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Rite Of Passage: Angels & Demons

Progressive metal band Rite Of Passage hail from Detroit, Michigan. In the band are Kurt Spranger (6 and 12 string acoustic, nylon and electric guitars), Bill Quigley (vocals, keyboards), Justin Valente (piano, keyboards), Jon Martin (5 string and upright bass, Arp, Moog) and Rob Barton (drums, congas, percussion).

If you like your progressive metal a little darker and moodier Rite Of Passage should be right up your alley. This album is chalk full of heavy metallic guitar riffage but every song has softer edges brought to life by edgy keyboard work and soft, mood laden sections. It would be safe to say if you like bands like Dream Theater you will probably dig this although the band is certainly trying to forge their own sound and for the most part they have succeeded. The disc is divided into three sections; "Phase I: Separation", "Phase II: Transition" and "Phase III: Reincorporation". The first track "Breaking Through The Walls" is a nice mix of mood laden piano/keyboards and heavy metallic crunch. There is certainly a hint of Dream Theater here, so if you dig that band this should be to your liking. "Dream Horizon" starts with arpeggio guitar and atmospheric keys before the crunchy riffs enter, albeit at a slow pace before the rhythms get much faster. I really like the shimmering piano and acoustic guitar at song's end.

The title track is one of my favourite pieces. The soundscape is a little darker with the moody guitar work having an Eastern tinge. The album's last song "Flash Of Clarity" features flashy keyboard flourishes, interesting chord progressions and a nice balance between the heavier guitar riffs and keyboards/synths.

My only complaint is sometimes the vocals seem lost in the mix and buried underneath the heavy riffs. Keep in mind this is a minor quibble and didn't inhibit my enjoyment of the music.

Rite Of Passage has produced a solid progressive metal album with Angels & Demons. Definitely a band to watch out for.

Track Listing:
Phase I: Separation
1. Breaking Through The Walls
2. Dream Horizon
3. Before Midnight
Phase II: Transition
4. Change & Transition
5. Angels & Demons
6. Dark Necessity
Phase III: Reincorporation
7. Saying Goodbye
8. Flash Of Clarity

Added: November 20th 2014
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Band's Official Site
Hits: 2472
Language: english

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