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Amaran's Plight - Voice In The Light CD (album) cover

VOICE IN THE LIGHT

Amaran's Plight

 

Progressive Metal

3.94 | 156 ratings

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Anthony H.
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Amaran's Plight: Voice in the Light [2007]

Rating: 6/10

The poor man's Scenes from a Memory.

Voice in the Light is the debut album from American progressive-metal supergroup Amaran's Plight. This band features vocalist DC Cooper (Royal Hunt), guitarist/keyboardist Gary Wehrkamp (Shadow Gallery), bassist Kurt Burabas (Under the Sun), and drummer Nick D'Virgillo (Spock's Beard). Needless to say, this an enormously impressive lineup; it's enough to wet the beak of any prog-metal fan. Equally as exciting is the ambition present on this debut; this is a 77-minute concept album with no dearth of epic songwriting. Thus, Voice in the Light as all the ingredients for a great progressive-metal album, but the results fail to live up to expectations. This is a band that knows their style well: epic melodic metal with bombastic vocals and soaring instrumental lines. However, it seems that they know this style a bit too well. This album simply goes through the prog-metal motions. Nothing on this record will displease devotees of the genre, but it won't particularly excite them, either. The compositions are good, but they fail to be fresh and consistently engaging.

"Room 316" is a short heavy intro with technical guitar and grand synths. It leads into "Friends Forever." This is another short track, featuring soft piano and vocals. This track is a bit cheesy, even for this style. "Coming of Age" is the first full-fledged composition here. The Queensryche-influenced chorus is fun, but the guitar work is rather formulaic. The eleven-minute "Incident at Haldeman's Lake" is the band's first real opportunity to display their prog-metal chops, and they mildly succeed. The soft synth intro, the flamboyant vocals, the long sections of instrumental interplay, and the melodic guitar soloing all make this quite an enjoyable piece. "Reflections, Part 1" is a short acoustic track. I would normally be unenthused by something like this, but Cooper's excellent vocals make it strong. "I Promise You" has to be one of the cheesiest songs I've ever heard in this genre. This should have been left on the cutting-room floor. "Consummation Opus" (which sounds a bit risque, I must say) is a synth-driven instrumental. This isn't a weak track, but it isn't a special one, either. "Truth and Tragedy" features a tasty bass solo and some excellent vocal work. The second epic, "Shattered Dreams", is the definite highlight of the album. Wehrkamp's monstrous guitar and synth lines are the focus here. Cooper's vocals are also in prime form. "Viper" approaches straight-up thrash-metal territory. Surprisingly, however, it's another highlight. The chorus and guitar work are both superb. "Betrayed by Love" is yet another solid prog-metal track that still fails to compel me. The Queensryche influence returns on "Turning Point." Cooper's vocals really stand out here. The final epic "Revelation" is the weakest of the three. It's another example of prog-metal done by the numbers.

I don't have any problem with the unoriginal approach to prog-metal that Voice in the Light takes; not every album needs to reinvent the wheel. Rather, my issues with it stem from the lack of creativity. These compositions simply don't have the power that they should, considering the fantastic lineup. The band played it safe here; they gave us what we would expect from these four musicians rather than creating their own musical perspective. The musicianship is excellent, but inconsistent. It's much better at certain points than at other points. The same applies to DC Cooper's vocals. He sounds absolutely sublime on tracks like "Viper" and "Turning Point", but he doesn't maintain this quality throughout the entire album. Unfortunately, Voice in the Light is another example of a disappointing supergroup. This album is good, but it could have been much better. Hardcore Shadow Gallery fans will eat the album up, but everyone else should spend their time on other prog-metal releases before spending 77 minutes on this.

Anthony H. | 3/5 |

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