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DISTORTED HARMONY

Progressive Metal • Israel


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Distorted Harmony biography
DISTORTED HARMONY are a progressive metal band from Tel Aviv, Israel. Although the first music and title - ''Utopia'', which the band would eventually adopt as the title for their debut - were composed back in 2006 by Yoav EFRON (keyboards), it was not until 2009, when he met Yogev GABAY (drums), that the band started taking form. By 2011, Misha SOUKHININ (vocals), Guy LANDAU (guitars) and Iggy 'Jalapeno' COHEN (bass) had also joined them, completing the line-up. From that moment and up to May 14th 2012, when the band digitally released their debut album, the quintet composed the rest of the music, while SOUKHININ would write the lyrics with the assistance of EFRON, LANDAU and outside friends. ''Utopia'' was available for a limited period as a free download at the band's website.

During 2012-13 the band appeared in some of the best venues in Israel, released two official videos and were nominated for the "Limelight" award in ''PROG'' magazine. August 2013 saw them entering the studio to record ''Chain Reaction'', which would be released in June 2014.

The band cite influences from DREAM THEATER, SYMPHONY X, PORCUPINE TREE, MUSE, OPETH, but also jazz and classical music. In addition to the bands above, their sound resembles the melodic lines of ENCHANT at times, blending mellow moments, heaviness and virtuosity in a contemporary manner.

Biography by aapatsos

Distorted Harmony official website

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DISTORTED HARMONY discography


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

3.95 | 183 ratings
Utopia
2012
4.52 | 6 ratings
Chain Reaction
2014

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

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DISTORTED HARMONY Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Chain Reaction by DISTORTED HARMONY album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.52 | 6 ratings

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Chain Reaction
Distorted Harmony Progressive Metal

Review by aapatsos
Special Collaborator Prog Metal and Heavy Prog Teams

4 stars An insurmountable task

And that would be to "overtake" the greatness of the debut album "Utopia"... The problem here is that DH have set so high a standard with their first release that any subsequent album would have to be compared with that. And this is where we start with a handicap...

Although similar in duration, "Chain Reaction" avoids the very-long-composition pattern of the debut, with the exception of "Misguided", which, interestingly enough, is the absolute highlight. Here we see more "direct" songwriting, with potentially less complexity but with an increasingly personal sound and statement. In their majority, the compositions are more predictable as they unfold but impressions such as "wall of sounds" (opening "Every Time She Smiles") and "lushful, colourful passages" ("Natural Selection") are often generated in my mind.

Misha's vocal qualities are a winner throughout this release and at times counterbalance the heavy riffs of Yoav Efron. The late-era Dream Theater influence is still apparent, especially in the chucking riffs (e.g. see "Children of Red"). The Muse influence is, I think, stronger in this release, as the band blends successfully an "indie"/pop character with the more traditional progressive metal. The melodic/catchy refrains are back but the more intricate fusion-esque playing has somewhat been reduced. The addition of a couple of "fillers" in "Nothing" and "As You Go" does not really add much to the final result but trademark compositions such as "Natural Selection" bring the balance back to the positive sign. Interestingly, the album ends with a track full of goth/synth influences in "Methylene Blue", which, without impressing, leaves the listener with a pleasant taste.

Throughout the melancholia of compositions (and accompanying, interesting, artwork) there is an aura of optimism and character. DH have developed their own sound and that should be credited to them. Despite not reaching the same heights as "Utopia", "Chain Reaction" is a strong statement for the quality and personal sound of this group.

4 (-) stars with thanks to the band for the promo

Highlights: Every Time She Smiles, Misguided, Natural Selection

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 Chain Reaction by DISTORTED HARMONY album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.52 | 6 ratings

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Chain Reaction
Distorted Harmony Progressive Metal

Review by Second Life Syndrome
Collaborator Post/Math Rock and Crossover Teams

5 stars In 2012, a young band blew me away with a debut that still lingers in my ears. Heck, my wife uses one of their songs as her ringtone. That band was Distorted Harmony, an Israeli progressive metal band with a fresh, eclectic sound. Their debut, 'Utopia', was my album of the year for 2012. So, when they announced their sophomore album, I instantly had to make a connection with them so that I could get the chance to review it.

