Sunday, June 26, 2016

Virus : "Momento Collider"

The weirdest prog gallop of the year award could very well go to the opening song on this band from Norway's new album. The vocals are a little stiff coming across as a more of a declaration. The bass player is really getting it as he weaves his way around the pocket and guitar tone is much different than anything else in prog metal. The vocals are really the only thing that aren't connecting with me. Things continue to weave down a weird path on "Rogue Fossil". Here the spoken vocals are a little lower and have an almost post-punk feel. Less metal influence surfaces on this song and it sounds like a more jammy version of Television. It doesn't start gaining any rock traction until midway through.For what they do these guys place an emphasis on being concise even among the jammy with most of the songs staying in the seven minute range.

There is a more stacatto drive to "Dripping into Orbit" . This creates a King Crimson like tension, before they go wandering out into jam land. "Steamer" just kind of wanders out of the previous song ,which had locked onto a jamming groove and refused to let go. I'm not sure how that is progressing, but whatever.  Two and a half minutes the math morphs into something with a little more drive to it, while still dazzling you with the subtle acrobatics. The guitar playing is effective yet understated and serving the bigger picture. The drummer and bass player are the real stars on this album. By the time we get to "Gravity Seeker" I have resigned myself to the fact that these vocals are not getting any better. There is more of a rock punch to the song, but I would not refer to it as been heavy. They actually bust out an impressive guitar solo on this one.

The tempo picks up on "Phantom Oil Slick"  at nine minutes it's one of the album's more sprawling songs. It doesn't get interesting until the darker more mellow break down and then they actually progress from there. Even though the vocals annoy me, these guys create some very interesting sounds so I'll round this album up to an 8, it's prog rock that doesn't make you feel like a dork.

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