posted on 11/2002 By:
I FINALLY have a band I can compare other progressive metal bands to other than Dream Theater! Nemesis is some kick ass prog to say the least, their music is very Dream-Theater-esque, thereby making it good. Like D.T., they embody everything good about prog (amazing technicality, cool clean vox, atmospheric keyboards) without any of the boring or lame parts (pussy vox, over-keyboarding, weak riffs, etc). "Eden?" manages to be an awesome album, it is progressive metal done very well. I kind of feared for my metal life when the disc started up, there is sort of a slow intro which lead me to believe this was going to be another generic, hackneyed, soulless prog band. Luckily the action picks up a couple minutes into the song and never lets down. The riffing is very catchy, and can get pretty heavy at times, not quite as heavy as new Helloween, but somewhat similar. The keyboards do exactly what keyboards were intended to do, fill out the sound. They sort of guide the main melody along or add ambiance to the tune, it is the perfect compliment to their progressive sound. Half the time I couldn’t tell if they were using some sort of weird distortion on the guitars or if it was a keyboard solo, it was great. Obviously there were points where I could easily say that it was keyboard or guitar, but sometimes they just mesh so well. Everything is brought out well by some excellent production, as is basically the standard now with power/prog metal. I would say my favorite track was "Predestination", it has the heaviest guitars and a cool, catchy tune. There is a pretty cheesy sounding instrumental called "Faith", it’s the kind of thing you would play in the background of some cheap-ass 80s movie where a couple of twelve-year-olds are falling in love or flying through space or something. However, I still managed to like it, heaven help me. The final track is in a different language, it sounds like French, but I can’t tell for sure. There are two things that keep this album from getting a higher score. The first is the singer. While he is pretty competent, there are points where it sounds like he is EVER SO SLIGHTLY off key, just barely. It is kind of grating on my ears, and it only happens every so often. I doubt anybody else would even notice such a thing, but it annoyed me a little bit. The second thing is the fact that they break no new ground in the realm of prog metal, none whatsoever. If you’re looking for bands to expand your prog horizons, this is not the band to forge ahead. They are very good at what they do, but there is no boundary-pushing here. If this band had no substance, obviously they would be completely forgettable. However, since they do have some soul and excellent riffage and keyboarding, they stuck in my mind and will be near the top of my prog metal band list. "Eden?" is a very cool album, I think people who make fun of prog metal will have a very difficult time making fun of this, they are just too damn good at what they do. I give it two flaming-middle-fingers up.
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