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Nice and professional - 70%

Noktorn, November 10th, 2007

The name of this project obviously brings to mind prog metal rather than the symphonic black/death metal that it actually holds. While the virtuostic guitar playing does add a bit of shred edge to the proceedings, the music here has much more in common with modern melodic black/death artists than prog, but will appeal to both sides of the equation. Matt Parsons knows how to write songs; very good ones, in fact. And, actually, songs that sound like they could have come from a major metal label like Century Media without any trouble at all. I can't even say it's in a raw and unformed state; it all sounds DONE, like the material is already perfected and needs no changes at all.

The Matt Parsons Band plays a thoroughly modern style of melodic death/black metal. Programmed drums (minimalist but effective) race under a series of delicately tremolo picked riffs with light keyboard backing and high/low vocals. The riffs are like new Dark Tranquillity meets old Emperor, so you can expect a generally modern sound, but with a similar sense of mid-string melody. The riffs take the general melodic concepts of Gothenburg material but execute them in a black metal fashion, ultimately resulting in something that sounds familiar but very different at the same time. The extremely clear and well-rounded production gives the music a good punch, pushing the strong, powerful riffing and vocals into the forefront of the action while leaving the drums and bass as an audible but subdued undercurrent in the mix.

The three songs (plus intro) on this demo are brief but effective at carrying across the general principles of the style here. It's music that will please most fans of the more mainstream style of melodic death/black metal, particularly those who seek very good playing and production in addition to powerful songwriting. All the elements on this demo work in tandem very effectively to provide a good taste as to what The Matt Parsons Band sounds like without overstaying its welcome. While the amount of material is a bit thin, what is here is memorable and chock full of good riffs, memorable vocal lines, and all around well written music. Give it a try if you're looking for what'll likely be on Nuclear Blast tomorrow.