Is there anyone out there who misses the early days of Fates Warning? If so, then this release from Wisconsin's Talamasca can scratch that itch for some Fates Warning inspired metal muscle clearly reminiscent of the albums Guardian or No Exit.
With the exception of the production, which is on the muddy side, this is a real strong CD. Lead vocalist Steve Gentz is a dead ringer for original Fates singer John Artch, with a bit of Warrel Dane from Nevermore thrown in for good measure. His high pitched, angry vocals do a great job in relaying the dense lyrics, while his bandmates churn out some heavy, complex riffery. Guitarist Andy Paredes is a fine player, and along with bassist Brad Schuler really amazes with some mind blowing ensemble passages. On "Self Aware" the two lay down some intense unison lines that are as heavy as they are virtuoso, paying homage to the team of Matheos and Aresti from the old Fates Warning line-up. Drummer Matthew Lee Belanger also needs to be commended for his fine performance, and although he is no Mark Zonder, the man holds everything together here quite nicely. As a whole this band is real tight, and can really deliver some complex, sledgehammer riffs and arrangements that really scream for some top notch production.
This is a CD that will impress many, whether you are a Fates Warning fan or just into good prog-metal. Hopefully the band continue on this path in the future, as they will surely continue to grow and be a force in modern metal.