Progressive Metal • Israel

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Distorted Harmony are a Progressive Metal band from Tel Aviv, Israel.

A heavy riff followed by a symphonic interlude, sweet melodic vocals accompanied by unique jazz changes. Complex time signatures and melodic death innuendos combined with modern synth sounds and other electronic music influences.

This is Distorted Harmony.

Thanks to colt for the addition

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.. Album Cover 4.34 | 21 ratings
Progressive Metal 2012
.. Album Cover 4.95 | 4 ratings
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Album · 2012 · Progressive Metal
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"Utopia" is the debut full-length studio album by Israeli, Tel Aviv based progressive metal act Distorted Harmony. The album was originally released in May 2012 as a free download on the band´s Bandcamp page, but saw a CD release in July 2012.

The 5-piece act play a very dynamic and well written progressive metal style. The keyboards are quite dominant in the soundscape, but there are still plenty of room for heavy distorted guitar riffs and pounding rythms ((and thankfully no sirupy ballads to disrupt the flow of the album. Yes I´m looking at you Dream Theater). As mentioned this is very dynamic music though, so there are both more mellow and atmospheric parts on the album too. The musicianship is generally excellent but to my ears it´s lead vocalist Misha Soukhinin that stands out the most. He has a strong, personal and emotional/melancholic delivery that´s not typical for a vocalist in a progressive metal act. Actually his voice and singing style remind me quite a bit of Jan H. Ohme from the Norwegian alternative/progressive rock act Gazpacho. Besides that influence I´d mention acts like Dream Theater and Riverside among the influences.

The tracks feature adventurous and complex structures, tempo- and time signature changes and technical playing but there is always great focus on catchy hooks. To my ears it´s that balance between technical playing and emotional delivery that makes "Utopia" such a strong release. The sound production is powerful, detailed and well sounding. Pretty impressive considering that this is a 100% self-financed release. So overall "Utopia" is an album with very few flaws and a lot of positive qualities. A 4 star (80%) rating is more than deserved.


Album · 2012 · Progressive Metal
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Eeeeeh, alright, I guess I can just about give Distorted Harmony's debut album a thumbs-up. This progressive metal tour de force is an intriguingly gentle ride which incorporates plenty of quieter, more acoustic moments - to the point where the band are at risk of drifting away from metal altogether - but on balance there are enough twists and turns to keep a range of listeners happy. That said, I think it could do with a little more editorial trimming here and there, with some sections mildly outstaying their welcome - in particular, the bit where lead vocalist Misha Soukhinin goess off on a spoken word tangent in which he presents a simplistic and not especially interesting or original political philosophy tries my patience every time I listen to the album. Like I said: I'll give it the thumbs-up, but it only just slipped under the wire.


Album · 2012 · Progressive Metal
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People have argued about how the internet affects the music industry for well over a decade now, and although I'm sure these debates will persist for decades more, there is one clear way in which music benefits from the world wide web - distribution. Take Distorted Harmony, for example; a group of virtuous progressive metal musicians from Israel that has had the opportunity to share their art with the world through the means of online distribution. Released in May, 2012 for free on their SoundCloud page, Utopia is the sort of album that I'd expect from established progressive metal veterans - stunning compositions, incredibly high levels of musicianship, and flawless execution make this one of the best albums I've heard this year. Much like Haken did just a couple of years ago with the masterpiece that was Aquarius, Distorted Harmony have entered the scene with a stunning observation that deserves to be heard by every fan of the genre.

Though Utopia's finest asset is in its strikingly dynamic compositions, one of Distorted Harmony's greatest strengths is their ability to stay within the confines of 'traditional' progressive metal while still coming across as fresh and unique. The strong vocal melodies, frequent use of polyrhythmic syncopation, and symphonic tendencies bring Pain of Salvation to mind, and the technical acrobatics will probably remind most listeners of Dream Theater - while this may not sound like too unique of a formula, heavy and modern sounding riffs, frequent deviations into traditional symphonic prog, and alternative-sounding melodies add an additional layer of freshness to Distorted Harmony's core sound. Whilst one could potentially argue that Utopia does sound stylistically similar to many other observations in the genre, Distorted Harmony has put a stamp on the album that is distinctly theirs. And, at the end of the day, what really matters most is the music - and that is where Distorted Harmony makes one hell of an impression.

Utopia consists of six songs, clocking anywhere from seven to twelve-and-a-half minutes apiece, and although the tracks are certainly on the 'longer' side, Distorted Harmony does not indulge in any drawn-out shredfests or sprawling epics. The band focuses much more on powerful, compact compositions, which I think suits them very well. Utopia doesn't have a weak moment in sight; every section is captivating, every transition is smooth, and every song leaves an impression that will last for quite some time even after the listener has given the album a rest. Everything from the grandiose orchestrations in 'Kono Yume' to the climatic ending in 'Utopia' just reeks of sheer perfection, and even after enjoying the album for nearly half a year, I'm still nowhere near finished with this slice of heaven.