Could my expectations be any higher? I almost feel bad for the band because there are so many people out there that have huge expectations for this new album, almost unfair expectations. And, yet, I think Distorted Harmony has met those expectations, and even exceeded them, just not in the way that anyone is expecting. Their new album is called 'Chain Reaction', and it is very different from their debut album.

Distorted Harmony has changed. They come across as more mature, more skilled, and more aware of what they want to play. Their first album leaned heavily on Dream Theater at times, but 'Chain Reaction' has thrown off that mantle almost completely. Gone are the technical (even cheesy) piano lines that Yoav Efron played with such skill, and in comes a darker, more subtler synth, though there are some piano lines that still serve a warm purpose in slower, more dramatic portions. While there is still much finger work from guitarist Guy Landau, the guitars are heavier, more stuttering, and more riff oriented. Iggy Cohen on bass has changed into a composer of funky and appropriate bass lines that are foundational to the music. Lastly, Yogev Gabay on drums may have changed the least, and that's just fine. His delicate but kinetic style abounds with flourishes and skill that I really enjoy. As a whole, the band plays furiously and their virtuosity shows, but their technical prowess comes together in such a way that they all sound like one unit, creating impressive walls of sound and also delicate reflective moments.

Vocalist Misha Soukhinin is back, and he's better than ever. His voice was somewhat controversial the first time around, as some people claimed his voice is 'too pop'. And you know what? It definitely is not a metal voice, and that is a huge compliment. His range is fantastic, his unique personality is a strong as ever, and his maturity in skill is becoming more apparent. Misha is destined to be one of the best, and, besides, he's hilarious.

Speaking of pop, though, I must point out of the biggest shifts for Distorted Harmony here is the pop and alternative influences that show themselves in catchier sections, ultra-polished grooves, raw riffing and choruses, and an accessibility that is strange for a metal album. If I had to make a comparison, I would say that this album sounds more like a metallic Muse album, complete with the soaring vocals, vocals filters, and creative instrumentals. This shift in sound is extremely welcome for me, and I'm very proud that Distorted Harmony has gone out on a limb.

'Chain Reaction' is very well paced, diverse, concise, and very deep lyrically. I feel that they really selected the best compositions they wrote, and created some very different artwork. The album starts off with one of my favorite songs of the year called 'Every Time She Smiles', an explosive, catchy track with a wonderful feel. As the album progresses, we get a great taste of all sorts of tones and sounds, from the heaviness of 'Children of Red' to the genius but groovy instrumental 'Nothing (but the rain)' and from the ballad structure of 'As You Go' to the ethereal to climactic bombast of 'Methylene Blue'. That last track is a close second on the album, as it starts out soft and surreal and progresses to an amazing instrumental climax. I must comment on the track 'Misguided', too, as it was originally released as a demo last year. The song sounds different, especially the funky little bass exercise they added towards the end. Overall, it has definitely been elevated, although some of Misha's vocals are a little less emotional.

Distorted Harmony may or may not have topped their debut. The fact is that it's really tough to decide that when 'Utopia' and 'Chain Reaction' are so different in purpose and style. For what it's worth, I think 'Chain Reaction' will be my favorite of the two, and it harks back to some of the alternative music I used to love and then combines it with some of the most technical yet purposeful progressive metal that I've heard. For what it's worth, 'Chain Reaction' is the best progressive metal album thus far in 2014.

