From France comes this amazing new progressive metal band firmly rooted in the Dream Theater tradition but with enough of their own style which helps set them apart from many of the other young groups today. Featuring top notch musicianship, complex lyrics, and stirring melodies, Rest in Peace have put together a formidable statement here on their first full-length CD which hopefully is a sign of things to come.
The opening track, "The Green Mile", is inspired by the Steven King novel of the same name, and is a heavy and complex number with thick guitars and symphonic keyboards. Vocalist Eric Bevilacqua has the perfect voice for this band, as he sings in powerful English with a slight accent. While much of the music here will remind you of what Dream Theater was doing during the Images and Words era, Eric is by no means a James LaBrie clone. His voice sits somewhere Michael Kiske and Geoff Tate, which is a lethal combination, but he uses the high notes only when needed, and is always in key and melodic. "On the Borders of Death" is one of the strongest numbers, with a catchy chorus and blistering guitar work courtesy of Laurent Rabatel. The exquisite keyboard work of Cyrille Galle is at the forefront of "An Giblean An Baile Atha Cliath", a mellow song with a sumptuous vocal melody that deals with the Irish Revolution of 1916. This track is one of the CD's sleepers, and shows a side of the band that is extremely accessible. Other standouts include the complex and political "A Refusal in Bosnia", and the closing extravaganza "Diary of a Merchant Man." This song especially will appeal to all fans of epic prog-metal, as it is dripping with strong vocals, complex time signatures, and amazing solos from the band.
Stares on Reality gets a positive thumbs up. Those thinking that the progressive metal scene has grown stale will be in for a surprise.