Monday, 4 July 2011

Acrasia – Acrasia (Curt’s Review)

    Acrasia are a progressive/extreme metal band from the states.  I have been listening to their self titled release over and over again and every time I do, I hear something different.  In one listen a person can hear influences ranging all they way from Atheist to Dream Theater. 

     The band has a very modern sound with both the instrumentation and the crystal clear production.  The production is just rough enough to sound “metal” but clear enough to sound modern and professional.  Everything fits into place perfectly and unlike most modern production the drums aren’t obnoxiously overpowered.

     Every member of this band is very talented, the vocalist caries brilliant melodies and is never out of key, he also does harsh vocals which are deep and powerful, never sounding forced or week.  The guitar playing is very tight and the guitar solos are brilliantly executed.  Many of the riffs are extremely technical and the drums are always pummeling through at perfect volume delivering consistent and varied patterns that hold your attention without sounding obnoxious (like Nile.)   

     The strength and weakness of this release is the fact that there is so much variety in the songs.  “Frostbitten Sky” has some very cool Agalloch inspired melodies underneath a Dream Theatre styled rhythm section.  If that’s not weird enough at the half way point a very Cynic influenced jazz section comes in pulling the song in a totally different direction, yet it doesn't seem forced.  In fact, all the changes in style (in this song) not only sound natural but necessary.  “Osedax” on the other hand feels incredibly awkward and poorly arranged with a sever lack of focus.  There is a surf rock section which probably entertains drunken people in a live setting but it prevents me from taking the song seriously.  After the surf rock silliness comes some very awkward sounding riffs that are probably “ultra super tech” but actually sound really dumb.  These awkward riffs keep shifting and changing until they turn into a full on “break down” that doesn’t add anything to the song.  The worst part about this song is that the first 2 minutes are awesome… I guess that is what the skip button is for. 

     All of the songs on this album have strengths and weakness, some of the songs could have unnecessary sections removed but there isn’t anything really stupid going on.  For me the highlights are “Frostbitten Sky” and “Pulse” both of these songs are good examples of when everything pulls together and sounds great.  I also really liked the saxophone section in “Contextual Relevance” it wasn’t near as ostentatious as I expected it to be and fit the song nicely without sounding like an Ihsahn gimmick.  “The Man Who Spoke in Brail” is also worth mentioning, even though it is way too long and has a stupid title.  The song has some amazing parts in it as well as an amazing chorus. 

     I am very surprised this band hasn’t been picked up by a major label.  These guys know how to play their instruments and write music that will appeal to a large audience.  I look forward to seeing what this band does next.  Any fan of progressive metal should check this out NOW!  You can buy this album for $10 at their bandcamp page and I recommend it.   

Curt’s rating: 88%

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