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(72 min, Progrock)
TRACK LIST: 1. Dirty Room-I 2:55 2. In My Shell 7:34 3. Soul Deceiver 7:11 4. Oceans of Insolence 5:54 5. Miracle 5:38 6. Born Again 2:06 7. Only Love 6:10 8. What Little Girls Are For 9:36 9. Running Away 7:00 10. Dirty Room-II 3:03 11. Ask the Angels 5:46 12. Choices 7:53 LINEUP: Mike Di Sarro - vocals Sean Entrikin - guitars James Sherwood - bass Chris Quirante - drums Smiley Sean - keyboards
Prolusion. Hailing from the American state of California, PRYMARY appeared on the Progressive Rock map in 2000. "The Tragedy of Innocence" is a follow-up to the group's eponymous debut CD, which they released on their own in 2003.
Analysis. Yet another concept album, but this time around it's a flawless thing - and that's an understatement. I find "The Tragedy of Innocence" to be nearly a masterwork of the Prog-Metal genre. Any allusions? Okay - just to give you some general idea of what you can expect from this CD. In a way, it's something like Queensryche's "Operation Mindcrime" (1988), only with the wider epic magnitude and with the complexity that raises such types of one-singer Rock Operas onto a new, higher level. Dream Theater and Pain Of Salvation can also be named as reference points, but - again - only with numerous reservations. The point is that the conformity between Prymary and the given examples is never striking, most often being barely perceptible, touching only some small compositional peculiarities, which in turn are common probably for all bands performing profound heavy music. In short, the fundamental style of this recording is Techno Prog-Metal with a strong symphonic component, and it's just the time to name those of the album's 12 songs (no instrumentals here) that fully suit this definition. These are In My Shell, Soul Deceiver, Oceans of Insolence, Only Love and What Little Girls Are For, all being multi-sectional compositions ranging from six to nine-and-a-half minutes. Most of the instrumental arrangements are both driving and labyrinthine regardless of whether or not there is singing concurrent, though the vocals are also amazingly diverse, unfolding their own thematic lines independently from those on the instrumental plane, in spite of which each lyrical phrase perfectly suits the instrumentation. This is a band where all musicians, the drummer included, appear to be lead players, soloing almost ceaselessly, plus rarely in unison etc. One may be bored with endlessly crossing solos, but not I. Exactly such ever-morphing-and-moving patterns make orthodox Prog-Metal attractive for yours truly. The 7-minute Running Away is the same story overall, save the fact that the purely instrumental arrangements cover about two thirds of it and that there is no place for rest here, as the performance is very fast and intense throughout, the joint interaction between all the players being nothing less than fantastic. Simply put, this is a phenomenal creation. Besides, the absence of narratives, exclamations and naturalistic effects that are quite often entwined into the music on the many other tracks makes it an absolute winner for my ears. Dirty Room's Parts I & II and Born Again seem to be the richest in spoken words, perhaps just because they are short (the shortest tracks actually), although the former two are remarkable anyhow, especially Part I which possesses most of the hallmarks typical of the best tracks despite its brevity. Unlike almost all of the other songs, which are full of drama, Miracle and Ask the Angels are relatively elated in mood. These are pleasantly complicated Art-Rock ballads, each featuring two highly impressive instrumental sections. The last piece, Choices, is something average between Miracle and the songs done in the primary style.
Conclusion. Any review, analysis or comment is just a reviewer's pared-down interpretation of an album, while the true integrity of the picture appears only as a result of a direct interaction between an album and the listener. Any actively working reviewer can't be regarded as a true listener. Nevertheless I believe I will not sin against the truth if I say that the hero of this occasion is one of the finest examples of epic Prog-Metal, which has already delivered its makers to the upper echelon of the genre.
VM: October 17, 2006
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