posted on 1/2010 By:
In the world of high-end cuisine, a bite-size representation of a chef's approach to slappin' shit together in the kitchen is known as an amuse-bouche (not to be mistaken for its polar cousin: the annoy-bouchebag.) It's similar to the idea of the better known hors d'oeuvre, but differs in that it's generally brought to guests without their request. Anyway, I couldn't help but think of this concept when I first came across this little platter from Jacksonville, Florida's Artizan -- not exactly a well known outfit I've been scouring the metal menu to gobble down, and this a rather succinct offering clocking in at just under 20-minutes.
The recipe: A relatively straightforward progressive metal dish that doesn't overwhelm the listener with overly complex ingredients. Not to say the results are bland, however. The components presented here are clean, adequately spiced and would lend themselves very well to those with a palate suited for bands such as Alder-era Fates Warning, Threshold or Pathosray. Hard rhythms are pushed by rolling, stately drumming and deep, bubbling bass; guitars are solidly heavy when need be, not overly aggressive and sweetly melodic when an extra hook is desired; keyboards are used very sparingly to intermittently enhance atmosphere; and the vocals add a perfect level of honey-sweetness that intermingles nicely with the accompanying flavors without ever wailing into an outright "syrup" realm.
Where this offering truly excels, however, is how it eventually ends up sticking to the ol' ribs. As we're all well-aware, quality ingredients don't always equate to a savory morsel, but luckily Artizan show a capable ability to pepper this highly-trafficked recipe well enough to make this short affair pretty memorable. The EP's lack of stylistic innovation might delay immediate enthusiasm, but the catchiness and palatable flavors are definitely pleasing enough to make any progressive metaller anxious for the main course.
Register to post comments.