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Rishloo - Eidolon CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.94 | 87 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars In recent years, alternative metal has stormed onto the radio waves with its punishing metallic riffs and its catchy choruses sung presumably by taught young men with muscles bulging out of the sides of their craniums with an ax in their back pocket and a car full of empty beer bottles and unopened condom packages.

Nevertheless, this angst-filled, love-lust, balled-inducing, fist-clenching, drunk-crazed genre has created many copycats to follow the likes of Nickelback and Breaking Benjamin, which in turn, creates a backward draft of outfits that desire to break away from the pack, to be unique and better at the same time. Uriah and Destrophy use brutal screams and breaks to blend with melodic passages and choruses, while The Veer Union, Eye Empire and Sigma A.D. prefer just a more brutal and brash approach instead of making every other track on their albums a love-struck ballad. There are even the more avant-garde and way out there bands such as Black Light Burns, whom incorporate elements of alt metal, punk, post-rock and even thrash metal into their unique blend of metal.

This, inevitably, leads to the dabbling of progressive rock, while some groups like Dredg have experimented with prog with their mainstream formula (selling out in the process), a newer wave of bands has arisen over the years on the coattails of Tool's cult underground success of alt metal and post-rock elements. Yet even these groups go their separate ways as well, as Fair to Midland incorporate elements of post-hardcore and indie music to their alt-metal, while Karnivool has (quite expertly, in my opinion) taken the direct successful formula of alt metal (heavy riffs, catchy phrases and choruses and quick and easy hooks to get attached to) and blended uncommon time signatures, while discretely disassembling the standard song structure into their own creation.

Then we get to Rishloo. This Seattle outfit has gone another step further by not worrying about catchiness or airplay on the radio and instead concentrated on the message of the song itself, breaking tradition with the standard ABABCB function of most popular alt metal songs. Yet you wouldn't really notice from a quick listen. "Freaks & Animals" begins in a very subtle manner, very Coheed & Cambria-ish to me, eventually brewing into a rage-filled fury at the chorus. It's not catchy at all, but it's a very unique recipe, and one that works as well. "El Empe" is a slow starter as well, yet it crescendos into a s***storm of swears and curses, but it doesn't even seem that much different from anything else these days. Even the following "Pandora" sounds just like a typical soft rock ballad, once again beginning with subtle arpeggios.

Perhaps the difference comes in the segue of tracks, the seamless flow into each. Maybe it just sounds like a manlier and heavier C&C. Who knows? But is it unique? Hell yeah. It's a unique take on alt metal. Many of the songs on this particular disc begin with that same guitar subtly, and it's really only to about halfway into the track that you get a really good whiff of anger and rage. However, don't go into this disc thinking you'll find the one big hit, their most popular song, because (trust me), you won't find it.

When I first gave this disc a chance, I couldn't find one song that stood out to me, which is why it's nigh impossible to review track-by-track. However, I decided (the next time I looked at the album) to listen to the entire album all the way through, and upon the disc's conclusion it made more sense. Although not every track segues into each other, it just sound better together. The more progressive, conceptual bands do it well. While many symphonic prog groups lay it all out in twenty minute leviathans, the newer wave of prog-tinged outfits prefer to lay it out through the entire album, such as Rishloo, The Mars Volta and Between The Buried And Me (hell, "Colors" was an hour long song divided into 8 or so tracks).

It sounds like a weird combination at first, and indeed, at second glance, it really is. I thought this would be a crappy record, I really did. Only did I realize the message of this album did I have a change of heart. Don't dig into this thinking you'll find some catchy fist- puncher to head-bang with your friends down at the bar; you ain't gonna find it here. Don't judge a book by it's cover; this is truly a heavy prog lover's disc right here.

Wicket | 4/5 |


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