[review originally published on http://thecennsor.wordpress.com/]
Let’s be honest: I do like this album, and I do think British Lost in Thought have a lot of potential they’re already exploiting to some measure of success. Furthermore, there’s no band without influences, and sometimes it’s just hard to conceal them – provided the band’s out to prove they have their own style and so on, and emerging acts like Lost in Thought usually do.
What kind of annoys me is when the influences are there for anyone to hear, and there’s still people trying so hard to deny it.
Lost In Thought may not be “just another Dream Theater clone” in the ever-expanding galaxy that contains them all, but that they play in the very same vein as the much acclaimed American band is a pure fact. Not only; some echoes are blatant (just check out the opening track, Beyond the Flames, or Lost In Thoughts‘ final section) as if cut straight off from a Dream Theater pre-Black Clouds record.
If truth be told, the power metal cloaking Lost in Thought veil their songs with can sometimes be deceiving. The resulting sound is heavier than Dream Theater‘s, and somewhat (feel free to read “far” instead) less complex. The choir on Assimulate, Destroy comes immediately to mind as an instance of that. Then again, a very much (DT‘s) Home-like section slams the evident truth in your face again: the band’s main influence hangs all over the place, from not-so-carefully hidden to simply manifest.
On the other side, an undoubtedly skilled musicianship, the good sound quality, and bits of well-channelled imagination do play in Lost In Thought‘s favour. True creativity is lacking, but some could argue that’s a much more general issue going much further than this album/band. Here, the revisitation of the American prog heroes’ work gets cleverly combined with a personal touch, or different influcences atleast. Blood Red Diamond comes very close to some of Dutch “symphonic” power metallers Delain‘s stuff, as also Delusional Abyss does to some extent (I couldn’t bother checking which songs exactly, but you can trust me on that).
What can be said in Lost in Thought‘s “defence” (by the way, no-one’s accusing anyone, this just being a worn out listener and music explorer’s two cents), and helps this review’s rating go a bit higher, is this: the guys are young, this is just their debut (besides an EP no-one heard of before anyway) and they come from the United Kingdom. Not to deny that land’s just as good as any when it comes to musical talent, but it’s no Scandinavia after all, and it’s also not like prog metal (with a stress on “metal”) has a long, lasting tradition over there. So, that they managed to put such a debut album together is already worth some praise, or encouragement atleast. Plus: it won’t hurt anybody’s ears to give this stuff a listen; just set aside your desdain for Dream Theater heavily influenced acts and you’ll actually enjoy Opus Arise.
THUS SPAKE THE CENNSOR: All in all, Opus Arise is well written and executed, if perhaps a bit ill-conceived (if, and I’m taking it that was the case, the band’s intent was to dissimulate the aforementioned influences). The end result is a pleasant listen to all fans of prog-power, especially for those who don’t mind a rest in a progster’s everlasting quest for “original” and non-recycled music, to settle for a semi-clone that can still provide some 50 minutes of none too complex prog. 6/10