For better or worse, Utopia is the sort of release that only comes around once in a blue moon - albums this perfect just don't roll around frequently enough, especially for debut offerings. Utopia is just one of those releases that always manages to challenge my mind, pull my heartstrings, and lift my mood regardless of the circumstances - even after hearing this dozens of time, I'm still shocked by some of the intricacies used by Distorted Harmony. It will take a damn good album to dethrone this one from 'album of the year' for me, and even if that were to happen, Utopia will still stand as one of the best progressive metal albums I have ever heard. Well done, gentlemen!


Album · 2012 · Progressive Metal
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Six pieces of noble cheese

Traditional progressive metal is often considered to be cheesy, stagnant and derivative. Let's see... "traditional" and "progressive". Not a very fortunate choice of words. Isn't the first one an antonym of the other one? Well, it is, usually. Distorted Harmony managed to bend the rules of semantics though. UTOPIA is dripping with traditional prog metal elements - keyboards, synths and virtuosity. All this, however, is just a wrapping for some really well-crafted, inventive and emotionally charged metal music.

As usual, production is not without significance. What often bothers me about modern prog releases, is that the sound feels overproduced and artificial. Fortunately, UTOPIA's sound is indeed polished yet infused with a healthy dose of organic sharpness and spiced with a pinch of old-school prog rock softness. As a result, all assets of the album - intricate passages, theme changes with underlying symphonic prog basis - are well highlighted.

"Apparently Michael Bublé wouldn't be so dull if he stopped rehashing ideas of Frank Sinatra and started a prog metal band." That's what I thought right after hearing Misha Soukhinin's voice in "Kono Yume". His vocals are one of the best things about Distorted Harmony, no joke! Expressive, well trained and original. Especially when compared to typical prog metal vocalists, trying to sound like James LaBrie or Geoff Tate. Misha's voice reminds me of Michael Bublé (darn, I feel like I shouldn't be saying this) and his timbre suits the music very well. As for the music, UTOPIA consists of six intricate compositions, deeply rooted in classic progressive metal and underlaid with strong symphonic prog rock element. All that tinged with Opeth's eclectic approach to harmony and... some pop catchiness. At times I feel like some of the cheesy parts could have been avoided but as a whole, UTOPIA is a top-notch progressive metal release.

I'm not by any means a fan of traditional progressive metal. I don't like Dream Theater and Queensrÿche get on my nerves. Still, I really like this album. So, even if you're not into this sub-genre of metal music, give Distorted Harmony a chance to, ermm... distort your tastes... clumsy pun, eh?


Album · 2012 · Progressive Metal
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Conor Fynes
'Utopia' - Distorted Harmony (9/10)

Listening to Distorted Harmony's debut, I'm reminded of an album I heard back in 2010. I've long held the belief that the heyday of progressive metal was back whenever Dream Theater were at their creative peak. Although almost every style of music out there takes after its flagship artists in one way or another, I found that far too many bands sought to copy without adding their own flair. Of course, your typical Dream Theater, or Symphony X clone will be armed to the brim with technical skill, but it was the emotional element that was sorely missing. In 2010, it was Haken's "Aquarius" that opened my eyes to the 'current' prog metal scene's potential. "Utopia"s blend of heartfelt melodies, warm performance, and razor- sharp compositions instantly places Distorted Harmony on the prog metal map, alongside the other promising newcomers.

Though there were some infamous exceptions, I think the majority of prog metallers found themselves impressed and even touched by Haken's "Aquarius"; it stuck within Dream Theater's style, yet managed to create something fresh with it. I don't mean to keep comparing Distorted Harmony with Haken, but I really do get the same impression from them. In spite of being Distorted Harmony's first complete offering, they have already fully realized their sound in several respects. I would not be out of place calling Distorted Harmony a 'symphonic' progressive metal band; although they do not make a complete leap into orchestral territory, there is usually a rich symphonic arrangement backing up the band. Although this element of Distorted Harmony's sound is programmed, it does not sound cheap or dull. In fact, listeners will be surprised to hear what a fantastic production Distorted Harmony have this first time around, although when it's been mastered by the almighty Jens Bogren, that's usually a sign of good things.

Distorted Harmony cite bands like Dream Theater, Opeth, and Symphony X as influences, and the styles of those bands are most certainly engrained in "Utopia". I might add Pain of Salvation to that list. Although Dream Theater's frantic, technical, oftimes quirky approach resonates most with Distorted Harmony, they are not so much a clone as they are taking that familiar style and going their own way with it. Most notably, "Utopia" is an incredibly melodic album, and I don't mean in the bland AOR sense either. The album is filled with trademark instrumental prog metal passages, but Distorted Harmony set themselves apart most by combining melodic elements with prog so seamlessly. Misha Soukhinin is a perfect vocalist for this style; capable of a wide range, and able to capture a rich feeling at any pitch.

Perhaps listeners will find Distorted Harmony too close in sound to Dream Theater, but repeated listens demonstrate how well these guys are able to fuse their influences into one glorious whole. I may be tempted to call it the "Aquarius" of 2012, in that "Utopia" is a surprise-out-of-nowhere prog metal debut. In truth however, they have taken this worn-and- weary style and done something that's very much their own; rich, beautiful and proggy as hell. What's even better; they're offering it for free download on their website!


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