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2 stars I did not get crazy about the first record, I found it even boring after repeated listenings and not worth to be filed under Prog, but this one I find even worse. It might be a more hardrocking one due to the SKID ROW-singer, but for sure this kind of music can't satisfy my needs. If you like hardrock go for this one, I prefer Prog. Only for die-hard Pauly-fans, so 2 stars!
Report this review (#34988)
Posted Saturday, May 21, 2005 | Review Permalink
2 stars Not a mindwhacker, as good as the first, and Sebastian's vocals are WILD (in fact it's the greatest turn on of this one) and i must emphatize HIS VOICE IN THIS ONE IS AMAZING, another thing well used are modern effects and noises, Pauling's typical. So if you like that sort of stuff and a wild and clear vocal, this is it. if you like your mind being taken to extreme emotional fields, stay away (P.S.: i loved this album, but i gotta recognize its just for now and then)
Report this review (#38129)
Posted Thursday, June 30, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars It's been a long time since I have heard a band beyond my expectations. This second album is awesome (as the first) and shows how good is the musicians' capacity of shifting from one style to another and maintaining the level. H. Pauly is really a great musician and producer; his technique is vast in all instruments but not without feeling; E. Marvin plays virtuously and without wastes; S. Bach vocals are potent and impressive. Even changing the style of the vocals from the other album the music still fits it with precision and expressing the lyrics. Frameshift is a first team band and do not waste time with boring nonsense melodies to fill the albums - like it has been happening to many good prog bands lastly (especially Dream Theater). It's good to see there is still work with quality and grandiosity.
Report this review (#39813)
Posted Tuesday, July 19, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars I was anxiously awaiting the next Frameshift cd after hearing the excellent Unweaving the Rainbow and was sort of let down upon hearing that Sebastian Bach would be handling vocal duties on the next one.Henning Pauly(Chain) wanted to get away from the clean,schooled style of Labrie's singing and for his next project wanted someone with a rough,dirty delivery.He initially wanted Devin Townsend but he was busy and Pauly found Bach agreeable to the project. Like the first Frameshift cd this is not a concept album per se,with no storyline,but a series of songs revolving around the same topic.The topic here is human nature and violence. This cd features Bach on vocals,Eddie Marvin on drums and Henning Pauly on virtually everything else,including engineering and mixing.This album exceeded my expectations,Bach's voice is strong and powerful,he does quite well on the heavier songs and shines on the more melodic numbers.The music is very strong,with Pauly using alot of of electronic effects as accents.The two standout tracks are "I Killed You",with changes in tempo and melody,going from ballad like passages to experimental stuff to complex harmonies that put Bach's brutal screams under the spotlight.Fantastic synths solos permeat the song that are complemented by a terrific guitar run.The other track "Blade" is a sprawling,epic number with masterfully crafted symphonic touches. Not as good as the first but a good progressive metal album.3 stars
Report this review (#40961)
Posted Saturday, July 30, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars Great CD! I must admit that I did not have any high expectations considering the rather bland previous album but I was blown away by this one.

H. Pauly doesn't have to regret that James LaBrie was unble to make it, Bach does a great job, nice to have him back. The CD sounds a bit more mainstream than Unweaving the Rainbow, but it's still a very enjoyable listen.

Report this review (#51881)
Posted Saturday, October 15, 2005 | Review Permalink
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!

Report this review (#62081)
Posted Wednesday, December 28, 2005 | Review Permalink
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.

Report this review (#82857)
Posted Wednesday, July 5, 2006 | Review Permalink
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
Report this review (#118104)
Posted Thursday, April 12, 2007 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
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.

Report this review (#118637)
Posted Tuesday, April 17, 2007 | Review Permalink
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

Report this review (#446091)
Posted Thursday, May 12, 2011 | Review Permalink

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