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Douglas Skene
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164 reviews/ratings
CALIGULA'S HORSE - The Tide, The Thief & River’s End Progressive Metal | review permalink
HAKEN - The Mountain Progressive Metal
QUEENSRŸCHE - Operation: Mindcrime Progressive Metal
PAGAN'S MIND - Enigmatic: Calling Progressive Metal
METALLICA - Master of Puppets Thrash Metal
METALLICA - ...And Justice for All Thrash Metal
IRON MAIDEN - Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son Traditional heavy metal
RUSH - Moving Pictures Hard Rock
KING CRIMSON - Red Proto-Metal
KING CRIMSON - Larks' Tongues In Aspic Proto-Metal
RUSH - A Farewell to Kings Hard Rock
RUSH - Hemispheres Hard Rock
NIGHTWISH - Once Symphonic Metal
ALICE IN CHAINS - Dirt Alternative Metal
KARNIVOOL - Sound Awake Alternative Metal
FAITH NO MORE - Angel Dust Alternative Metal
AYREON - The Human Equation Progressive Metal
TESSERACT - Altered State Progressive Metal
SYMPHONY X - V: The New Mythology Suite Progressive Metal
DREAM THEATER - Metropolis, Part 2: Scenes From a Memory Progressive Metal

See all reviews/ratings

Metal Genre Nb. Rated Avg. rating
1 Progressive Metal 80 3.91
2 Power Metal 26 4.08
3 Traditional heavy metal 8 4.00
4 Symphonic Metal 8 3.38
5 Thrash Metal 7 3.64
6 Hard Rock 7 4.36
7 Gothic Metal 6 4.42
8 Alternative Metal 4 4.75
9 Metal Related 4 4.13
10 Doom Metal 3 4.33
11 US Power Metal 2 3.75
12 Proto-Metal 2 5.00
13 Symphonic Black Metal 1 4.00
14 Technical Death Metal 1 4.00
15 Atmospheric Black Metal 1 0.50
16 Metalcore 1 2.50
17 NWoBHM 1 4.00
18 Industrial Metal 1 4.00
19 Melodic Death Metal 1 4.00

Latest Albums Reviews

VOYAGER V

Album · 2014 · Progressive Metal
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Five - 5 - Fünf - Fem - Cinque - Whatever your language is - this is the number of hours I listened to this album for straight upon first receiving my promo. I can in no way hide that I am a humungous fanboy of the Western Australian wonder that is 'Voyager'; a band that dominates the live stage every bit as much as their spectacular albums of melodious, rich, and energetic music. I first had the pleasure of hearing about Voyager on their 'I am the reVolution' tour after friends made the short trek up to the central coast to a little dingy music venue in Wyong on the NSW Central Coast. I was blown away by the sheer triumphant force of the band as well as the great mixture of synthetised backdrops against groovy and boppy metallic guitars which form a syrup, if you will, of New Wave meets Pop twixt Metal. My love affair with this peculiar yet homogenous sound and great bunch of guys and girl has been waiting with bated breathed on this release. After placing their last album in one of my top records for 2011 in combination with it having some of the best production I have ever heard in metal and all genres alike - this release had Krusty the Clown sized shoes to fill to even match the last release, and to exceed it overall would be borderline impossible. It's not often that I get the inpiration to write such an in-depth and brutally honest review but I feel it would be daft of me to skim it but on the surface.

Hyperventilating The trance fused synthetised fury of frontman Daniel Estrin immediately tell me to hold onto my arse for a proceeding riff, I could feel the promise of djenty sackrattling from the get go. Holy hell - this is killer. The secondary nature of the guitars that support Voyager's popular songwriting curve that they have sometimes been criticised of is completely dismissed right-off-the-bat. Fierce pumping grooves move you and I mean they really move you. Not for one second are force-fed this 1-note djentstick garb at all - this is fresh, 2014, harmonic and interesting riffage that elated me. The Milton Cleans enter and it's not doubt what the influences have been on the band since 'The Meaning of I' but it comes off as the opposite of contrived. It is a mutated Cyclops growing and extra arm to generate more of itself. It is Voyager^2. All the hooks, all of the guitars (especially the playful phrasing of Scott Kay's first guitar solo to Simone Dow's diminished flurries) , the newly found presence of some slap articulations by Alex Canion to thicken the barrage of groove, and the punchy beats of the Dood take everything successful on the title track of their previous release including its more contemporary guitar tuning to make the perfect opener to this album. Terrific!

