, some details here and there might point towards this conclusion. Still, my gut feeling tells me that the reason for my agonizing but undefinable familiarity with this material may be due to some direct or indirect influences outside of progressive rock. With that description it shouldn't be much of a surprise if I place this album into the more mainstream-oriented, accessible part of the progressive rock universe either. Especially structurally many compositions stick to a fairly basic structure, some work their way from start to finish without any noticeable alterations of the main rhythm section, the major developments being alterations in arrangements in terms of the number of textures utilized, tonal range and use of contrast. Controlled, calm lead vocals are a key element in all but one of these compositions, usually supported by steady drum patterns and some nifty pace deciding bass motifs, and on quite a few songs this latter instrument is given more of a dominant role overall too. Otherwise this is an album about material easy to get familiar with, where careful guitar-driven passages alternate with harder-edged ones, and fairly often with an additional layer of delicate guitar details in a supporting role. I also note that the keyboards are used with relative care more often than not, most often to supply the songs with a soft atmospheric tinge, and only rarely are we treated to any flamboyant or otherwise starkly dominant keyboards-driven passages. Gentle psychedelic guitar motifs of a vintage nature are used on a few occasions, a playful electrorock theme finds its way into one of the songs here too, and what appears to be a Mellotron does make an appearance as well. Other songs have more of an indie rock vibe to them, and on a few occasions Protomythos does find room for a slight touch of metal too. My overall impression is that this is an album that resides fairly close to the borders between the progressive rock and mainstream rock universe, and has been assembled in a manner that should make it a fairly broadly appealing production. Well made at that too, where tracks like House of Slaughter and Condiments of Blood represent this project at its most interesting .

Conclusion. The debut album of the Israeli band Protomythos comes across as a compelling production that should have a fairly broad potential audience, with music that without ever being truly comparable to either of them still manages to conjure associations to the likes of Pink Floyd, Porcupine Tree and late 80's Rush, with a fair degree of additional familiar sounding elements having an origin in music of a more mainstream orientation. It is a likeable and well made production on just about all levels, although the concept explored may put some people off. Still, if you enjoy well made, accessible progressive rock in general this is a CD worth taking a look at.

OMB=Olav M Bjornsen: July 25, 2014
The Rating Room

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