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Frost* - Experiments In Mass Appeal CD (album) cover





3.63 | 288 ratings

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1791 Overture
2 stars As the title suggests, this is something of a "nu prog album," sharing elements with the likes of Muse and The Mars Volta. These influences now override the neo-prog foundation of Milliontown (already slightly stretched) to such an extent that I wouldn't call this neo-prog as a whole, though certainly some sections remain so. This isn't a bad thing - allegiance to a genre isn't commendable in itself.

That said, I don't feel that the songwriting has improved from the last record. There's a new vocalist, but he isn't any more impressive than the previous, and again we scarcely hear his voice without being somehow distorted, which comes off more as a crutch than anything. The entire record is in fact over-produced, a criticism that's especially biting in this genre where squeaky-clean production is already the norm. There's just a constant wall of studio-filtered sound that gets tiring. Quickly. The melodies are also not spectacular, and don't justify all the energy and WILD DYNAMIC CHANGES shoved onto them - we get sudden shifts from soft to loud, but why? They don't service the songs, and they aren't particularly interesting. It should also be noted that the record's "loud mode" doesn't come off as crushing or energetic or anything like that - it's just loud, with a wall of power chords perpetually muddying it.

I actually want to like this record, as it has many of the surface elements I enjoy - neo-prog with pop influences that's hard hitting with lots of "modern" elements. But it's just not good, and repeated listens haven't allowed me to warm up to it. The worst of the record is probably Toys, which is unbelievably uninspired - listen to that if you want to hear the brunt of my criticism, and if you can stomach that without hating it, then maybe the rest of the record won't seem as bad to you. As for me, I'm giving this two stars, if only because I feel that one star is too extreme for such a professional record performed by such competent musicians.

1791 Overture | 2/5 |


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