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Distorted Harmony - Chain Reaction CD (album) cover

CHAIN REACTION

Distorted Harmony

 

Progressive Metal

3.91 | 141 ratings

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aapatsos
Special Collaborator
Prog Metal and Heavy Prog Teams
4 stars An insurmountable task

And that would be to "overtake" the greatness of the debut album "Utopia"... The problem here is that DH have set so high a standard with their first release that any subsequent album would have to be compared with that. And this is where we start with a handicap...

Although similar in duration, "Chain Reaction" avoids the very-long-composition pattern of the debut, with the exception of "Misguided", which, interestingly enough, is the absolute highlight. Here we see more "direct" songwriting, with potentially less complexity but with an increasingly personal sound and statement. In their majority, the compositions are more predictable as they unfold but impressions such as "wall of sounds" (opening "Every Time She Smiles") and "lushful, colourful passages" ("Natural Selection") are often generated in my mind.

Misha's vocal qualities are a winner throughout this release and at times counterbalance the heavy riffs of Yoav Efron. The late-era Dream Theater influence is still apparent, especially in the chucking riffs (e.g. see "Children of Red"). The Muse influence is, I think, stronger in this release, as the band blends successfully an "indie"/pop character with the more traditional progressive metal. The melodic/catchy refrains are back but the more intricate fusion-esque playing has somewhat been reduced. The addition of a couple of "fillers" in "Nothing" and "As You Go" does not really add much to the final result but trademark compositions such as "Natural Selection" bring the balance back to the positive sign. Interestingly, the album ends with a track full of goth/synth influences in "Methylene Blue", which, without impressing, leaves the listener with a pleasant taste.

Throughout the melancholia of compositions (and accompanying, interesting, artwork) there is an aura of optimism and character. DH have developed their own sound and that should be credited to them. Despite not reaching the same heights as "Utopia", "Chain Reaction" is a strong statement for the quality and personal sound of this group.

4 (-) stars with thanks to the band for the promo

Highlights: Every Time She Smiles, Misguided, Natural Selection

aapatsos | 4/5 |

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