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Affector - Harmagedon CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

3.77 | 87 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Affector is a multi-national progressive metal act featuring members of Symphony X, Neal Morse Band, Enchant, and Dilemma, and Harmagedon is their debut full-length observation. Playing in the style of Dream Theater, the album consists of high-class musicianship, technical acrobatics, and most everything else you'd expect from a traditional progressive metal release. Affector hardly brings anything new to the table with Harmagedon, but the album has enough high points to excuse some of its shortcomings.

Harmagedon is a concept album that talks about a Biblical apocalypse - Affector does not hide the fact that they are a Christian band, and although the end times can make for a cool metal concept, the lyrics here are trite and lack any form of subtlety. It's challenging for a nonbeliever to listen to this album without quickly growing bored by the proselytizing lyrics, but (fortunately) the musical aspect is much better. Though you won't find anything terribly original on Harmagedon, there are plenty of killer riffs, melodic solos, and frantic instrumental runs to satisfy any prog metal fan. Drummer Colin Leijenaar especially impresses me with his complex and intricate playing. Guest keyboard appearances from Neal Morse, Jordan Rudess, Alex Argento, and Derek Sherinian are also likely to grab the attention of prog metal fans, and all deliver solid solos that add to the instrumental credibility of the album. If I had to make one complaint about the musical aspect of Harmagedon, it would be that the vocal melodies seem rather weak compared to the instrumental segments. There are some very memorable vocal lines, like the chorus in "Salvation" or "Cry Song", but generally they seem rather bland, and this issue can be compounded by the awkward lyrics.

It may seem like I'm coming down hard on Harmagedon, but I do actually enjoy this album. Instrumentally, Harmagedon is excellent, and if Affector spent more time writing clever lyrics and strong vocal melodies, they could've really hit a home run with this debut. The result is an album with untapped potential, but still enjoyable enough to warrant a recommendation to progressive metal fans.

J-Man | 3/5 |


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