'Voice In The Light' - Amaran's Plight (6/10)
Sadly, the concept of supergroups are a lot like late-night infomercials. Although they promise the greatest thing ever, they almost always fall short of what you would have hoped for. Amaran's Plight is a progressive metal project, hosted by some of the genre's most respected figures. Musicians here come from Royal Hunt, Spock's Beard, Shadow Gallery, and Under The Sun, and if you're any bit into the melodic side of prog metal, you should already be excited as to what Amaran's Plight offers. Although their one album 'Voice In The Light' sports the expected incredible musicianship and even a healthy dose of ambition, the music itself comes off as being a cheesy, albeit wonderfully performed dish that adds little new to any of the band member's careers.
Although metal has now become an immensely vast genre in regards to what the term can mean, 'progressive metal' now generally means a sort of melodic metal that gets amped up in terms of complexity and technicality. Although prog and metal are my two favourite types of music, these mainline brand of progressive metal has worn very thin in modern times, despite the consistent technical prowess that the genre's members can display. With that in mind, Amaran's Plight demonstrates a great many elements that represent what the scene of modern progressive metal has developed into, for better or worse. Fans of anthemic melodies and musical wizardry will find plenty to love in 'Voice In The Light', although listeners looking for something innovative and edgy may find themselves turned away. Amaran's Plight focuses on two areas: melody, and technicality. These two approaches are often considered opposites, and while I would like to say that 'Voice In The Light' manages to break through the barrier and marry the elements together, the technical moments and melodic passages are kept somewhat separate. While there may be a Dream Theater- derivative moment of guitar and keyboard solo craziness one moment, by the time the AOR vocal melodies come back again, the instrumentation has toned itself back down. This leads to a binary state in the music that keeps things interesting enough, but it goes without saying that Amaran's Plight would have been a more successful project, had they tried to do something new with the genre.
For fans of progressive metal, Amaran's Plight may come across as a concept masterpiece; the sort of album that fulfils everything someone would want out of progressive metal. For others- such as myself- I will admire the musicianship from afar, and even the bold sense of melody. 'Voice In The Light' is not a bad album, but the AOR prog metal sound has been done much better before, and I'm left wanting something different. A matter of taste, I suppose?