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STRANGELAND Catharis (2009)


Interesting sound from this prog metal band, which starts acoustically and builds into a chunky and heavy metal sound. Full sound from a three piece, with bassist Chad Novell providing vocals and keyboards too.

At times there is a strong influence of King Crimson, of the mid 70s and mid 90s genres. 'Asinine' is very noodly, in a jazz fusion kind of way but without being jazzy. Chunky metal mixing riffs and very noodly solos.

There is much played around a mid range level, giving a jangly sound, and at times it is too disjointed to be called prog metal.

From track 7 ('Catharis Pts 1-7') there is a more of a concept, in both lyrics and music, giving a bit more consistency. Interesting time changes and some intricate work make the second half of the album better than the first, but I still found it hard work.


Review by Joe Geesin

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***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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