Breaking Down From the suggestions of an eponymous record title, to the insanely supported crowdfunding campaign, there was a great deal of mystique around this release for me and I couldn't wait to get my first taste of the album. As a funder of the record, I was rewarded with an early taste of this track and to my surprise, I was worried. I did not like this song on first listen, or second, or fifteenth. I thought it may become more entertaining after pondering how funny it may be to count how many times the song could say the words "breaking down". It wasn't and I lost track at over 100, I'm sure. This song is just derivative and lacking substance and I felt as though it was so conventional and simple that it almost felt like the band thought they'd see how little they could put into a song and still have the fans like it. I know this is definitely not the case but it made me feel like Voyager thought I was stupid. This may seem overtly harsh and it's not meant to come across that way, it's simply my reaction and this is coming from a guy who can enjoy Katy Perry, Backstreet Boys and Britney Spears. I am not allergic to well constructed and simple pop but this has just deserved a permanent skip from me when listening to the album and without it, I'd probably have given this album very close to a perfect 10 out of 10. Most certainly not a worthy addition to the album to my ears.

A Beautiful Mistake Dirty, gritty, PHAT bass and drums open the track like a hammer on amphetamines, immediate transcendence as a Devyesque lydian riff takes us soaring to the heavens. Somehow this song blends this sonorous, otherworldly quality with its lush keyboard pads against a four-to-the-floor Tommy Lee beats for a perfectly progressive piece of metal. Bonus Devy points to the lovely female vocalist ?emyna Kuliukas at the end of the track which washes into blissful sirendom to lead us into what I call a "Danny Song".

Fortune Favours the Blind From as early as I heard 'Without a Sigh', I adored these interlude pieces that Voyager throw in to keep the dynamic curve of their art refreshing. The synthscape, the tribal drumming and the beautiful vocals channel Simon LeBon at his creative highpoints in Arcadia. With thematic links this is the 'V' equivalent of the 'Feuer Meiner Zeit' - 'Fire of the Times' 1-2 sucker punch; however far more engaging.

You, the Shallow Everything about this song from its bounce to it's great riffs, powerful vocals which are stretching Estrin to new extremes. The atmospherics builds before the solos, the half-time head nodders, the leads themselves - this is perfection territory and down to that little moment where the bass and guitars do a little unison lick under the solo where the kicks follow and where some of the guitar hits are high-passed heavily; it's these moments of fairydust that get me smiling. Well executed magic. The vocal melody at 1:56 is melancholic and shows a desperate malfeasance that I don't think I have heard from Daniel in the past even at emotional peaks like in 'The Pensive Disarray'.

Embrace the Limitless Lofty and floaty, like strolling through and alien garden - this is Voyager's uniqueness here. With sweeping arpeggios that feature again to punctuate the fat guitar syncopations of the song's chorus, it's pretty much everything I love about Voyager in a song. The harmonic structures and rhythmic figures are so much more interesting than what the band has experimented with previously. This is a fine balance of everything that is nice in modern progressive music. The vocals are spectacular and Estrin pushing himself to his limits and showcasing a beautiful falsetto that hasn't been heard in the same function on past efforts. The octaved vocals in the outro tag serve only to exemplify the serenity that the band are able to achieve in their compositions further. One of my favourites on the album.

Orpheus Once again, interesting keyboard players and a very driving beat by Ashley Doodkorte, makes this probably one of the most progressive tracks and one of the only tracks that alludes to the neoclassicism of much of the band's first two albums. Delightful arppegiators pepper the song with momentum and sheen. Thankfully, Alex Canion's vocals are not mixed into the background like with the last record, which I always felt to be a crying shame. He has a terrific voice and is emotive to the core - one would only be brought to such a state of catharsis from his performance on cult-band Noctis where he shows many of the sides that he brings as a musician and vocalist; a truly inspiring Australian musician.

The Domination Game This song channels Symphony X vibes for me with its busy, techy riffs and this is fused with an earworm chorus and some great compositional devices in the form of sweet drum hits before the choruses. From the pen of Grand Canion, we are given a tremendous breakdown at 2:40 and a flawless vocal departure and we are left pensively in disarray over spiritual eeriness. The solo is a subtle duet between Kay and Dow with the latter providing tasty lickage to conclude the section. This will be a live favourite, of that I'm sure.

