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Up for inspection today is the interesting debut release courtesy of the talented Pete Morten (who some of you will no doubt recognize from Threshold or his stint in the now sadly defunct Power Quest). What’s immediately remarkable about The Interpreter is that the lion’s share of the material was recorded and, I would imagine, written by Pete. With the exception of the drums, he does pretty much everything here. Impressive.
What I really like about this album, and My Soliloquy on the whole, is that Pete isn’t trying to follow along with the current crop of prog acts who admittedly walk to similar beats. My Soliloquy, I feel, is more in touch with some of the pre-Images & Words style prog metal. This will definitely appeal to fans of mid-period Fates Warning, Psychotic Waltz, early Dream Theater, and of course Queensrÿche. That isn’t to say this is at all regressive, as The Interpreter houses a bunch of forward-thinking ideas, modern spacey soundscapes, and vocals that are very characteristic (theatrical in places). There are also a few ideas here and there which remind me of some more contemporary rock and progressive rock.
Couple the cool stylistic approach with Pete Morten’s wonderful grasp of song writing, and this is where I feel the magic begins to sprout on The Interpreter. Whilst at first I was a little bewildered by the album, repeated spins have continued to open up the material, which is rewarding, although it certainly requires a little more of an inquisitive listen. I wouldn’t say this is the kind of album you can just hit play and expect to reap immediate rewards (isn’t this why a lot of us choose prog though?)
I feel it would be remiss to point out standout tracks, as the album should be taken on the whole. I guess if you want to check out a track or two before buying then “Ascension Pending” and “Inner Circles” would be good bets. On the whole though, this is a promising release, and really hints at a cool future for My Soliloquy. For a debut, this is really well done, and certainly what I would say to be a true progressive metal release. Fans of the genre should really pick this up, just be prepared to invest some time with it; I can assure you it’s worth that investment!
Originally written for http://blackwindmetal.com
I'm not exactly sure what‘s going on with My Soliloquy. This British progressive metal project is the brainchild of Pete Morten, notable guitarist with experience in such bands as Power Quest and Threshold to skim the iceberg a bit. Morten, a competent player at his worst, pulled out a lot of his inner powers to make "The Interpreter" a relevant and prosperous album, but his efforts are sadly rendered useless by several factors working against his will. "The Interpreter" showcases many hallmarks of a bad record: the vocals are shoddy, the songs are aimless, everything feels synthetic and progressive for the sake of appearing synthetic and progressive—the list goes on. What little good the album does to justify its existence is not enough to make My Soliloquy enjoyable in the least bit, and the tsunami of melatonin that comes from experiencing “The Interpreter” rules the day.
I don't think anyone can look at My Soliloquy and blame the musicians for taking a technical, progressive approach. They certainly have all the necessary parts to make progressive metal a prime product of My Soliloquy, but this ends up failing monumentally. Morten throws around lifeless riffs and awkward musical patterns that boast a technical edge but sound chintzy and forced. Morten's vocals and lyrics are also all over the place, never bringing anything to the picture that could be rendered helpful or relevant, yet do a wonderful job complicating the mess further. For example, the soft instrumental bridges of "Six Seconds of Grace" are thrown askew when the messy, awful chorus explodes like a bomb. The songwriting and vocal patterns are just abysmal; nothing makes any sense at all.
"Ascension Pending," the opening track, is the only passable tune. My Soliloquy has a sense of cohesion melting into Morten's vocals, which don't sound too shabby, and his guitar acrobatics are otherworldly. Other tunes like "Flashpoint" don't stray from the identity crafted throughout "Ascension Pending" too vehemently, and they all have their moments, but the whole album is usually akin to downing a bottle of Ambien. The dance beats on "Corrosive De-Emphasis" were a terrible idea—they sound horrendous. "Star," the closing ballad, is one of the worst songs I've ever heard: it sounds like something Enrique Iglesias would write if he were to binge on painkillers and tequila after hearing Dream Theater for the first time. It's one of those fitting endings to an album that crashed and burned four songs ago.
My Soliloquy does a glorious job doing precisely nothing interesting here. Ninety percent of the record can be thrown out the window without a second glance, and Morten’s technical abilities have no strength against the miserable, taxing pieces of boredom that pass as songs. What else is there to say? This is one of those records that I've endured countless times yet I cannot for the life of me mention anything that stands out or deserves brownie points. As I said, "The Interpreter" showcases many hallmarks of a bad record; it's just horrid, forgettable tripe. Even if you enjoy Threshold or have a huge tolerance for lame music, you'll be doing yourself a grand favor by avoiding "The Interpreter" entirely.
This review was written for: www.Thrashpit.com