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FRAMESHIFT

Progressive Metal • United States


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Frameshift biography
FRAMESHIFT is a unique project featuring DREAM THEATER's vocalist James LaBrie and CHAIN's lead guitarist/keyboardist/composer/producer Henning Pauly; bassist/stick player Nik Guadagnoli and drummer Eddie Marvin complete the line-up. Pauly used a lot of different musical styles for this project, so this is not for fans of metal prog per se. His goal was to (1) produce an album featuring LaBrie in ways no one had ever heard him before, (2) combine elements of prog rock, film scores and modern production, and (3) use Richard Dawkins' books on evolution as a concept to connect all songs; he has definitely achieved all three goals with the album "Unweaving the Rainbow".

Unlike DT, Pauly composes more from the keyboards than the guitar, so this is not a TD album at all, nor is it a CHAINS clone (it is much mellower than that). It combines metal, ambient, techno, orchestral, rock, pop and loop-based music. It features excellent guitar hooks, dreamy keyboard parts, lush orchestration and awesome vocals - LaBrie's vocals are given a lot of space, here, with several a capella parts and even some counterpoint ŕ la GENTLE GIANT and SPOCK'S BEARD. Some fans may have criticized him on TD's album "Train of Thought", saying he was just 'screaming'. Those fans will no doubt take their criticisms back upon hearing "Unweaving the Rainbow".

DREAM THEATER and CHAIN fans may certainly want to check out the album, but fans of more ambitious symphonic prog are the ones who will get the most out of it - metalheads beware...

: : : Lise (HIBOU), CANADA : : :

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Buy FRAMESHIFT Music


An Absence of EmpathyAn Absence of Empathy
PROGROCK 2001
Audio CD$4.26
$3.42 (used)
Unweaving The RainbowUnweaving The Rainbow
ProgRock Records 2003
Audio CD$8.81
$2.95 (used)
An Absence of EmpathyAn Absence of Empathy
Explicit Lyrics · Import
Marquee Inc. Japan 2005
Audio CD$23.68
$11.15 (used)
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FRAMESHIFT discography


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

3.10 | 42 ratings
Unweaving The Rainbow
2003
2.85 | 33 ratings
An Absence Of Empathy
2005

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FRAMESHIFT Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 An Absence Of Empathy by FRAMESHIFT album cover Studio Album, 2005
2.85 | 33 ratings

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An Absence Of Empathy
Frameshift Progressive Metal

Review by St3v0

3 stars My two favorite music genres are Prog Rock and Glam Metal, in that order, and yes I know these two genres are worlds apart, but I like them for different reasons. Hence I was delighted to hear that the lead singer of my favorite Glam Metal band, Skid Row, recorded a Prog Rock album. While not a great Prog Rock album and not even a Glam Metal album, I like it for the relationships it has with the two genres. I can't justify giving this album a great Prog Rock rating but I would give it a higher rating in terms of likability.

Prog Rock 3/5 Likability 4/5

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 Unweaving The Rainbow by FRAMESHIFT album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.10 | 42 ratings

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Unweaving The Rainbow
Frameshift Progressive Metal

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

2 stars FAMESHIFT is the project of Henning Pauly (CHAIN) to spread the gospel of Darwinism.The title of the album comes from the title of one of Richard Dawkin's books. In fact each song is based on a character from one of his many books. He has James LaBrie on vocals, Pauly himself plays guitars, keyboards and more. I''m not familiar with the drummer and bass player.This clocks in at a long 79 1/2 minutes.

"Above The Grass-Part 1" is a short intro of nature sounds, strummed guitar and reserved vocals. "The Gene Machine" sounds good early but then it settles as the vocals arrive. Contrasts continue. "Spiders" isn't good at all. James is almost rapping early on with this funky rhythm. It changes some but the damage is already done. "River Out Of Eden" sounds good instrumentally but it calms right down when the reserved vocals arrive. Some nice guitar after 4 minutes. "Message From The Mountain" opens with piano as guitar joins in then bass as it builds. It goes from mellow to fairly bombastic. "Your Eyes" is a folky tune. "La Mer" opens with piano and fragile vocals.Yikes. Not a fan. "Nice Guys Finish First" is worse. Uptempo with organ early. Man I don't like this tune.

