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Quandary biography
Geoff Irish, Gareth Hogan and Sam Vallen first met in a practice room in late 2006. Bought together by their common influences in progressive rock and metal, the quartet (including a bass player at the time) started writing what would become their debut album at that first jam session... though they didn't know it at the time. The only ambition at that stage was to have a recorded work ready before performing live for the first time.
So the unnamed group went on quietly craft over 70 minutes of instrumental music over the course of the next few years. They went through several bass players and explored several options for vocalists in this time, and at one stage resigned to being a 3-piece instrumental group without a bass player.
Exhausted and lacking the confidence and direction to pull it off, the group was contacted by Etelantulet's Dave Couper, who answered an old advert for a bass player. As well as learning all the bass parts in record time, Dave took up a lot of the vocal responsibilities - and gave the rest of the band the confidence to sing together, to use harmonies and to share lead parts across the group.
On new years day 2009, the newly christened Quandary put a halt to writing, and spent the next year and a half committing their material to the recorded medium. In June 2010, Ready to Fail, the album four years in the making was made available online for free/pay what you want download. Quandary will also be giving away free physical albums, and there are plans to appropriately validate the recordings with live shows in the coming months.
Together, this lineup has been solidly rehearsing for years, forming not just music and friendship, but ideals and beliefs about ambition and music. Quandary has no desire to become a stylistic repetition of themselves, and as such, values the literal definition of progressive, as well as songwriting over technical achievement and spectacle. The music itself featured on Ready to Fail is a varied, colourful collection of songs that are all at once heavy, progressive, musical, uplifting and dramatic.

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Amen-Ra by QuandaryAmen-Ra by Quandary
CD Baby
Riddle of Ancient by Quandary (2003-05-06?Riddle of Ancient by Quandary (2003-05-06?
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Native HeartNative Heart
Extinction Records 2006
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QUANDARY discography

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3.53 | 22 ratings
Ready to Fail

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Showing last 10 reviews only
 Ready to Fail by QUANDARY album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.53 | 22 ratings

Ready to Fail
Quandary Progressive Metal

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Quandary is a a very promising young progressive metal band from Brisbane, Australia. They release so far a single album in 2010 named Ready to fail and can be bought only digital from their official web site. Well, what a great debute these guys manage to release, as previous reviewer said the instrumental section are quite impressive, each musician is top notch showing great potential in this field. Some highlits are Illusion Of Progress, mid middle of the piece being simply killer, the instrumental arrangenets are brilliant, the voice is just ok for me, not only on this piece but overall, and I thiunk the weakest parts og the album, second great tune is the instrumental Umbra, kick ass all the way, the guitar and keybords are fantastic each one combining one into other with great ease and fantastic ingenuosity. The album ends with two long pieces Cloud Shapes , again great and the longest one of the album the closer Stepping Stones, nearly 21 min of sheere beauty, beggining in a slow tempo very similar with Pink Floyd and developed into a great progressive metal piece with complex and yet melodic parts, well constructed and very well played. So, overall is another of those albums that are somewhere between 3 and 4, I'll go with 4 this time, because the better sections are in abigger quantity then the weakest one and aswell they desearve to be more wider know , at least from prog metal zone. This is a great debute that must be praised more. Unfortunatly as far as I know they disbanded a year after in 2011.
 Ready to Fail by QUANDARY album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.53 | 22 ratings

Ready to Fail
Quandary Progressive Metal

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 3.5 stars. I would have given this 4 stars if it was all-instrumental and a little shorter. Anyway what a debut from these young Australians ! Instrumentally this is quite impressive and the sound quality is good too.The vocals are a mixed bag though.They don't sound good at all on the opening track and in a few other places, then in other passages they do sound good, so yes they are inconsistant.

"Out Of Time" is spacey to start then it kicks in before settling back again. It picks up before 1 1/2 minutes with vocals. Not a fan of the vocals here or the double bass drumming. "Illusion Of Progress" has a good heavy sound to start then it settles with vocals before 1 1/2 minutes. Some nice instrumental work after 5 minutes. I like it ! Vocals are back before 7 1/2 minutes. "Umbra" is just a fantastic instrumental. More please. "Ready To Fail" is laid back as the vocals join in. Piano only 2 minutes in to end this short track. "Waiting For Change" is drums, guitar and synth led then it settles with vocals before a minute. It kicks back in as contrasts continue. It's an okay track.

