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Bad Salad - Puzzled CD (album) cover

PUZZLED

Bad Salad

 

Progressive Metal

3.97 | 5 ratings

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Second Life Syndrome
4 stars What do you do after you release an incredible debut album? Well, Bad Salad has gone and done the correct thing: They've released a follow-up EP that will make sure we remember them while they write their next album. Yes, "Puzzled" is Bad Salad's EP follow- up to "Uncivilized", a really grower if I do say so myself.

Their style of progressive metal is back in full force, as we still get the incredibly complex guitar work, the awesome but never overbearing drums, the pulsating bass lines, and the ethereal and atmospheric keys. This time there is a bit more to the formula, however, as I feel these guys decided to experiment a little bit. Indeed, there are some spacey synth breaks, some islandic passages, and some awesome bass solos that really break through the wall of normal that most progressive metal bands usually decide to erect. Vocalist Denis is also part of this, as he is pretty darn dynamic. His voice is strong with a bit of rasp to it, and that is fine. There are no caterwaulings or pretentiously overbearing highs. In fact, I love this guy's voice, and it is so different than what I've heard.

I think this EP gets better with each track. It opens with the epic "Pain that Binds Us", which is as technical and metal as expected. Next, "Moonlight" reveals the softer, ballad side of the band with a beautifully executed melody. Lastly, "Deep Roots" wows. It is complex in its variety, and also very low key at points. There is nothing normal about it. They experiment, and I think they succeed.

But, now, I want to write a personal note to the band. Dear Bad Salad, Do not be afraid to try new things. I can tell that you did, and you probably wanted to even more. I know how notoriously picky metal fans can be, and how fearful of change and eclecticism they can be. Don't fear them. There are several points during the EP where I could tell certain aspects were held back a bit. At one point, there is some almost wild west style piano, but it gets lost in the mix. Now, I really enjoyed it, but I know metal fans that would think it is dumb. Don't be afraid to bring that to the forefront. That change---that willingness to evolve---is exactly what will keep you on my radar for a long time. That is the attitude that will keep you from becoming another Dream Theater. Sincerely, Jason.

Hold your breath. This small EP is BETTER than all of Dream Theater's new album. Yep. I hope the guys appreciate this comment because it's true. Bad Salad shows more energy and more willingness to experiment. I applaud these guys for an excellent showing, and I'm really looking forward to their next full album.

Second Life Syndrome | 4/5 |

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