Progressive Metal • Australia
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Geoff Irish, Gareth Hogan and Sam Vallen first met in a practice room in late 2006. Bought together by their common influences in progressive rock and metal, the quartet (including a bass player at the time) started writing what would become their debut album at that first jam session... though they didn't know it at the time. The only ambition at that stage was to have a recorded work ready before performing live for the first time. So the unnamed group went on quietly craft over 70 minutes of instrumental music over the course of the next few years. They went through several bass players and explored several options for vocalists in this time, and at one stage resigned to being a 3-piece instrumental group without a bass player. Exhausted and lacking the confidence and direction to pull it off, the group was contacted by Etelantulet's Dave Couper, who answered an old read more...
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QUANDARY Ready to Fail album cover 3.44 | 4 ratings
Ready to Fail
Progressive Metal 2010

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QUANDARY Ready to Fail

Album · 2010 · Progressive Metal
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Ready to Fail? I Think Not!

Quandary is a relatively new band from Australia, and Ready to Fail is the inapt title of their debut album. Boasting terrific musicianship and great compositional talent, I can confidently say that Quandary has released one of the better progressive metal albums to come out in 2010. Although there is still some work that could be done with their sound, these guys have started on a great note. This is a promising and highly enjoyable debut album.

Quandary plays a style style of traditional progressive metal with a heavy Liquid Tension Experiment/Dream Theater flavor. Don't mistake Quandary for a clone band, though - these guys still have their own sound. There is a high-level of technicality, however, that would remind me of Liquid Tension Experiment especially. A lot of this album is instrumental, though there are also some vocal parts. Unfortunately, the vocals are usually a mixed bag. Sometimes they are really strong, and sometimes they are really weak. In the first track, Out of Time, the vocals are on the weaker side, whereas the vocals in Waiting for Change are great. The vocals rarely drag down my experience, but the few weak sections are worth noting. Despite the few vocal shortcomings, Quandary is an incredibly tight, highly impressive unit. These guys are simply a joy to listen to.

The production is pretty good. It's a bit too raw at times, but it generally sounds great.


Ready to Fail is a highly impressive and mature work from these young Australian lads. If you like technical prog metal, this is an album worth checking out. If Quandary could develop a slightly more unique and distinct style in the future, I could see them getting a large fanbase. They definitely have the chops to succeed in the crowded prog metal world. A 3.5 star rating is well-earned for this mature and promising beginning. It'll be interesting to see where these guys go in the future.

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