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Asymmetry: Redacted

Sometimes you can't tell much about an album by looking at its cover alone. Take Redacted, the debut outing from American progressive metal duo Asymmetry, for example - though the scantily clad, pistol-wielding female on the cover screams "eighties' hair metal throwback", this assumption couldn't be further from the style of music that Asymmetry actually plays. Taking plenty of cues from instrumental prog metal acts like Liquid Tension Experiment, Redacted is a showy album with plenty of guitar virtuosity, but it unfortunately lacks the compositional finesse to really make this style work. While not a terrible listen, Asymmetry's debut contains enough flaws to prevent me from giving it much of a recommendation.

The biggest obstacle I have with this album is its general lack of interesting songwriting. Though the songs are complex and sure to impress music theory enthusiasts, it feels rather cold and mechanical to my ears. Redacted doesn't have the jazzy flair of bands like Scale the Summit or Exivious, it doesn't have the surreal atmospheres of Goblin's music, and it doesn't even sound as technically masterful as Liquid Tension Experiment. Largely in part to the lackluster melodic hooks, nothing about Asymmetry's debut stands out beyond Gabe Zentner's abilities as a guitarist. The lifeless production and unfortunately straight-ahead drumming doesn't help pique my interest, either.

It may sound like I'm really beating up on Redacted, but if truth be told, this isn't a bad album at all. Asymmetry is a gifted duo that, with more captivating songwriting and a better sound production, may have some interesting tricks up their sleeves for next time around. I hear plenty of promise on Redacted, and I'm looking forward to seeing what this duo does in the coming years. I'd be hard-pressed to recommend this debut to anybody except for die-hard instrumental prog fans, however.

Track Listing:
1. Written in Blood
2. Riffed
3. B's Threes
4. Descent
5. A Walk in the Park
6. The Fighter
7. Count This
8. Motorized Portals
9. Circadian Rhythm
10. Untitled
11. Gabe Takes a Break
12. Crescendo to Insanity

Added: September 8th 2014
Reviewer: Jeff B
Related Link: Asymmetry Official Website
Hits: 1535
Language: english

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