Peacekeeper This is really more of an alternative rock song with a bit of a harder edge and once again we are visited by Estrin's glorious, impassioned vocals. This is a pretty straight forward song and should have been duplicated to replace 'Breaking Down' (ok, I've said enough on that). The vocal adlibs that conclude this piece are also something I haven't heard from the band before - very touching.

It's a Wonder I am reminded of what Norther or Children or Bodom would perhaps sound like if they were born inside a pyramid stone. The opening riff is exceedingly awesome, the rest of the song is strong but not a favourite of mine. The riff at 2:45 is some solid stuff though and there is a zaniness akin to bands such as Leprous.

The Morning Light Normally I would not be such a fan of rerecordings appearing in the middle of an album as it ruins the flow of a new presentation, but I have been one of those pesky fans that has been enthralled by this song in its live state and always wanted it with the new Voyager production. This is the world's greatest and most likely unintentional homage to the Terminator theme. It is what you'd expect and hope it to be - a rad remake of a song that you love. "I break the ice and time stands stills" - this section of the song has almost been a lump of dairy curd to me though and no remake will change that for me. I really loved hearing this and I am happy the keyboards retained their dominance.

Summer Always Comes Tearjerking... literally. This track had sombre tears running down my face on the first listen with that glorious wide piano sound, heart wrenching vocals, and a climactic build which makes me feel lost like I were the protagonist of the most important story told. Not a semblance of me was underwhelmed by this piece. Beautiful darkness through light. The segue on that suspended chord works a treat into Seasons of Age.

Seasons of Age A brilliant finish to this record - with some of the most chordally adventurous sounds that band have put to tape. Brilliant guitar leads, monolithic end riffage and tribal drumming that will wow you not because of the technical prowess, but simply because of how the total package makes you feel. Somehow the month of October will always belong to Peter Steele now and the Transylvanian inflections employed by Estrin suggest that it does for him and the band too.

Production The production on the album is crisp, powerful and punchy but there is always a risk when you go the whole hog and get Jens Bogren to produce one of your records. Everything should sound like a downgrade in comparison and expectedly this is. Whilst the only flaw of the 'Meaning of I' to me was that the mastering was a little too loud for headphone listening at full enjoyment, this albums remedies this slightly with most tracks sitting at DR6 and DR7 yet the overall sound is still not as refined with a bit of lost definition in the drum overheads, grainer and sometimes lazier gating on the guitars between syncopated sections (especially apparent on Hyperventilating). One thing I would like to hear from Voyager is a bit more of a saturated guitar sound to carry some of the leads a little further especially in the tapping sections. The hyper-produced vocals are a trademark of Voyager's sound and I love. The attention to detail with delays and effected layering is what I've come to expect - world class. There is a weird hype at 3-5kHz too which I would have brought down to smooth the albums sound and reduce fatigue for repeated listens.

Overall 'V' is in every way the eponymous self-defining album Voyager needed to make with a few flaws to my ears. I would say it's the band's most progressive release to date and probably the most well rounded but let down by 'Breaking Down' for me and a little bit by the impossibility of competing with Jens' production on the last record. The songwriting and performance as a whole is breathtaking and this will be sitting high on my albums of the year for 2014. I am Voyager and I give this a 9.25/10.

ANUBIS GATE Horizons

Album · 2014 · Progressive Metal
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'Destined to Remember' starts the show off with a familiar edge for any of those that have been following the band's releases until now. In 2013, the band released a free digital EP whose centerpiece was an amped up version of Pink Floyd's 'Sheep'. This version of 'Destined to Remember' is a little different to what we were dealt up on the freebie, however in a more enjoyable way to these picky ears.

The band touch on some great melodic heights and have some beautiful ear candy that helps keep the album fresh compared to their corollaries with some lush acoustic sections that remain fresh at all times. The production team of Kim Olesen and Jacob Hansen is strong and commanding with a reasonable amount of dynamics. I initially became aware of their work on label leader Lance King's 2011 'A Moment in Chiros'. I was thoroughly impressed and the depth of the soundstage and the ethereal layers which are omnipresent on this album, although unfortunately not as well executed.

