DROPSHARD — Anywhere But Home (review)

DROPSHARD — Anywhere But Home album cover Album · 2011 · Progressive Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
3.5/5 ·
When a new progressive metal band emerged to the scene, everyone will be wondering "ok now, is this another Dream Theater clone?" or "how close is it to Symphony X ?", but Dropshard decided to take the unusual path by playing a style echoed by the likes of Riverside, Pain of Salvation, and Porcupine Tree. Of course they didn't stand there as a hollow copycat, if those bands were carrying a heavy loads of classic prog influences, Dropshard nods more to the metal side.

"Anywhere But Home", the title track, preceded by a glowing harmonic vocal intro on "Look Ahead", constructed with a good verse and packed with packed with a nice and tight upbeat metal at the end, a great track to start the album. "Images of Mind" really reminds me a lot of Riverside style and Scanu's voice is unmistakably influenced by Marius Duda. He really shines here, perhaps his best moment of the entire album. "A Cold Morning" is a beautiful melodic track, I like how they insert the flute here but shame that it was very short. Onto the second half, "Changing Colours" and "A New Beginning" are okay, and with another two short tracks, I guess this half is deteriorating even though still acceptable.

Listening to this album is actually have to be done in one whole session and can't be separated since basically it's a concept record that flows smoothly from the beginning. Judging from the short running time, I see a wide room for improvement and probably another 10 minutes of experimental insertion with diverse instruments should have make this album better. The great production increased the value of the album, but lack of songwriting consistency and shallow rhythm guitars are the negative points that should be fixed in the next release. But for now, "Anywhere But Home" qualified to be a good debut and recommended for fans of balanced prog rock/metal.
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