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Distorted Harmony - Utopia CD (album) cover

UTOPIA

Distorted Harmony

 

Progressive Metal

3.99 | 182 ratings

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Andy Webb
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4 stars Progressive metal is a genre that has been done time and time (and time) again (and again), so when a band comes out with a fresh outlook on a fairly overdone sound, it's always a breath of fresh air. In the case of the new Israeli band Distorted Harmony, no new territory has been broached, but the band mixes styles from the genre in such a way that it seems as though they have created an entirely new brand of the music. The band's debut, Utopia, has a slew of prog metal stylings, each which distinguish the six tracks in a fresh, enjoyable way.

The first song, "Kono Yume," immediately makes the listener think they're in for 50 minutes of a Symphony X copy-cat band. The virtuoso orchestral instrumental runs, crushing riffs backing them, and the overall atmosphere led to me this conclusion on my first listen. As the song progresses, however, the listener can quite clearly see that Symphony X is not all that this band has going for them.

It's pretty amazing that even though the band has only existed as a complete lineup for about a year or two, their debut album is incredibly clean, mature, and professional, showing every nuance the band could have possibly wanted in there. Every identifiable influence, from their bits of Symphony X, Dream Theater, Pain of Salvation, and even OSI are mixed in there, as well as a plethora of unique and other eclectic sounds. The entire album is an experience of excellence; few modern progressive metal albums, especially from new bands, capture the scope of sonic variety that "Utopia" conquers with ease.

The balance of melodic and metallic moments really shined for me on this album. The transition from a swath of heavy riffing and intense instrumentals to either a gentler vocal section or just quieter instrumentation is carried out beautiful, and it gives that prog metal dynamic that fans crave perfectly. This balanced, with the excellent musicianship across the board mesh together to make a wonderful prog metal atmosphere. Each track has excellent continuity in musical theme and flows wonderfully, giving the illusion of a continuous track of delicious prog metal. The musical excellence, combined with a powerful and well-thought out concept about finding how to live in a modern society, easily makes this one of the better prog metal albums of the year.

The album, overall, is an excellent showing of how a young band can rival even the greats of their genre. While the music was not all incredibly unique, I had a great time listening to the album. It is certainly one of those albums that will be remembered as an incredibly strong debut; there have been a few bands in the past few years who simply took the scene by storm with incredibly strong debut albums, and Distorted Harmony will most certainly be one of those bands. I look forward to hearing more from this incredibly promising new band in the future. 4+ stars.

Andy Webb | 4/5 |

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