"Arms Races" is much better as it turns quite heavy duty with processed vocals joining in. Unfortunately it changes to a lighter sound, although the contrasts do continue. "Orgins And Miracles" is beautiful to start but i'm not a fan of the rest. "Off The Ground" opens with organ followed by some ripping guitar. Nice. Vocals before 1 1/2 minutes. I like the sound before 3 1/2 minutes. "Walking Through Genetic Space" is vocals only to open. It then calms right down with reserved vocals, light drums,bass and guitar. "Cultural Genetics" is cool sounding early on instrumentally. Processed vocals then it kicks in heavily. It doesn't keep going though sadly. A patchy song at best. "Bats" is atmospheric early on. I like it. It changes for the worse though when the vocals arrive. "Above The Grass-Part 2" ends this album much like it began.

Poor is the word that comes to mind, and to have almost 80 minutes of it is a tough pill to swallow. Fans of LaBrie or Dawkins might be intererested.

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 Unweaving The Rainbow by FRAMESHIFT album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.10 | 42 ratings

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Unweaving The Rainbow
Frameshift Progressive Metal

Review by wrax

3 stars Don't buy this CD just because LaBrie is singing on it. Don't think it has any relation to Dream Theater. This isn't a criticism and I love Dream Theater music and I like this CD. The album is fresh and interesting, it sounds very "neo-prog". It's closer to a band like Muse than to anything in prog metal. However, it's definitely worth experimenting with.

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 Unweaving The Rainbow by FRAMESHIFT album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.10 | 42 ratings

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Unweaving The Rainbow
Frameshift Progressive Metal

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars Good disc from Henning Pauly and James LaBrie.But in my ears it sounds a little bit commercial and accesible.The melodies and rhythms are easily memorable and the album has the sound but not 1 per cent the complexity of the DREAM THEATER music.On the opposite,there is no weak song in the album,the production and the sound quality are of the highest expectations and it's an album worth listening if it comes in your hands...PROG RULES!

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 Unweaving The Rainbow by FRAMESHIFT album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.10 | 42 ratings

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Unweaving The Rainbow
Frameshift Progressive Metal

Review by Prog Leviathan
Prog Reviewer

3 stars A mixed bag of slickly produced rock showcasing LaBrie's iconic voice and Pauly's skills as a composer... not to mention lyrics inspired by the hippest athiest around-- Richard Dawkins. "Unweaving the Rainbow" is a brainy journey through the relevance of evolution, done in enough musical styles to apeal to most anyone on this site, and especially fans of LaBrie's, whose voice dominates the album.

While I am a fan of just about everything presented here, I will say its not without its problems. First off, it's too long, and one or two of the songs get skipped regularily when they come up on my iPod. Moreover, Pauly's heavy playing is grating and not very interesting, coming across as a repetative, bland crunching where more intersting passages are called for in the gaps between LaBrie's singing.

However, the album as a whole has a nice, crisp sound which really shines on the more mellow songs and on the few with big, chrous driven sing-alongs. Pauly's use of synth, effects and keyboards are well placed, creating lots of different moods and themes.

Recommended for fans of LaBrie and anyone that reads Dawkins-- who will probably like this album regardless their musical tastes!

