Release DetailsLABEL N/A
RELEASED ON 1/1/2004
A Dream of Fire
posted on 9/2004 By:
Prosthetic Orchestra plays a brand of industrial metal that leans slightly toward the doomier end of the spectrum. Starting as the one man project of Trystan Cefer. Before the recording of A Dream of Fire, a few new members were added, and Prosthetic Orchestra can now be accurately described as a band. However, it is clear from this recording that Cefer is still the man behind the steering wheel. In some ways, his singular vision serves as great credit to the songs found on A Dream of Fire, but in far too many others, it is a curse.
For the most part the compositions found on this album are pretty competent. There’s nothing truly amazing going on, but they are at least on par with what you would normally hear in this genre of music. Most of the songs are driven by simple drum beats, chugging power chords and keyboards. Occasionally acoustic guitars (“Puppets and Toys”) or melodic guitar leads (“A Dream of Fire”) are featured. An assortment of other odd noises and samples find their way into the mix as well, and as a result they are able to create a pretty dark atmosphere that is mildly engaging.
Unfortunately, Prosthetic Orchestra makes some really atrocious decisions as to what they let creep into their music. Cefer’s vocal performance leaves a lot to be desired. Ranging at times from a post-grunge/proto nu-metal drone to spoken word and whispers, Cefer’s performance is in many ways this album’s kiss of death. In addition to being poorly executed, Cefer’s vocals are also far too prevalent in the mix. There’s really no way to avoid this guy. I could go on: there is his almost nursery rhyme delivery at the beginning of “Puppets and Toys” or the back of the napkin type lyrics that pervade the entire release, but I think you get the point.
I mentioned how this band occasionally creates some cool dark atmosphere. Well, for the most part it is overshadowed by the downright HILARIOUS atmosphere that is pervasive throughout most of this release. Crotchduster, S.O.D, Blood Duster, take a seat because the final track on this album, "Pathetic Human Beings," firmly places Prosthetic Orchestra in the frontrunner position of the humor metal genre. Whether it’s the frantic whispered vocals or the keyboards beeping in the background like popping bubbles of doom, I can’t help but feel like I’m caught running in place in an old Green Jelly music video. It’s great fun, but I don’t think that was Prosthetic Orchestra’s intention, because there are some moments on this track that are pretty damn dark and heavy.
Here’s this album in a nutshell. Prosthetic Orchestra’s A Dream of Fire has the elements to be a decent industrial doom metal album. But it’s just consistently stopped dead in its tracks by the inclusion of effects, vocals, and lyrics that turn it from deep and haunting to silly. A Dream of Fire does have a few stellar moments, unfortunately most of them are ruined by a lack of artistic forethought and those that remain hardly make this album worth your hard earned dollar.
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