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Standing Ovation - The Antikythera Mechanism CD (album) cover


Standing Ovation


Experimental/Post Metal

3.67 | 5 ratings

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4 stars Finnish band STANDING OVATION has been around in one form or another since 2006, but it took them a good few years to start actually recording any of their material. An initial EP saw the light of day in 2011 however, and towards the end of 2012 they were ready with their debut album "The Antikythera Mechanism", which was released through Finnish label Inverse Records.

For a debut album this is a production that has a lot of positive elements to it, as many debut albums tend to have. This is a band that have chosen metal as their style of choice, they are exploring it in a manner that will see them placed inside the progressive metal umbrella somewhere, and they do so in a manner that makes it difficult to place them inside some of the more heavily explored directions of that subgenre. While they have many familiar sounding details in their material I'm at a loss for pinpointing any specific references in this case too, and while this may document that I don't pay close enough attention to the metal scene more than documenting a case about a band heading in a truly new direction, it's still very nice to be able to say about a band that they don't really belong to any specific "school" within their chosen style.

What this band does do, at best with a smooth elegance, is to wander fairly freely within a territory that has thrash metal, power metal and heavy metal as the outer boundaries, frequently combining all of these elements in a single song and in a manner that makes the progressive moniker obligatory. From harsh, staccato and aggressive riffs to joyfully galloping rhythms and riffs and gentler escapades with acoustic guitars and perhaps some piano. With fairly frequent use of keyboards as both a contrasting element and as an additional layer utilized to craft more majestic arrangements. And within a progressive context it's also worth noting that this is a band fairly fond of quirky riff constructions, a nice contrast to the more aggressive thrash oriented as well as the somewhat more generic power metal expression they occasionally visit.

"The Antikythera Mechanism" is a fine album, but at least according to my ears this is still a band in development. Some of the songs doesn't quite gel for me, sometimes the lead vocals aren't quite what the song needs in my admittedly subjective opinion, and in general the album is slightly uneven. A good album, and one that merits an inspection by progressive metal fans in general and those fond of bands exploring some of the less explored pathways in particular, but ultimately this is a good rather than great album to this set of ears. Well worth investigating though, as long as you don't expect to come across perfection purified.

Windhawk | 4/5 |


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