Songwriting: 3 Instrumental Performances: 3 Lyrics/Vocals: 3 Style/Emotion/Replay: 2

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 An Absence Of Empathy by FRAMESHIFT album cover Studio Album, 2005
2.85 | 33 ratings

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An Absence Of Empathy
Frameshift Progressive Metal

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

1 stars I'm not sure of how this album got into my order list from the library: I suspect one of my buddy (my jazz-mentor at that venerable institution) Marcel's stupid prank on the April's Fool, (he knows what little respect I hold for that fouled-mouth bumbling idiot Seb Bach), but nevertheless this album found its way into my living room and worse, into my deck and finally into my ears. Thanks, buddy!!! I'll getcha for that!!

So I got stuck with this unwanted piece of metal in my deck, and instead of popping it out and return to the library and make Marcel swallow it, I decided to use this piece of junk (mostly and solely because of that brain-dead Seb's presence on it) to get one more review ahead of my other buddy Eric. I wonder how that hairspray-puffed poof foul-mouthed idiotic "singer" managed to get into a progmetal album that should be well beyond his poor scope of comprehension. That mystery got resolved by looking at the credits; he only participated (very partially, most likely: maybe just two or three aligned words) to the lyrics of two tracks and nothing else. He just sang, which pauses another problem: how did he manage to rerad the lyrics. I think Gordon (the conceptor of the concept) and Pauly (the musical kingpin of the project) resolved that by doing an abject subject that was susceptible to interest whatever braincells still alive in Seb's dead brain. So the concept is rather idiotic, dealing with serial murders, school violence, impulse killers, torture, rape and other joyous recommendable subjects: as you can see, right up idiotic Seb Bach's alley.

As to the music itself, this kind of crap holds absolutely NOTHING prog whatsoever, even if it tries (and fails) a bit with choirs, concept and other gadgets, which become ridiculous on this kind of album. Musically the album is not bad, somewhere between the hair metal of Motley Crue, skidding towards mid-Metallica, oogling early Dream Theater and drooling to Queensryche (add the "¨" where you please ;-). It would seem to me that metal has moved on since the late 80's, but maybe that's just me. So to fool progheads, in order to get some kind of sales, the writing team decided to breakdown rapes, tortures and murders into two phases, the perpetrator/predator (the doer for Seb's comprehension) and the victim (the enjoyer for Seb's comprehension). How so very cool, clever, thoughtful and bright!!! How did I not think of that??? What is this piece of crap doing on such a site of ours?

This is exactly the type of album that the Mothers Of Prevention were having a case for, and unfortunately on favoured Frank did not see the day to see such abomination claiming the right of free speech. ***at the asking of a few members, a few sentences about to whom this album might appeal to were edited by the review's author***

An abject piece of crap.

PS: this review was written a few days before the Virginia Tech massacre and posted in the Archives without the writer's knowledge of it, so he makes no links between the album and the the event, but cannot help but thinking that such subject should certainly be dealt with much greater care than Mr Pauly did.

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 An Absence Of Empathy by FRAMESHIFT album cover Studio Album, 2005
2.85 | 33 ratings

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An Absence Of Empathy
Frameshift Progressive Metal

Review by Xeroth

3 stars This album, An Absence of Empathy was a tough one for me to get into, and still is. I've listened to it several times now and just can't catch the shift these guys take. Now, I see where they were going with this album, and I must say it is a good theme, put to somewhat decent musicianship. However, Vocalizing, and just the plain lyrics, I found drove me away. Plus the screaming which didn't seem great in my personal opinion. One isn't regretting anything when listening to them, but nor are they missing anything to fantastic. These guys have so much potential, but it still seems hidden behind dark lyrics to crazy music. Kind of a scary topic, to talk about the main problems of the world through schooling, war, torture, and rape all relating to their little human grain thing. Though the topic is an eye opener, it wasn't put to the highest quality it could've, not lyrically, but musically. Give a listen if you will, while great riffs thrive through out the album the object of it's success was, what I'd call, a little less than excellent. However, if you love the crazy hard stuff go ahead and listen, but this is coming from someone who enjoys Dream Theater, Kamelot, Ayreon, Riverside, and even Opeth. So see how you will and enjoy what you can. 3/5 star rating, good, but non-essential. Thanks, Xeroth

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 Unweaving The Rainbow by FRAMESHIFT album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.10 | 42 ratings

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Unweaving The Rainbow
Frameshift Progressive Metal

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Now, this is a rather strange release.