The band's performances shine on all tracks with a particular highlight to the intriguing keyboard layers. I do feel as though I want to like the sound more than I do as I feel especially vocalist/bassist Henrik Fevre's vocal is honest and competent but something about it just does not grab me which is confronting as I feel much of the instrumentation grabs me in a visceral way in many moments scattered across the album but it's few and far between that I feel the whole band explodes with groundshaking importance in a way that I always look for in releases. It's actually hard for me to believe the difference it makes when Henrik is singing softer sections as opposed to the more traditional metal vocals. He is really on the money and we definitely hear that in the 14 minute monster 'Dream Within a Dream' and the closing track which shows a vulnerable and tender side and is both a puzzling and satisfying closure to the album.

Progressive Music in general has many a promising release scheduled for this year and 'Horizons' is no exception to the mega-hyped anticipation that many prospering bands have been seeing such as Opeth and Teramaze. In some ways perhaps the hype had artificially raised my expectations of the release, and I have to admit I have not been the greatest follower of Anubis Gate's previous output with the exception of 'Andromeda Unchained' which I actually found to be a shining star of quality in the band's back catalogue. Horizons has caught my attention and changed some of my disposition towards the band, however I have to admit - I have not been fully captured. Whilst I see what many others are seeing in the band, the release does not connect me on the emotional level that I need to be completely transported to another dimension and height of auditory pleasure. A solid effort with some moments of greatness and some that don't quite hit the mark for me.

7.5/10.

CALIGULA'S HORSE The Tide, The Thief & River’s End

Album · 2013 · Progressive Metal
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Well here it is, one of the most eagerly awaited albums for these ears in quite some time. I have been quite vocal in my support of this band since their debut release ‘Moments from Ephemeral City‘ and I guess the big question has been would their follow album compete or better their previous slab of progressive meat. I put it to you that it does indeed compete and then some with this album and is sure to make my top albums of 2013 with Steven Wilson‘s ‘The Raven that Refused to Sing (And Other Stories)’, Tesseract‘s ‘Altered State‘, and Haken‘s ‘The Mountain‘. But to those who haven’t heard the band before, what can you expect to hear? Caligula’s Horse possess the juggernaut riffing of Periphery, the delicate emotional sensibility of Pain of Salvation, the perfectly tasteful and never over or understated rhythm section of Porcupine Tree, all cast to the harmonic ingenuity of Steely Dan. Some of you may be reading this and getting a little excited, it is exciting – it’s downright awesome and executed flawlessly by a cohort of young yet seasoned masters.

“Here and now, it ends”, the album opens with a lulling slapback delay motif which pumps into forceful guitar riffage that will feel familiar and comforting to those returning to the C-Horse, Jim Grey’s vocals are commanding and have an intimidating presence which is glorified by the massive gang vocal sections that sound like an army backing up its fearless leader, somehow I feel as though conceptually this may link in with the album too from behind the scenes videos I have seen that detail the recording process of the record. I must admit, I have not fully delved into the conceptual side of the album yet and have been enjoying it on a musical, production and lyrical level at this point in my journey with the album. I find this to often be the beauty with concept albums in that there is a greater philosophical or even cosmic level to gain from such works of art that gives a record staying power and long term appeal. Certainly this will be the case for “Tide”.

Whilst I feel as though the band has cut some of its fat (the Shrapnel Records übershred), which was something I have always praised the band for in terms of the impressiveness, I think it has actually improved the overall vibe and sincerity of the boys’ output. Don’t get me wrong, you will still hear more 16th note quintuplets than the average bear but I feel it’s done in a way to serve the song and album as a whole.

‘Water’s End’ is harkens back to the eastern flavours and delicate guitar work one will remember from ‘Alone in the World’ and ‘Equally Flawed’ from Moments. It is a beautiful journey through modal harmony and hushed falsettos highlighting his dynamic tenor voice. With a return of the roaring gang vocals and some clever metric modulation, the piece alludes back to some of my favourite guitar work on Moments‘ opening track ‘The City Has No Empathy’ which if I am being honest is still my favourite Caligula’s song. This chanting melody towards the end of the track is particularly encapsulating with all instrumental members (Sam Vallen, Zac Greensill, Geoff Irish and Dave Couper) locked in fiercely creating a busy groove of utmost precision and ferocity.

