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Ocean Architecture - Animus CD (album) cover

ANIMUS

Ocean Architecture

 

Progressive Metal

3.87 | 71 ratings

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TechnicallySpeaking
5 stars I have been listening to progressive rock since the 70s. This is the most complete and flawless convergence of genres that I have heard in a very long time. First of all, it is mathematically perfect as it is an album that literally continues from track to track without interruption resulting in a singular track from beginning to end. If you listen to the album carefully, each song flows from the current track through the next without interruption. The last note on the last song on the album resolves with the first note on the first song, creating a perfect rotation into a cyclic experience.

The musicians are incredibly talented. I have watched their You-Tube videos and they are definitely capable of reproducing this stuff live. The live audiences are more than enthusiastic at their shows. The keyboards and lead guitar intertwine in a way that creates a musical melding that rivals the likes of YES. There are times when it seems that Kyle Standifer and Joe Dorsey are having an instrumental conversation. But at the same time this is metal. It is raw, explosive and powerful. The drumming of Nic Giordano is very reminiscent of that of Dream Theater's Mike Portnoy. There are beautiful clean vocals interrupted at strategic points with deep commanding growling, screaming and group shouts. The vocal side of this band is a real treat. Parker Deal does an incredible job of moving back and forth between clean crisp vocals and growls.

This album Animus has a hard edge for sure, but is also complex and emotional. It begins with a melodic vocal masterpiece. The opening piano of Joe Dorsey is awesome, accompanied by the incredible voice of Parker Deal. Incrementally the rest of the band makes its presence building to a crescendo of growling metal that transcends into a continuum of progressive rock that can only be described as fantasy music. The ultra-fast lead guitar and integrated synthesizer of Metatheory running scales up and down the length of the fret board is very impressive. The opening song gently transitions into the Last Stand which is where the growling vocal is introduced. The continuous trade off of clean vocal and growling is unusual, yet wonderful. The song is raw with the group shouts and at the same time symphonic. The piano overlay during most of this piece takes this good metal song and makes it a masterpiece. The next movement is Plato's Cave which is decidedly the song with the most commercial potential as it has great hooks and a catchy chorus. The bass riffs produced by Eric Hodge are accurate and powerful. View the video and you will see that Eric is very comfortable on the stage. There is a lot of complex lead guitar on this song. Velvet is a much heavier song that is emotional, yet less complex until the movement that the band refers to as the Circus from Hell. This little piece is exceptional. Each instrument is played in a different time signature which when combined creates a singular 4x4 march that incrementally increases in tempo until reaching a crazy and intense speed then decelerates to a commanding end. Columns of Time is a pretty song at the beginning and increases in intensity as it goes. The older generation of progressive rock fans will like this track. Steel Ecstasy is the continuation of Columns of Time that for a time takes on a GENT characteristic before folding back into the progressive origin. The final two tracks Aminus Part I and II and the best of the album. I invite the next reader to listen to these and add their own review.

This is an incredible inaugural release. This is a new band and their first album, but has all of the hallmarks of a much more experienced band and a later more mature release. There are a few production issues, but not worth mention. Overall the is an essential addition to your collection. 5+/5

The band currently plats in the Nashville area. They played a short instrumental set at the Ball Room at the final North East Art Rock Festival (NEARfest) in June of 2012. Watch for these guys. If they stick around they will definitely make a mark on the scene.

TechnicallySpeaking | 5/5 |

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