"Penumbra" is excellent as the guitar starts to solo before a minute then the keyboards take over. Guitar is back then some heaviness. Great sound after 3 minutes, bass follows. "Disconnect" is also very impressive especially when it kicks into gear. Vocals follow then it picks up before 4 minutes. A calm and then a different soundscape after 7 1/2 minutes. "Cloud Shapes" is spacey with piano then some heaviness. A nice heavy sound before 2 minutes then it settles back again. Double bass drumming after 4 minutes. It settles some after 9 minutes. "Stepping Stones" is the over 20 minute closer. It works for the most part.It slowly developes. We do get vocals and some piano early and later on.The tempo shifts often as well.

I'm just trying to imagine this band with a better singer or playing all-instrumental. I'm thinking they would create quite the buzz. I still think Metal fans should check this out as there's lots to like.

 Ready to Fail by QUANDARY album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.53 | 22 ratings

Ready to Fail
Quandary Progressive Metal

Review by J-Man
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Ready to Fail? I Think Not!

Quandary is a relatively new band from Australia, and Ready to Fail is the inapt title of their debut album. Boasting terrific musicianship and great compositional talent, I can confidently say that Quandary has released one of the better progressive metal albums to come out in 2010. Although there is still some work that could be done with their sound, these guys have started on a great note. This is a promising and highly enjoyable debut album.

Quandary plays a style style of traditional progressive metal with a heavy Liquid Tension Experiment/Dream Theater flavor. Don't mistake Quandary for a clone band, though - these guys still have their own sound. There is a high-level of technicality, however, that would remind me of Liquid Tension Experiment especially. A lot of this album is instrumental, though there are also some vocal parts. Unfortunately, the vocals are usually a mixed bag. Sometimes they are really strong, and sometimes they are really weak. In the first track, Out of Time, the vocals are on the weaker side, whereas the vocals in Waiting for Change are great. The vocals rarely drag down my experience, but the few weak sections are worth noting. Despite the few vocal shortcomings, Quandary is an incredibly tight, highly impressive unit. These guys are simply a joy to listen to.

The production is pretty good. It's a bit too raw at times, but it generally sounds great.


Ready to Fail is a highly impressive and mature work from these young Australian lads. If you like technical prog metal, this is an album worth checking out. If Quandary could develop a slightly more unique and distinct style in the future, I could see them getting a large fanbase. They definitely have the chops to succeed in the crowded prog metal world. A 3.5 star rating is well-earned for this mature and promising beginning. It'll be interesting to see where these guys go in the future.

 Ready to Fail by QUANDARY album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.53 | 22 ratings

Ready to Fail
Quandary Progressive Metal

Review by Marty McFly
Special Collaborator Errors and Omissions Team

4 stars In strict contrast to more or less negative title, Quandary's music is especially uplifting and positive. Clocking at 73 minutes, this CD is packed with tracks ranging from shorter to 2-4 epics (that are 8-20 minutes long). That's a good thing, as it provides a lot of space to exloration of different shapes of genres they're moving in.

From first intro track that presents us band's music range (Rock, dark themed Prog Metal, Melodic Metal, Heavy parts), we'll get a preview of how this album will be like. Fortunately, intro is handled well, in similar fashion as full song, as which some may take it. Especially when piano plays, that's my favourite moment. Fast forward to more Prog Rock toned ballads like Waiting For a Change or part operatic, part melancholic, full calm title track Ready To Fail. And then two epics of epics, with particulary interesting second epic (because it's different), which starts very slowly, setting in PM mode after long 6 minutes. It really ends on a high note.

Melody is very difficult beast to tame. However guys from Q. handled it well (and it's not easy job, because everyone can sound cheesy, but to sound interesting and more or less original, it's hard these days). However, beauty of this album strikes me so much that I hesitate how to rate quite a lot. Still, the result is

5(-) because for how it was conceived, produced (nothing "professional", yet perfect sound quality - check band's homepage), for how it sets charming atmosphere and how "fresh" it sounds.

Thanks to Marty McFly for the artist addition.

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