‘Atlas’ is a beautiful mixture of terraced harmonies and breathtaking music akin to another of my favourite songs that the band released as the eponymous track on the ‘Colossus‘ EP. There is a moment when a really dissonant chord enters and a separate layer comes in to accentuate it. It tickles my musician bone something chronic. I adore this attention to subtlety and detail more than words can ever say and that in itself says something special in that music like this transcends intellectualisation and really captures a feeling which is enough to give that wondrous shiver or goosebump moment that music at its peak is capable of delivering.

‘Into the White’ is one of my favourite tracks and my pick for one of the greatest songs on this album. Beautiful acoustic guitars, graceful melodic bass that Pete Trewavas would be proud of, the beautiful drum ambience, live woodwinds and playful, melodic soloing riding over syncopated djenty rhythms makes this track a true standout.

This album is completely self produced and mixed apart from external mastering and is a complete testament to Sam Vallen and Caligula’s Horse’s abilities. It sounds brilliant with a slightly softened presence giving a vintage edge to a modern sound. The tracks retain a lot of dynamic range with most tracks at DR7 and one at DR8 and DR11 each. For those wanting to read more about this you can check out these two links as I believe it’s important to include in my reviews nowadays as I believe the loudness war has gone on too long, thankfully Caligula’s have not been the worst of victims.

‘Old Cracks in New Earth’ is a largely instrumental track bar the end initial ooh chant and incessant chants of madness/determination that conclude the piece. The track is what you’d expect on this album, the full gamut of dynamics, guitar insanity full of shred and tingling vibratos and feel. It also plays the functional role of melodically reprising key themes of the album unifying the concept and tonality of the album as a whole.

‘Dark Hair Down’ is the track that most would be familiar as it was the lead single of this release with a music video that has already had some serious mileage. It is the most straightforward in terms of structure and dynamics with a hard hitting prowess that pushes the whole track along with momentum. This does not stop it from being one of the most enjoyable. Its verse riffs with extremely tight syncopations and beautiful guitar layers make it a powerhouse of tune. It’s the closest thing to a pop song on the record and I mean that in a complimentary way. The darkened fast Leslie organs augment the murky, visceral tones of the track with graceful splendour.

‘Thief’ is a light ballad and serves as a blissful interlude and pause from the relentless riffing of ‘Dark Hair Down’ which once again shows off the beautiful guitar playing and rich vocal timbre of Mr Grey. It is a gentle track that reminds me of the penultimate track ‘Reflections’ from Above Symmetry’s ‘Ripples’ album and it serves a similar purpose of setting up the final monster.

A medical breakthrough; an organic cure for impotence for sure – this opening groove to ‘All is Quiet by the Wall’ is jizzworthy. This absolute monster intro groove will surely get your chubby pumping or some similar biological reaction for female listeners. Once you’ve adjusted to your self-produced dampness, this track will decimate you. The grooves, the delicateness, the sheer power and command of the band and gang vocals; this is the band unified at its peak and it’s breathtaking. I hope you too will smile when you hear how in your face the guitar solos are mixed – these puppies soar! Perhaps one of my few criticisms of the album is that the beginning of this song sounds better when played in isolation from the album as an entire entity as the level of the previous track feels a little high compared with the start of the track. This is a similar criticism I have of one of my favourite songs by my favourite band Pain of Salvation on the title track of their 2000 album ‘The Perfect Element, Part 1′ so it is likely an idiosyncratic perception of this reviewer rather than what can be seen as a flaw.

All in all this record is one to surely shatter the permutations of inferiority complexes of the Australian music loving population in the fact that we can present work that competes with and often exceeds that of the International market. ‘The Tide, the Thief & River’s End’ is quite simply put – near perfect.

TERAMAZE Esoteric Symbolism

Album · 2014 · Progressive Metal
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"Design a collusion delusion A system of victim intrusion Scheming strategic manoeuvres We are bodies betrayed"

Refreshing, powerful, and extremely melodic - the adjectives I'd use at a push to describe Teramaze's 5th album. I have to admit I pretty much consider this their sophomore release as I was not party to their releases throughout the 90's, with my first introduction to the band with their 2012 powerhouse 'Anhedonia' which quite ironically generated feels of anything but anhedonia. There has been an undeniable buzz around this release and I have found it virtually impossible to escape the widespread word and hype around this album anywhere I look online; generally I wouldn't necessarily see this as categorically positive as it can taint your expectations unintentionally. Thankfully for the most part, my expectations and hopes with this album have been realised to the point that I welcome any melodic, thrash, progressive or otherwise metallically inclined music fan to check this 79-ish minute thematic conceptual monster.

