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Need - Norchestrion: A Song for the End CD (album) cover

NORCHESTRION: A SONG FOR THE END

Need

 

Progressive Metal

2.81 | 7 ratings

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ssmarcus
2 stars The last few years have seen the emergence, from the underground, of more traditionally oriented prog metal; international, up-and-coming, and independently produced acts that, knowingly or unknowingly, shunned some of the biggest trends in 2010's progressive metal and have clung to the melodicism and power of Queensryche and the classic prog format of Dream Theater. Groups like Inner Odyssey, Hemina, Pyramid Theorem, and Need are all formative groups in this trend. While Need has indeed been around much longer than the others, this trend has definitely given their profile a boost.

While it would be tempting to relate to their emergence as a much-needed break from the excesses of the hyper-technicality of the djent craze and prog metal's cross-pollination with death and metalcore influences, the music in question can hardly be considered a progression. For the most part, records like Need's Norchestration: A Song for the End, are exhausting rehashes of 2000's prog metal with a modern production shine. Can anybody really listen to this record and not find themselves wanting to return to Redemption, Seventh Wonder, or Circus Maximus?

The tragedy in Norchestration: A Song for the End is the sprinkling of forward-thinking ideas that are teased but never get their due. Take the brilliant, and probably controversial, track 'V.A.D.I.S.' for instance. The entire track is a spoken quasi-philosophical conversation between two thoughtful girlfriends that keeps the listener unsure of where the conversation is going at any minute. The conversation is presented with a masterful synth-based soundtrack, courtesy of keyboardist Anthony Hatzis, that expertly sets the mood for the conversation's ebb and flow. Frustratingly, the intrigue and tension of the dialogue on 'V.A.D.I.S.' are followed up with the overwrought prog-metal epic 'Norchestration,' a track essentially indifferentiable from the one that proceeded 'V.A.D.I.S.'

If prog metal is going to reinvigorate itself in the new decade, it needs real innovation, not conservative nostalgia. Norchestration: A Song for the End shows me that Need has the ability to do this. For some reason, they're choosing not to.

ssmarcus | 2/5 |

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