Sunday, May 03, 2009

Perspective X IV - Shadow Of Doubt
Nightmare

Virtuoso tech-metal trio from Ohio plough some dark, fertile terrain that, thankfully in many cases, goes beyond their acknowledged influences of Rush and Yes and passing similarities to Dream Theater and even Faith No More, not least in their willingness to embroil themselves in livid clouds of dense metal rifferatics, like the staggering storm that starts Carry On (alas, before it lapses into a dimension where no Maiden has ever dwelt), indulge in ridiculously intricate time changes and splodge seemingly incongruous forms together, like the reggae interlude on The Calm or the welcome inclusion of mandolins on Colossal. Credit be theirs that it largely works with an epic sweep without descending into apparent stodgy contrivance. Lyrically they take the form of portentous, ponderous, or plain pointless - take your pick – philosophising (take this and pontificate, from The Smell Of Rain ‘On a journey ever forward / My back to the sun / Pathways to righteousness, a time that’s forgotten / Untamed ground / Too vital for nature / Viewing the beauty without nomenclature’ or the apparent ode to recording that is the aforelysaid Carry On with lines about ‘Dancing plectrums’ and ‘Something acoustic becoming electric / Never fretted over machines before), not generally matched by the songs, which at their lowest ebb, cast your thoughts of ‘aargh no, Dan Reed’ or ‘yikes, not Kashmir again’ into a vast cauldron where Kirk Hammet gently sleeps hoping that Geddy Lee will leave something under his pillow.
Stu Gibson

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