Release DetailsLABEL N/A
RELEASED ON 1/1/2008
posted on 4/2008 By:
It’s not often you come across a tastefully restrained melodic, progressive metal album. On the rare occasion you do find such a gem, you’d certainly never expect it out of an unsigned band out of Texas, would you? Sure enough, this Austin-based quartet has done the nearly unthinkable with their debut, Dissension.
One of the first things you’ll notice about Ethereal Architect is the air of smooth professionalism they exude, almost to the point where you could argue the band is playing it a little safe. All the hallmarks of progressive metal are present; fluid bass lines, dexterous leads and solos, unconventional song structures, clean crooning vocals, synths, odd rhythmic qualities, etc. The thing is, the synths are held in check by the surprisingly heavy and chunky guitars, the technicality isn’t over the top, the vocalist doesn’t over-stretch his range, the song lengths are reasonable, and so on. In other words, this is a progressive band that relies more on songwriting than pretentious wanking.
This professionalism is simultaneously a strength as well as a weakness. Every note sounds well planned out, like each is where it is supposed to be. That makes for a somewhat boring and predictable listen. Another weakness would be the band’s limp rhythm section. They do an adequate enough job I suppose, but to be a great prog band you have to push the rhythm section to the forefront a little more.
Dissension is an album that won't make you cringe as often as some wanky progressive albums will, but it also isn't going to get your head banging much either. Ethereal Architect is a talented group and they've managed to avoid many of their chosen genre's pitfalls, so the future is certainly bright for them. In the future I'd look for these guys to develop a stronger rhythmic approach to their sound as well as continuing to keep the wank factor in check.
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