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Reversion - King of deceit - 50%

Phuling, October 3rd, 2009

Boy, oh, boy. That opening shout is enough to scare me so bad I’ll self-emasculate. Luckily the power metal flirtations end there, and I won’t have to lose my procreation ability. However that doesn’t mean this is any good. In fact, just a couple of minutes ago I thought to myself that the album must soon come to an end, it felt like I’ve been listening to it forever, but I was only on track three. The album’s not really that long, just a little over 54 minutes. But when you don’t find what you’re hearing all that interesting, it really does feel like an eternity.

Progressive metal is not something that I normally pop into the stereo, fact is I never voluntarily put on anything as melodic as this. Unfortunately that also means I can’t really give "King of deceit" a fair review; I hardly know anything about the particular style. Don’t know from where they might be drawing influence, but I’ll do my best to review the album in an orderly fashion.

A cool track here, "Event horizon", is the slowest one. Musically it’s quite soothing and straight forward, but vocally the guy reminds me of Ozzy at times, with that particular gnarly high-pitched voice. It speaks to me in a way the rest of the album doesn’t, appealing to my nostalgia. But the remainder of the album is a technical adeption with tons of tempo changes. It feels like I’m being constantly thrown about genres as some classic heavy metal sneaks its way in, as the keyboard can add both an industrial touch, like in "Enigma", just as it can turn the tide and switch to gothic flirtations as in "Blue flame". But the latter track also reminds me of some late nineties stuff like Coal Chamber and such. Feels weird and somewhat unsettling, but somehow it does so in a good way.

What rubs me the wrong way is the technicality. I have nothing against technicality, really, but Reversion sometimes take things too far guitar-wise, and I just get annoyed by the screechy wickedi-wackedy. I mean come on, we know you can handle your instrument, now get a hotelroom so you can fondle your guitar in private, and stop pestering me with it. That also goes for the keyboard effects at times, as it just floods the music with annoying sounds. I guess the first few tracks are somewhat catchy, and despite that the vocalist sounds like a castrated Devin Townsend when he tries to scream in "Immortalized", I can somewhat get the appeal for their sound. But the album seems to meddle out as tracks go by, and it becomes less technical, less inventive and less progressive. Mellow and bland is a fitting description for the last half. Technical, melodic whack-job is a fitting description for the first half.

Originally written for http://www.mylastchapter.net

An album of bits and pieces. - 70%

Empyreal, March 9th, 2009

Reversion are a very enthusiastic Progressive Metal band, by the looks of the debut album from these Finns. Borrowing in no small amount from the 70s Prog Rock scene like Rush and Yes and combining those influences with a heavy, modern crunch, Reversion have created here a very entertaining album for all of you who thought that the last Pagan's Mind album was silly. They all play their instruments well, and sometimes Samuli Federly busts out some really great guitar shred solos; surely the best part of this album. Aleksi Parviainen, on the vocals, resembles what people think every prog singer sounds like - clean, with a lot of range and a tendency to sing acute, complex melodies that will go right over the heads of most people - and he does a generally good job, although one of my complaints about this disc is that he doesn't stick to one style enough. Seriously, man, you don't have to switch styles every verse to keep things interesting! One verse he's singing clean and mellow, the next he's growling, the next he's harmonizing over himself...it's too much, and it really makes this album hard to listen to.

I think that's a problem with this disc that is pretty typical for prog. I mean, for fans, this is the shit. You will eat up songs like the title track or the soulful "Event Horizon" if you're into prog, but for fans of more compressed and easily pleasing music, this will be pretty hard to get into, and this band loses some points for that. Every song is crammed with every little nuance and intricacy that the band could think of; every last riff and sound effect and guitar lick and drum fill they could muster, with bits and pieces of it being memorable and cool, but never really entire songs. It certainly does make for an interesting listen, despite how generic this is, but that's about the only level I can enjoy this album on: this sort of "ooh, look at the pretty colors" type of enjoyment. This is the kind of album that slowly fades out of your mind as you're listening to it, becoming background music sadly quickly - it's a shame, as I really do like this. The band just hasn't found their unique groove yet. If they can tighten up their songwriting and do something a little more innovative, Reversion just might one day produce something truly noteworthy.

Originally written for http://www.metalcrypt.com