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Refraction: Refraction

Refraction are an instrumental band from Dublin, Ireland that play a mix of heavy metal and post rock, and this is their self-titled debut release. With six tracks clocking it at just over 42 minutes, Refraction is filled with lengthy, dense, complex, and dark instrumental songs, displaying the ample skills of John Kelly, Colm O'Gorman, Shane Reilly, and Karl Leavey.

From the drawn out sludge and thunder of "Light Fades", to the more upbeat cruncher "Into Nothing", to the richly atmospheric but highly complex "Until We Reach", there's a little bit of everthing here. The band goes more for textures and colors rather than solo spots, as the layers of guitar chords & legato lines permeate the landscape while plodding bass and drums keep everything in line. A head on collision of Neurosis and Cynic? That's not too far off actually. "The Final Shadow" digs in deep, a crushing song that also contains plenty of melody throughout its mix of faster and doomy parts. You can almost hear some black metal styled riffing on "Mortal", and "Diaspore" contains weaving guitar patterns that mind remind some of early Mastodon.

There's certainly plenty of promise to be heard on Refraction's debut, but after listening to this CD a few times, you start to wonder just what they would sound like with vocals. A few of these songs just scream for some brooding growls or wails to break up the monotony. By no means is Refraction a bad album-on the contrary, it's quite solid, but you have to wonder just how far they can go with this style. Many of the tracks here follow a similar pattern after multiple listens, and though the CD features some stellar musicianship I'm left thinking that adding a vocalist would do them wonders. Either way, if you like dark, dense, instrumental metal/post rock, you'd be well advised to check this one out.

Track Listing
1) Light Fades
2) Into Nothing
3) Until We Reach
4) The Final Shadow
5) Mortal
6) Diaspore

Added: January 29th 2012
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band MySpace Page
Hits: 1851
Language: english

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Refraction: Refraction
Posted by Denis Brunelle, SoT Staff Writer on 2012-01-29 17:25:26
My Score:

This is the debut full length from this Irish quartet. My promo copy is a nice digipack, but this album is also available as a free download on the band's site.

Behind this nice (blue being my favorite color) cover art and an as nice digipack (just love those), is found a six tracks- forty three minutes debut release. At first I was a bit wondering about this album. It felt like there was something missing. What is missing are the vocals I'd say. You keep expecting vocals on this album. Don't get me wrong, I love instrumental pieces since music is the most important part in, well music! I don't pay much attention to the words and vocals as long as they are not distractive. The music here is generally speaking of a death/doom style, so one would believe some growls to appear, but no nothing like that happen, not even some clean ones!. No samplings, keyboards are being used either. One friend once told me that when there are no vocals, the band has to put more in the music, and this more is not really present here. It feels as if this was the soundtracks on which the band will add the vocals eventually, and those simply never arrives. The music is not that bad actually. You have a well recorded disc of crushing guitar works, delicate clean arpeggios, fat bass and punchy drumming. The compositions show variation in the paces, but the mid and slow tempos are prominent, to my pleasure. My favorites are the ones with a doom vibe like: "The Final Shadow", "Diaspora" and "into Nothing". One can notice a bit of redundancy and repetitiveness in the songwriting, although not to the point of making this disc a too boring experience.

Overall, not a bad or great album, just ok with something missing.

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