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Overload - Pichal Pairee CD (album) cover





3.02 | 5 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars I've been writing less reviews of late then I would like, so I've decided to try writing a review over lunch each day, if I am listening to an album I haven't reviewed yet.

Today, that finds me listening to Overload's Pichael Pairee, which I downloaded from their website for free yesterday after seeing it in the "free prog mp3s" thread in the forums. It is labelled on the site as Neo-Prog, but certainly doesn't sound like any Neo-Prog I've heard before. This album doesn't sound quite as nostalgic or as symphonic as other Neo Prog I've heard. So for those who typically avoid this genre, this album will probably dismay their expectations. And for sure, this is partially because this is a band that seems to have no desire of being prog. They are advertised as "The Loudest Band in Pakistan", and on lastfm they are tagged as "Melodic Death Metal", "Hardcore", and "Hardstyle" (the last of which I have never heard before).

The music is interesting. It starts off strong with Dig Dag and Dhol Bajay Ga, which both show the band as excellent, energetic musicians with a good ear for melody.

Pichal Pairee and Amjad Khan sound a bit more mainstream than most prog music that I would typically listen to. The drumbeats are a bit less frenetic, and are in some cases abetted with some electronic sounding drums. Guitars and bass spend more time repeating riffs. The vocals and lyrics are in English and sound like your typical, love/lust songs. They do still have moments where the instruments burst forward with a bit more energy, as if even in the context of trying to write a pop song, the band could not be held back.

Vichar Gaye is another example, for the opening definitely sounds somewhat mainstream, although the non-english lyrics and ethnic singing style really give it a unique sound. By two minutes in the song has a driving drumbeat and the synth-y sounds from the opening that made it sound so mainstream are greatly diminished. For sure, it would still fit on the radio, but it would not sound cookie cutter.

In Kakyra, I can kind of hear where the metal tag might have come from, for it is a much more guitar driven track, with no vocals. It has moments that really rock out, but this song also has strong dynamics, with several quieter passages where piano-y keyboards get to spend some time in the foreground. Even the quiet guitar parts are full of speed and melody. Truthfully, I am no expert on what "Melodic Death Metal" is supposed to sound like, but to me, this just sounds like really good hard rock. By now, as well, the band is no longer giving the pretense of being mainstream, and drummer Farhad Humayun really shines from this point forward on the album.

On that note, I should mention that the version I downloaded does not exactly match the track listing here. Kakyra is the 6th song, followed by Saat Mein; and instead of A Thousand Miracles (which I imagine, by the name, was probably another poppy song) or Mela Kariya, I have a song called "50 years".

Saat Mein is a pretty good song, starting metal-like guitar, lighter drums, airy singing, and bass that is happy to be silent half the time. The song develops various themes, and each instrument is absent for a period of silence to let the other instruments have a chance to take the forefront (with perhaps the exception of the drums). And while there is singing, it is all without vocals and acts as yet another instrument. Unfortunately, it seems to end without the energy of the first half.

As to 50 Years, the song that I got that was not part of the original, it is an alright fare, more int he lines of Kakyra or Saat Mein then the more mainstream sounding first half, with the emphasis taken from the guitar towards what sounds like a woodwind instrument (although without the booklet I am not quite sure, my ears aren't perfect at detecting all the instruments yet :). The guitars do come in during the last minute, working nicely with the existing harmonies to create an epic ending.

Overall, three stars. Definitely refreshing and not what one would expect from the sub-genre, with some great tracks, but lacking anything to really punch it any higher.

TheGazzardian | 3/5 |


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