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Impressive debut that deserves attention - 81%

Lucian, April 6th, 2008

There it is, after being around since 2003, Inner Quest strikes hard with its first studio recording, an EP made of four tracks, with an average length of about 6 minutes.

To say that we can expect a good instrumental progressive metal is both correct and limitative. It is correct since the base is what just said, and it is limitative because there are many and various influences, a lot of them not strictly related to metal. Talking about a prog-metal band, it is unavoidable to indicate the sacred monsters, such as Dream Theater and Symphony X, as base influence, but it doesn’t stop here at all. The other side of Inner Quest sound contains, other than references to pure prog-rock bands such as Genesis, strong appreciable elements of space rock, well given both by keyboards and guitars. The perfect example is the opener track, that extends this space “feelings” to the vocal intro, too (with choir sung by Giulio Di Gregorio, skilled singer from Irencros and Thy Majestie).

The matter of suggestibility needs delicacy. A band has to correctly balance outer influences weight maintaining its own self and uniqueness, otherwise the risk is to fall into an over-used style that keeps the attention away from the listener. Inner Quest, despite being at their debut album, mostly prevent from getting bored by well combining every element to each other. Fuse it with a technically excellent performance of all members, and you get the reason why this EP could probably fit both to veteran progsters and ones who never used to listen to instrumental metal before. Albeit not essential, vocals would still fit the songs well, for their structure allows some of them to be here and there. This strange sensation (forgive the quote) could get stronger in people who are not into this kind of choice.

Being an instrumental band always involves the risk to be just for a restrained “elite” of progsters, and it is up to the band to avoid this risk, making not regret the miss of vocals. We can say that Inner Quest fully accomplished this difficult task for most of the tracks (maybe except the last one). It is suggestible to those who really cannot listen to music without vocals, to make the effort to dive into Inner Quest EP at least twice to fully appreciate the much that it has to offer.