The initial impressions I have when comparing this with 'Anhedonia' is a development away from the slightly more thrash-oriented direction that I suspected was the impact of the members growing up in the era where that particular sub-genre beared its greatest fruits. I use the term development as I believe it has very much naturally progressed as compared to what I would consider a departure. The addition of more progressive structures and more varied layering works exceptionally well in Teramaze's favour to create a soundscape of in your face riffs, contemplative and brooding moods, earworm choruses, and timeless unity across the entire album.

Without doubt one of the things that will grab listeners' attention is the astonishing fretboard wizardry of band leader and Dean Well's who treats us to undeniably wondrous smorgasbord of head nodding animosity (special mention to the riff at 2:02 in 'Line of Symmetry' - that will get you nodding with the mania of Jack Black), and emotive, creative, delicious lead playing that is akin to guitar heroes aplenty (Petrucci, Sfogli, Skolnick - just to name a few). The balance of great lead playing and rhythm work is a pleasure with nothing inappropriately overstated like one can sometimes expect of the genre. As a special addition, the tones are simply incredible on this album and it is glued perfectly with the bass and bonded by the fairydust keyboards that emerge to keep the sonic palette interesting (courtesy of Circadian Pulse keyboardist Dave Holley).

The production is another point of veritable quality with all the instruments presented in a crystal clear state whilst maintaining vibe and not losing out to sterility which is a sad by-product of the self-produced musical climate of 2014. The only complaint I really have is that the mastering is a little hot which is noticeable after the first track (which was mastered in my ideal sweet spot). It sits at DR6 across the whole album on average which is nothing out of the ordinary for this day and age but it occasionally gets fatiguing especially over such a long record. Thankfully moment of distortion are kept to a minimum, however there are some trace elements of weakened transients and the occasional buried vocal that loses intelligibility.

Vocalist Brett Rerekura is a joy to listen to and I am appreciative of the fact although his voice pushes the aggressive edge to fit the setting of the music, it is rich in melody and characteristic timbre and is not sabotaged with growls. Long live the singer in a metal band, I say! I detect glimmers of Layne Staley, Sebastian Bach and the rhythmic phrasing of James Hetfield. My only beef is the occasional "Aussieisms" I hear in some inflections which I am hyper-sensitive too (even though I'm Australian myself), however this doesn't detract too much from what is a splendid vocal performance across the board. There are moments of supreme delicacy especially in 'Bodies of Betrayal' which I would have liked to have heard more of as well as a bit more of that delicate side to the band overall to give this album the dynamic curve it deserved. This is of course only a minor criticism.

The album's concept, while not narrative based centres around the experiential nature of deception; especially by that of governing bodies and the powers that be. I think the title of 'Esoteric Symbolism' is perfectly apt as this is not the viewpoint or mindset of everyone and best kept as the worldview of a particular minority of people. I think for some the lyrical approach could border on conspiracy but I like the exploratory nature of them and what is truly the harm in questioning some of the taken-for-granted "truths" we hold in this ever-changing world. Kudos to Teramaze for honestly and whole-heartedly fusing their beliefs with such hard-hitting music in a way that I see as completely lacking pretence.

For me the standout tracks are 'Bodies of Betrayal', 'Esoteric Symbolism' (6:53 in this gives me goosebumps), and 'viii In Vitro' as I believe they hold the most profound emotional connection with me due to the individual moods they build. I have to admit the only track that I am not particularly keen on is the one with the guest vocals as I feel as though it breaks the flow of the album in a way that was superfluous to requirements. It came across as guests for guests sake which is probably my most direct criticism of the record.

This is an exceptional release that stands up to my extremely critical ear and was only let down by perhaps a slight lack of expression with regards to dynamics (mastering and songwriting) across such a long album. Its length to some may indeed be a bit hard to swallow in single listens, however this is par for the course for me as a fan of long form writing. For fans of Metallica, Dream Theater, Alice in Chains and anyone who wishes to have a boot up the bum and an electrode to the brain from an ambitious and highly satiating album. 9/10

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