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 Utopia by DISTORTED HARMONY album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.95 | 183 ratings

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Utopia
Distorted Harmony Progressive Metal

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Distorted Harmony is a young band from Israel with their debut released in 2012 named Utopia. Well, what we have here, a type of prog metal that is very appreciated in last years and I mean, fat bass lines, crunchy drums, nice guitar chops, flowing keybords and only an ok voice - did I like it? -well, yes, is not a groundbreaking album to my ears but worth to be investigated if you like prog metal. Taken influences from Symphony X, Dream Theater, Circus Maximus - Distorted harmony manage to come with a pleasent, enjoyble full of complex instrumental sections, definatly the musicins really know to handle the instruments. What bothers me is the voice of Misha Soukhinin, while is ok, in comparation with the music, the vocal lines are almost flat, not particulary strong range this guy has and for that reason drags a little bit the overall sound. If were more anger in the voice but keeping the clean voice of course maybe then I'll give a higher rate. But as I said the instrumental parts are very strong like on Blue or the title track Utopia, really nice musicianship with skillful arrangements, the duels between guitars and keyboards are awesome. All in all 3.5 stars for this debute, a fairly good prog metal album but not among the strongest I've heared lately. The album can be bought in digital format from their bandcamp page for only 1$, imagine that, so don't hesitate to have it worth it for prog metal fans, also the CD format is available from their web page.

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 Utopia by DISTORTED HARMONY album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.95 | 183 ratings

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Utopia
Distorted Harmony Progressive Metal

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars "Utopia" is the debut full-length studio album by Israeli, Tel Aviv based progressive metal act Distorted Harmony. The album was originally released in May 2012 as a free download on the band´s Bandcamp page, but saw a CD release in July 2012.

The 5-piece act play a very dynamic and well written progressive metal style. The keyboards are quite dominant in the soundscape, but there are still plenty of room for heavy distorted guitar riffs and pounding rythms ((and thankfully no sirupy ballads to disrupt the flow of the album. Yes I´m looking at you Dream Theater). As mentioned this is very dynamic music though, so there are both more mellow and atmospheric parts on the album too. The musicianship is generally excellent but to my ears it´s lead vocalist Misha Soukhinin that stands out the most. He has a strong, personal and emotional/melancholic delivery that´s not typical for a vocalist in a progressive metal act. Actually his voice and singing style remind me quite a bit of Jan H. Ohme from the Norwegian alternative/progressive rock act Gazpacho. Besides that influence I´d mention acts like Dream Theater and Riverside among the influences.

The tracks feature adventurous and complex structures, tempo- and time signature changes and technical playing but there is always great focus on catchy hooks. To my ears it´s that balance between technical playing and emotional delivery that makes "Utopia" such a strong release. The sound production is powerful, detailed and well sounding. Pretty impressive considering that this is a 100% self-financed release. So overall "Utopia" is an album with very few flaws and a lot of positive qualities. A 4 star (80%) rating is more than deserved.

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 Utopia by DISTORTED HARMONY album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.95 | 183 ratings

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Utopia
Distorted Harmony Progressive Metal

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Eeeeeh, alright, I guess I can just about give Distorted Harmony's debut album a thumbs-up. This progressive metal tour de force is an intriguingly gentle ride which incorporates plenty of quieter, more acoustic moments - to the point where the band are at risk of drifting away from metal altogether - but on balance there are enough twists and turns to keep a range of listeners happy. That said, I think it could do with a little more editorial trimming here and there, with some sections mildly outstaying their welcome - in particular, the bit where lead vocalist Misha Soukhinin goess off on a spoken word tangent in which he presents a simplistic and not especially interesting or original political philosophy tries my patience every time I listen to the album. Like I said: I'll give it the thumbs-up, but it only just slipped under the wire.

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 Utopia by DISTORTED HARMONY album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.95 | 183 ratings

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Utopia
Distorted Harmony Progressive Metal

Review by TechnicallySpeaking

5 stars Ok, this is one of my favorite of 2012. It starts with a Rick Wakeman quality keyboard intro, and then gets heavy.

