Hailing from the land of “Sheep, single malt and haggis” as the band so eloquently describes it on their promo pack; today we have Scottish Progressive Metal newcomers: Abandoned Stars. With their debut EP “Opening Act”, the band delivers 4 very well crafted radio-friendly tracks that will surely get them noticed in the scene and generate interest in their future debut full-length release.
With a style similar to bands like Dream Theater, Rush and Yes, but with more modern and mainstream elements, the band makes a great impact in terms of songwriting and musicianship with “Opening Act” that demands the attention of the followers of the genre.
Opening with the super catchy “Beyond Reason”, the band immediately makes an impact with a very well composed track that seamlessly integrates Progressive Elements with radio friendliness. The music is very catchy and the vocals are very powerful and diverse, there are some growls/scream that while a bit weird the first few times, are actually pretty well incorporated.
With “Follow Your Heart” the band delivers a very epic opening, with a more Progressive edge during the track. The soaring vocals accompanied by the guitars and keyboards are a Prog Metal staple and the band pulls the off very graciously. The melodic part around the 3:30 mark is pure brilliance and fans of the genre will surely love it.
Things really start to get technical until the excellent “Sealing My Fate”, the opening itself is very DT-esque and we loved it. The overall approach to the tracks is more technical and progressive, making it a very well-crafted song that changes directions countless times before its completion. This is by far our favorite track of the album thanks to the elaborate guitar work, high-energy drumming and playful keyboards.
Closing the release, “Against the Tide” starts in a very futuristic manner and transforms into a very melodic track with and excellent bass guitar line and very diverse vocals. The vocalist, Olivier Hadder, nicely changes his style through the song and delivers his best performance of the EP in this track. The ending of the song features excellent guitar work and a very traditional Prog vibe to it.
It is evident that all musicians behind “Opening Act” are excellent and they have great skills in terms of creating diverse and engaging songs. While the Progressive parts are excellent, it is beyond our understanding why they want to add some commercial/radio friendly elements to their already excellent sound. This release nicely showcases the abilities of Abandoned Stars and we wouldn’t be surprised if a label picks them up very soon.
|Band: Abandoned Stars||Album: Opening Act|
Release: December 2011
|Genre: Progressive Metal||