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Altered Symmetry: Prologue

Hailing from Bogota in Colombia, Altered Symmetry have unleashed, after three short sharp EP's, their full-length, uncompromising, brooding, progressive metal debut effort Prologue. Bringing together pieces of Dream Theater, Fates Warning and Riverside with some more traditional metal values, the Altered Symmetry sound is harsh, technical and dark, resulting in an album that impresses hugely, but fails to engage just quite convincingly as you'd like. The songs consistently feel introspective and even as someone who openly admits to liking accented vocals, the overly earnest vocal style on this album, which sits somewhere between Bruce Dickinson and opera (with a limited range) sounds constantly at odds with the music itself.

In isolation songs like "Life Sentence", "Long Lost Love" or "Slave Without A Master" do come across as involving, if harsh blasts of guitars, multiple time changes and impassioned vocals. However as the mood barely alters across the whole album, so the oppressive nature of the attack begins to wear you down. Everything is performed with an impressive discipline and no little skill, but those essential aspects don't guarantee captivating, expansive tracks. "Walker" adds a little more restraint to the mix, but even then, the wavering vocals and need for Altered Symmetry to move back towards their tried and tested slow, slow, big riff, slow, formula, removes the good work done in the song's introduction.

If you've ever wonder what would happen if you fused together the instrument focused attack of Dream Theater with the "all the world's against me" harshness of Riverside, then there's a good chance that Altered Symmetry wouldn't be too far removed from the results. However on this evidence, that wouldn't be a jam-session I'd be too keen to sit in on. Not, by any manner of means, a bad album and indeed if many of the songs on Prologue came up as I shuffled through a playlist, I'd resist skipping them. But as a continuous listening experience Altered Symmetry need to expand their outlook and draw some more light into their music to balance out the ever present shade.

Track Listing
1. Life Sentence
2. A Jokers Vengeance
3. A Justified Crime
4. Dream Of Tomorrow
5. The Longest Journey
6. Long Lost Love
7. A Day That Changed All
8. Slave Without A Master
9. When No One Cares
10. Walker
11. Lies And Fairy Tales

Added: May 26th 2012
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Altered Symmetry Official WebSite
Hits: 1812
Language: english

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