The changes from heavy metal to clean melodic piano is superb. Then the vocal comes in and reminds me of Greg Lake. For this style of music in this day and age, to hear a crisp, clean pitch perfect vocal is refreshing. Excellent and awesome! Now for a review of the tracks:

1. Kono Yume - I love this track. It sounds like Genesis in a lot of ways. I get plesantly lost in it.

2. Breathe - It starts with a beautiful melody folding into a great heavy progressive metal sound, but not overdone. It then moves to a solid progressive rock movement transitioning into a melodic piano / vocal that is captivating and then back again. It is reminiscent of Genesis "Trick of the Tail", but does not sound like a cheesy copy or stale remake. They are clearly in step with contemporary progressive rock as they create new material that can be appreciated by multiple generations. The musicianship on this track is incredible, with time signature changes, complicates riffs, and complex synth runs.

3. Obsession - The third track starts with a very modern Gent sound that then starts to integrate a Dream Theater feel. It is not a new concept, but integrates a a wider variety of newer and older sounds and influences from bands such as BTBAM, Opeth, Porcupine Tree, ELP, Dream Theateer and Genesis. There is also a Crack the Sky Feel to this song, but most of you will not who that is unless you are very broad minded prog fans.

4. Blue - This track starts with a march that folds into some really driving prog-metal movements. This song develops into some fine progressive metal. There are elements of solid progressive rock here with grand symphonic movements sounding like Yes and Porcupine tree at moments. This song is truly a masterpiece.

5. Unfair - A nice jazz introduction moves into some great symphonic elements that are simply mind blowing. This song progresses into a very energetic and complete track. The guitars are awesome and the keys are both complimentary and bombastic at times. The organ at the end of the track is memorable.

6. Utopia - This track starts with a little piece that sounds like it is being played through an old radio. It sounds like something from another time period, but then breaks into a very strong heavy (but not metal) movement. The next section has almost a ballet quality. The music transitions into a "Dream Theater" style progression with actually seem a little out of place for how the record started. Somehow it works itself out and concludes satisfactorily. The second half of the track has a lot of changes, including heavy moments and pretty guitar parts as well. It also has fully integrated keyboard with lead guitar elements intertwined into one which is what really gets me off.

This is definitely one of my favorite records of the year; however I will say that the composition is lacking a sense of continuity. For a debut, this is awesome. The music is awesome, the musicianship is awesome, and the composition is good and the recording is fair. Overall this is a great record especially for a debut release. I give it 4.5 rounded up to a 5.

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 Utopia by DISTORTED HARMONY album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.95 | 183 ratings

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Utopia
Distorted Harmony Progressive Metal

Review by BrufordFreak

4 stars Listening to this album has been a mixed bag: I enjoy the symphonic and jazz elements of this tremendously but am not an avid fan of heavy prog. Still, this is, to my ears, very good progresssive rock--the vocals being the weakest element of the music, the keyboards being the strongest. While not quite up there with Tool's Lateralus, Karnivool's Sound Awake, Porcupine Tree's Fear of a Blank Planet, and Riverside's Second Life Syndrome; it is on a par with Sylvan's Posthumous Silence, Gösta Berlings Saga's Detta Har Hänt , Rishloo's Feathergun, and Von Hertzen Brothers' Love Remains the Same.

Favorite songs: "Kono Yume" (8:41) (9/10); "Obsession" (9:12) (8/10), and; "Utopia" (12:31) (8/10).

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 Utopia by DISTORTED HARMONY album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.95 | 183 ratings

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Utopia
Distorted Harmony Progressive Metal

Review by Evolver
Special Collaborator Crossover & JazzRock/Fusion Teams

4 stars This album was quite a surprise. I'm not usually so taken with prog metal bands, but these guys transcend the genre by using a generous dose of great symphonic prog.

Oddly enough, the album reminds me of the Universal Studios theme park ride "The Curse Of The Mummy". On this attraction, the riders are lulled into a false sense of complacency when the vehicle they are in rolls lazily through animated scenes of the inside of a pyramid. Then suddenly, all hell breaks loose, the car drops backwards onto a track, the the riders are propelled though a high speed roller coaster ride. At various points, the ride appears to be over, only to have the room burst into flames, followed by another coaster segment.