Most people focus on LaBrie's participation in this project, and due to that expect music in the same vein as Dream Theater.

But what is on display here isn't someone trying to clone Dream Theater and getting LaBrie to sing the songs, rather it's an album of relatively diversified songs written to let a vocalist like LaBrie use his voice to the full extent.

So there's prog metal here, ballads, rockers and drifters - even some songs that sound more like ambient music than prog.

Songs that let LaBrie utilize his voice in as many aspects as he wants, and maybe even in some aspects that were unfamiliar for him.

And as much on this album is written for a vocalist of a certain type, if you like the music or not depends much on whether you like the vocalist that was chosen for the task.

Personally; I have a so-so thing with LaBrie as a vocalist; and would have loved listening to this album with a more restrained vocalist doing the singing here.

But it's LaBrie singing, and that affects strongly how much (or not) I like this release.

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 An Absence Of Empathy by FRAMESHIFT album cover Studio Album, 2005
2.85 | 33 ratings

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An Absence Of Empathy
Frameshift Progressive Metal

Review by Equality 7-2521

3 stars Absence Of Empathy, despite being tossed into the Art-Rock category, comes off as primarily a prog-metal album heavy on symphonic synth work and infused with some modern electronic effects and beats. Sebastian Bach takes over vocal duties for this release offering a stark contrast to the trained operatic style of LaBrie. Bach is dirty, raspy, violent, and full of rage making him perfect for the music here. He far exceeded my already high expectation for what he would do on the album. He shines no matter what the mood, but especially on more melodic numbers where his rich, deep vocals are given the limelight. If anyone like me heard Skid Row and thought "this guy is way too talented to be with these hacks" then you should be pleased to see this release.

The driving, crunching guitars and pounding drums are solid but nothing all too spectacular. You'll really be impressed by the way Pauly uses almost techno like beats and sound effects on top of the heavy guitars to achieve a great atmosphere. Songs were this touch is missing are the weakest and act like sandbags to the albums rating. If Pauly were to take the obvious genre influences he has and explore them more fully instead of building a song around a primary metal riff this would be a far superior album. Still should pleasently excite prog metal fans and those who don't mind a harder edge.

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 An Absence Of Empathy by FRAMESHIFT album cover Studio Album, 2005
2.85 | 33 ratings

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An Absence Of Empathy
Frameshift Progressive Metal

Review by denisbito

4 stars

This is one of those albums that you don't give too much credit to the first couple of times you hear it through. But after that, it gets better and better. I've listened to a lot of albums this year, and this is one of the best.

That being said, the music is exceptional here. First of all, Sebastian Bach (former pop/rock band Skid Row's lead singer) does an exceptional job on this one. Clear voice, nice soft passages and loads of aggressiveness when needed. I didn't know Henning Pauly before this album, as this was my first encounter with Frameshift, and he made a really good impression as a composer. Loads of guitar, very good keyboards and some interesting electronic effects. But don't let this last item discourage you: the effects are very well used and add interesting elements to the songs.

Frameshift took a heavier and darker turn on this album, in comparison to their Debut "Unweaving the Rainbow", which featured James Labrie (Dream Theater) on lead vocals. The lyrical content deals with the darker side of human emotion, such as pain and suffering, but at the same time questioning the nature of theses feelings. My favourite songs are "Human Grain", a fast paced song with great guitars and a huge chorus, "Push the Button", and, the closing piece, "What Kind of Animal". "Belíssimo", Bach.

One of the best albums I've listened to this year. A must have for prog metal fans, and for all other prog fans who have an inquisitive taste and don't limit themselves to one niche in the progressive genre. Go get it!

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