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Turbulence - Frontal CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

4.04 | 35 ratings

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4 stars The international cauldron of progressive metal talent is boiling over with hardly a way of containing the spillover. Young and head-numbingly talented progressive metal acts are emerging in nearly every corner of globe making it nearly impossible for even the most dedicated fans and critics to keep tabs on all of it and to identify the truly inspired and stand out emerging acts. As I've remarked in the passed, despite their talents, the bulk of these groups are mere Dream Theater clones or dry djent lords. Upon identifying these standout acts, we must do our best to cherish them and promote them in any way we can.

Lebanon's Turbulence is one of these stand-out groups worthy of our attention and broader recognition in the prog metal world. Co-founding member and lead guitarist Alain Ibrahim enjoyed a brief moment of internet fame in early 2020 when he managed to successfully cover Jared Dine's annual shred collab video within just four days, a feat not lost on Jared and his community. Earlier in the decade, Alain and his keyboardist friend Mood Yassin pulled together a band of fellow Lebanese prog and metal enthusiasts and began composing and recording music that draws from the absolute best that classic and modern progressive metal has to offer. Frontal, the band's debut LP, is the culmination of of the last half decade of effort.

It is hard to believe that Frontalis a debut record given the level of maturity and subtle sophistication in this music. Every element on the record is woven together so that the music is never overly reliant on one a single band member. The talent of these musicians is clearly limitless and yet they have the sophistication to curb their abilities for the sake of the songcraft. Despite breaching the hour-long mark, nearly the entire album is listenable.

The record's sole weakness is the extent to which the music beholden to its influences. Make no mistake, Frontal is better than just about anything release by Dream Theater in the last 10 years and at least as good as anything by Tesseract or other modern clean prog metal acts. But it also fails to truly set itself apart from its predecessors. However, with musicians this gifted and songwriting this inspired, I do not doubt that Turbulence has a perfect 5 waiting in their future.

ssmarcus | 4/5 |


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