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TRACK LIST: 1. Witness 3:33 2. Primetime 5:06 3. Leech 4:07 4. The Drive 5:33 5. Parallax 4:36 6. Last Man Standing 6:11 7. Brings Me Back 4:40 8. Mezzanine 3:16 All tracks: by The Screen. String arrangements (on 2 & 8): by A. Happel. LINE-UP: Jarrett Osborn - drums Erik Ralston - bass Robert Beal - lead guitar Rob Ziminsky - vocals; guitar Produced by The Screen & D. Watt. Engineered by Ziminsky & A. May. Recorded at "The Subterranean Chapel", NH.
Prolusion. Dear readers! Get ready to read a heavily hackneyed, very brief, yet, topical informational 'sheet' in the next sentence. "The Screen" is the debut album of the American band of the same name!
Synopsis. The total duration of this CD is 43 minutes, and the album features ten tracks, and not eight, which you can see in the track list above. However, the last two tracks (9 & 10) are the "Radio Edit" versions of Parallax and Bring Me Back (5 & 7), and those are too little different from the originals to describe them separately. The real last track of the album: Mezzanine (8) is the only instrumental here and is done in the style that I would define as Alternative Space Rock. The passages of acoustic guitar presented there are simply amazing. This piece and the first five songs on the album sound both fresh and interesting. Even though they concern the mainstream Prog rather than what we used to take as a classic and even Neo Progressive, each of the songs features at least one more or less large-scaled instrumental part with 'classically' progressive arrangements. A blend of Alternative Rock, Nu Metal (Nu is Nuove, which is not the same as Neo) and, proper, Progressive Rock with elements of Cathedral Metal lies in the basis of Witness, Leech, The Drive, and Parallax (1, 3, 4, & 5), though the latter two contain the larger number of atmospheric parts, including those related to a guitar Art-Rock. Here, keyboards were used mostly as a background for interplay between solos of electric guitar and bass and passages of semi-acoustic guitar. While the aforementioned Mezzanine, and also Primetime, which features orchestral arrangements and represents an unusual, original fusion of Alternative Rock and Symphonic Progressive, are rich in the parts of keyboards as well. When listening to the said five songs, such 'major' bands as Nine Inch Nails, Tool, and Radiohead may come to mind, though THE SCREEN so far don't reach the level of progressiveness and inventiveness typical for these bands' music. Unfortunately, the remaining two songs: Last Man Standing and Brings Me Back (6 & 7) are almost free of progressive features and, thus, are less interesting than any of the other tracks on the album. Both of them are about a traditional Alternative Rock rather than something else.
Conclusion. Well, there are two vastly unimpressive songs on "The Screen", but overall, this is in many ways an interesting album. It might be especially interesting for those aren't acquainted with the so-called mainstream Progressive, and there are things that are really worthy to be heard.
VM: January 9, 2004
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