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ASSIGNMENT

Progressive Metal • Germany


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Assignment picture
Assignment biography
ASSIGNMENT are a German progressive metal act formed in 1994 in Gütersloh, North Rhine-Westphalia. The band started out as a death/ thrash metal act and played that style on their demos. They changed their style to progressive metal on their debut full-length studio album "Progressive Changes" which was released in 2003. ASSIGNMENT´s second full-length studio album "Disunion Denied" was released in April 2008.

The inclusion of ASSIGNMENT to the Prog Archives database was approved by the Progressive Metal Team.

( Biography written by UMUR)

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ASSIGNMENT discography


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ASSIGNMENT top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 2 ratings
Progressive Changes
2003
3.00 | 1 ratings
Disunion Denied
2008
3.13 | 4 ratings
Inside of the Machine
2013
4.00 | 2 ratings
Closing The Circle
2016
2.27 | 2 ratings
Reflections
2020

ASSIGNMENT Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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ASSIGNMENT Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Reflections by ASSIGNMENT album cover Studio Album, 2020
2.27 | 2 ratings

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Reflections
Assignment Progressive Metal

Review by lukretio

2 stars German veterans Assignment have been around for the best part of 20 years. Founded in the mid-90s as a death/thrash act, by the time they released their debut album in 2003 they had developed their style towards a mix of progressive, thrash and power metal that they continued to perfection in their subsequent releases. With only guitarist Goran Panić left from the original line-up, the band now releases their fifth album, Reflections, via Massacre Records. It is a quality but frustrating record that has all the right ingredients of a prog metal epic, but somehow struggles to find a tasty recipe to pull them all together.

The 10 songs of Reflections will appeal to fans of bands that mix the aggression and fast-tempos of thrash metal with the melodic and structural intricacies of prog, like for example Angel Dust, Stygma IV, Morgana Lefay or even Savatage. Panić's excellent guitarwork provides a well-balanced mixture of fast, aggressive riffs and proggy melodic leads and solos. The prog component is further augmented by a songwriting that pushes beyond the simple verse-chorus structure and by Gert Sprick's lush and inventive orchestral flourishes that spice up the arrangements. The rhythm section is instead very heavy and muscular (if somewhat unimaginative), wearing the band's thrash influences on its sleeves. Meanwhile, Diego Valdez provides powerful, Dio-inspired vocals that can be harsh and gritty ("Mercyful Angel"), but also dramatic and epic ("Reflections", "Silent Nation"). His performance is varied and impressive, and certainly one of the high points of the album.

Although there are lots of moments on the record where I like what I hear (the dramatic crescendo of the opening instrumental track "Trilogia Balkanica"; the hard-hitting chorus on "Mercyful Angel"; the vocal duet between Valdez and Argentinian singer Inés Vera-Ortíz on the title-track; the moody, Kamelot-esque "Unkown Hero" and "Silent Nation"), the album somehow lacks the right flow, preventing me from fully enjoying its nearly hour-long musical experience. Part of the issue, I think, is that most of the songs on Reflections are not very dynamic, going instead for the full pedal-to-metal approach from start to finish, with almost no break in intensity or pace in between. Add to this the fact that the songs' duration often exceeds the 5 minutes, and sitting down with this album quickly turns into a rather monotonous and fatiguing listening experience.

In part, this issue could have been mitigated by using a different tracklist order. The album's most varied and dynamic songs ("Endlessly", "Unknown Hero", "Silent Nation") are all placed at the end, but it might have been wiser to spread them throughout the album, to give the listener some respite from the full onslaught of the other tracks. It is perhaps no coincidence that the album was initially presented with a different tracklist (with "Unknown Hero" placed in the middle of the album), suggesting that the decision of how to order the songs has not been straightforward.

Another aspect of Reflections that leaves me somewhat frustrated is that, while the songs continuously build momentum and anticipation, I have the feeling that they never quite resolve in a satisfying climax, as they often lack the decisive melodic hook ? be it a killer chorus or a catchy riff to latch onto ? that would make them standout. While Diego Valdez has a great voice and puts his soul into his singing, I leave the album with the impression that he is rarely given a really good melody to sing. Same for the guitarwork: perhaps with the exception of "Meryful Angel", rightly chosen as single, I did not find many riffs that made me pump my fists in the air and headbang the heck out of my neck. Most of the times, I instead found myself politely nodding and tapping my feet to the music, pleased but not fully emotionally invested in the songs.

I do not want to sound too negative, though. There is a lot of quality on display on Reflections: the album bursts with technically impeccable performances, complex songwriting, inventive arrangements and a compact and powerful sound that may please those who like their prog metal a little heavier and harder-edged. If you are a fan of bands like Savatage, Symphony X or Dream Theater, you may not regret giving it a try.

(Originally written for The Metal Observer)

 Inside of the Machine by ASSIGNMENT album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.13 | 4 ratings

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Inside of the Machine
Assignment Progressive Metal

Review by Second Life Syndrome
Prog Reviewer

3 stars There are some bands that are too easy to describe. When this happens, I get somewhat disappointed. So, aside from the awesome artwork, I feel that the new release from progressive metal band Assignment is average and rather unoriginal. There, I pretty much set my opinion out there from the beginning.

Yes, Germany's Assignment have released their new album entitled "Inside of the Machine". These guys are far and away influenced by Symphony X. Yet, I would call them Symphony X Lite, as they feature all of the chanting, choirs, stuttering riffs, and hard edges, but they feature none of the technicality or the virtuosity. Indeed, thrashiness is there, but not in an enjoyable fashion. Now, I'm not sure if this is purposeful or not, but I was unimpressed with the instrumental abilities presented on this record. For the most part, we get standard blast beats, some reconfigured riffs that always sound a little too familiar, and un-melodic vocals that border on annoying sometimes. Now, there is a wide array of vocalists here, including a female singer. I feel that she saves the vocals quite a bit, and she even makes some of the tracks, such as "Walk Alone", rather pleasant.

It is when the band is focusing on dissimilar tracks that they really shine. For the most part, the album is all the same. However, sometimes they attempt a more ethnic, melodic approach with some actual soul involved, and it really works! Especially on the last four tracks, I feel they achieved some sort of originality that was great to hear. "Eternal Silence, for example, is probably the best track on the album with its really STRONG vocal lines and interesting keys. However, I think the album was already lost in the void of average long before these tracks arrive.

So, for Symphony X fans that want something a little slower, I would recommend this heartily. Yet, for me, this album is hopelessly normal, and cannot break out of it though there are some good tracks near the end.

Thanks to UMUR for the artist addition.

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