Metro Society is a progressive metal band formed by guitarist/songwriter Chris Mangold and features veteran vocalist Corey Brown (Magnitude 9, Balance of Power, Psycho Drama). A Journey in Paris is a concept album based on the underground tunnels of the Paris Metro system, as told through two characters named Michael and Anna. Musically, this is pretty heavy, technical, and progressive stuff, and the band is rounded out by bassist/keyboard player Ian Ringler, and drummers Doug Brown & Bill Mangold (Chris' nephew and father).
The one great thing about Metro Society is that they don't really sound like any other band on the prog-metal scene, so don't expect any Dream Theater, Symphony X, or Vanden Plas moments here for the most part. Other than some dark aspects that might fall in line with latter day Fates Warning, this is very original sounding. Singer Brown has a voice that fits the brooding style of the music perfectly, whether he is hitting some soaring falsetto's or the occasional mid-range gruff passage, in which he fluctuates between the two on the kick ass opener "King of His Own World". The bands more melodic and catchy side surfaces on "Welcome Hope" featuring Brown's tender vocals and some tasty guitar work from Chris Mangold. Hard hitting progressive metal, with beefy guitar and stabbing synths, is heard on "Hills Will Roll", and the band really lay down the crunch factor on "Metro", a killer instrumental with intricate bass lines, heavy riffs, wild synths, and flailing drum work. Brown almost hits Dio territory on the Medieval and progressive sounding "Purgatory", and the band launches into multi-part, prog-metal of epic proportions on the near 19-minute "Lost in Paris". This one features plenty of great textures and instrumental bits, as the band moves from acoustic sections to progressive passages to out and out metal.
If there's anything negative to say about A Journey In Paris, it can be the production in spots, as the drums sound a bit tinny and Brown's vocals at times tend to overshadow the other instruments. There are also a few arrangements that don't really seem to work, as the band try to be technical yet it sounds somewhat awkward, but those moments are few and far between. Otherwise this is a fine release from a band that prog-metal fans will want to check out.
1. King of His Own World
2. Voices Inside of Me
3. Welcome Hope
4. Hills Will Roll
5. Within a Moment
9. Lost in Paris