DISTORTED HARMONY
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.

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DISTORTED HARMONY Discography

DISTORTED HARMONY albums / top albums

.. Album Cover 4.35 | 22 ratings
Utopia
Progressive Metal 2012
.. Album Cover 4.81 | 5 ratings
Chain Reaction
Progressive Metal 2014

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DISTORTED HARMONY Reviews

DISTORTED HARMONY Chain Reaction

Album · 2014 · Progressive Metal
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adg211288
Chain Reaction (2014) is the second full-length album by Israeli progressive metal act Distorted Harmony. Like with the band's debut Utopia (2012) Chain Reaction is an entirely self-released effort and is available in both digital and CD format. A deluxe digital edition also exists that contains bonus material such as guitar tabs and drum charts; quite a nice extra for musician fans.

Back when Utopia was released, initially as a free download, I was greatly impressed by it and I know I was not alone in that. Setting the bar so high with a first offering though does put the pressure on for what the artist follows it up with so it was with both excitement and trepidation that I took my first listen to Chain Reaction.

Well it's pretty clear that Distorted Harmony have lost none of their skill as musicians and composers. On a purely instrumental basis I'd say that Chain Reaction is even stronger than Utopia was. Tracks like Misguided and Natural Selection are in particular progressive metal goldmines. The biggest change in the overall sound between the two albums is that the symphonic influences have been quite significantly withdrawn this time making Chain Reaction more of a straight progressive metal release. They still tone things down a bit towards a lighter more progressive rock orientated sound for parts of the album though, but that's true of most progressive metal acts. The band have also gone for a more concise method of songwriting this time as well, giving a total of nine tracks next to Utopia's six. There's still a couple of longer ones such as Misguided and closer Methylene Blue though, which clock in at 8:34 and 7:53 respectively. The sound production seems to have been given more polish as well, which is of course to the benefit of this type of music.

Singer Misha Soukhinin is also in fine form here though I can't say I'm fond of the screaming section thrown into second track Children of Red, which is the only negative thing I have to say about the album. To my ears it feels unnecessary given the quality of his singing voice, which if anything is even stronger here than on Utopia (in between these two albums he was actually a contestant on the talent show The Voice Israel where he reached the quarter-finals and no doubt received coaching from the experience, at least that's how the UK version of that show works). To my ears the screams disrupt the otherwise flawless flow of the music. A minor issue all things considered, one that's offset by all the other positive things that can be said of Chain Reaction but I do have to be objective here, it is an issue that didn't exist on Utopia. But it is good that bands try different things and hopefully this probing with extreme influences won't go any further; this band doesn't need them.

Like with their debut, Distorted Harmony's Chain Reaction is a high class progressive metal effort. So much so that I actually have a hard time deciding which of the two albums I prefer. It's fair to say though that if you like your prog to be symphonic you're more likely to enjoy Utopia likewise if you don't like symphonic elements Chain Reaction will be more your cup of tea. That doesn't help me choose, since I like it both ways and while Chain Reaction makes slight improvements to Utopia's ideas (and it was always only going to be slight improvements on such a fantastic and professional debut) it did also introduce one small negative aspect which offset them. It's probably fairest to score them the about same because of that. I made comparisons in my Utopia review to the British band Haken as both band's debut's blew me away in a similar manner. Both bands have now produced equally worthy second albums. Haken however fell slightly short when it came to album number three. Time will only tell if Distorted Harmony can do what the other band didn't. Oh and 5 well earned stars for Chain Reaction.

99/100

(Originally written for Heavy Metal Haven: http://metaltube.freeforums.org/distorted-harmony-chain-reaction-t3835.html)

DISTORTED HARMONY Utopia

Album · 2012 · Progressive Metal
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UMUR
"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.

DISTORTED HARMONY Utopia

Album · 2012 · Progressive Metal
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Warthur
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.

DISTORTED HARMONY Utopia

Album · 2012 · Progressive Metal
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J-Man
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!

DISTORTED HARMONY Utopia

Album · 2012 · Progressive Metal
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bartosso
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?

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