A Slight Amplification
posted on 3/2009 By:
Progressive power metal is one of the arenas that American bands tend to fare extremely well in. Ball-swingin' and crunch-centric, we Yanks tend to place just as much importance on punch and swagger as we do flash and sizzle. On this 3 track EP, Turrigenous hold fast to these tenets, crafting a (largely) exciting blend of (largely) high-octane prog metal and polished thrash.
"A Slight Amplification" is a simple showcase of the band's chops. Featuring quick, snappy guitar work, some beefy, top-down double bass, and the soaring, perfectly capable vocals of Greg Giordano, this is a pretty straightforward affair. The following track, "Emptiness, Darkness, Acceptance," is an attempt to spread their wings into "look at how progressive and multi-faceted we are!" territory. Starting (really) slowly with a fey, formless croon before breaking into a satisfying snarl, this song sees the band play around with tempos and storytelling, but the results are decidedly mixed - the only bright spot is the Iced Earth-meets-Dream Theater coda. Closer "War Inside" is far and away the most dymanic of the three jams, a blissful showcase of infectous rhythms and killer vocals. This is the track that stirs excitement over Turrigenous' future; everything comes together in a sonic firedance that is accessible as it is challenging.
Here's the deal: While this EP is far from perfect, the dearth of high-quality bands of this ilk has made these guys a band to watch. Certainly, the ham-fisted, don't-call-it-a-demo production takes a significant bite out of their power/thrash filet; some quality time with a whip-smart knob-wrangler could yield some serious results. It would be cool to see a significant record label throw these guys the keys and let them roam free, but their lack of breakdowns, a facepaint/fur ensemble, or pseudo-cosmic imagery may be too big a hurdle for the trendmongers to clear. Turrigenous would be wise to keep fighting the good fight, though - they might have an epic album hidden up their collective sleeve. A Slight Amplification is the iron on its wrinkles.
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