Well that's the feeling I get by this up and cvoming Israeli band. The album begins with a keyboard intro, and grand symphonic prog, which lulls you into the belief that this is going to be a work of fine symph prog. But suddenly the sound turns to metal. But this is not the cliched metal that tends to bore me away from multiple listens. This is highly progressive metal, with plenty of rhythmic twists and turns, and tonal oddities. At times I hear passages that make me think they are playing a stereotypical metal riff, but every time they jar the stereotype away with some astounding changes.

The entire album is a wonderful trip in this sense. Back and forth they travel between metal and symphonic prog, and all with virtuoso precision.

While I enjoy the entire album, I'd have to say my favorite track is Blue, which reminds me very much of one of my favorite heavy prog bands, Altered State.

This has to be one of the top ten album of this year.

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 Utopia by DISTORTED HARMONY album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.95 | 183 ratings

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Utopia
Distorted Harmony Progressive Metal

Review by Andy Webb
Forum & Site Admin Group Admin / Heavy Prog Team

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.

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 Utopia by DISTORTED HARMONY album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.95 | 183 ratings

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Utopia
Distorted Harmony Progressive Metal

Review by J-Man
Prog Reviewer

5 stars People have argued about how the internet affects the music industry for well over a decade now, and although I'm sure these debates will persist for decades more, there is one clear way in which music benefits from the world wide web - distribution. Take Distorted Harmony, for example; a group of virtuous progressive metal musicians from Israel that has had the opportunity to share their art with the world through the means of online distribution. Released in May, 2012 for free on their SoundCloud page, Utopia is the sort of album that I'd expect from established progressive metal veterans - stunning compositions, incredibly high levels of musicianship, and flawless execution make this one of the best albums I've heard this year. Much like Haken did just a couple of years ago with the masterpiece that was Aquarius, Distorted Harmony have entered the scene with a stunning observation that deserves to be heard by every fan of the genre.

Though Utopia's finest asset is in its strikingly dynamic compositions, one of Distorted Harmony's greatest strengths is their ability to stay within the confines of 'traditional' progressive metal while still coming across as fresh and unique. The strong vocal melodies, frequent use of polyrhythmic syncopation, and symphonic tendencies bring Pain of Salvation to mind, and the technical acrobatics will probably remind most listeners of Dream Theater - while this may not sound like too unique of a formula, heavy and modern sounding riffs, frequent deviations into traditional symphonic prog, and alternative-sounding melodies add an additional layer of freshness to Distorted Harmony's core sound. Whilst one could potentially argue that Utopia does sound stylistically similar to many other observations in the genre, Distorted Harmony has put a stamp on the album that is distinctly theirs. And, at the end of the day, what really matters most is the music - and that is where Distorted Harmony makes one hell of an impression.

Utopia consists of six songs, clocking anywhere from seven to twelve-and-a-half minutes apiece, and although the tracks are certainly on the 'longer' side, Distorted Harmony does not indulge in any drawn-out shredfests or sprawling epics. The band focuses much more on powerful, compact compositions, which I think suits them very well. Utopia doesn't have a weak moment in sight; every section is captivating, every transition is smooth, and every song leaves an impression that will last for quite some time even after the listener has given the album a rest. Everything from the grandiose orchestrations in 'Kono Yume' to the climatic ending in 'Utopia' just reeks of sheer perfection, and even after enjoying the album for nearly half a year, I'm still nowhere near finished with this slice of heaven.

For better or worse, Utopia is the sort of release that only comes around once in a blue moon - albums this perfect just don't roll around frequently enough, especially for debut offerings. Utopia is just one of those releases that always manages to challenge my mind, pull my heartstrings, and lift my mood regardless of the circumstances - even after hearing this dozens of time, I'm still shocked by some of the intricacies used by Distorted Harmony. It will take a damn good album to dethrone this one from 'album of the year' for me, and even if that were to happen, Utopia will still stand as one of the best progressive metal albums I have ever heard. Well done, gentlemen!

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