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Frantic Bleep: The Sense of Apparatus

Now this is what progressive metal is all about. Frantic Bleep are a Norwegian four-piece that mix some serious chops into their intelligent brand of dark and gothic music. While certain parts of the CD can be classified as Death Metal, there's also a fair amount of Porcupine Tree styled prog-rock, or perhaps a better example would be the more melodic work of Opeth. What is consistent however are the multitude of intricate and complex instrumental passages that appear throughout this CD, especially those created by dueling guitars and keyboards.

While most of the songs are in the five-minute range, they still allow time for lots of moody and intense interplay to happen. "...But a Memory" offers up some tricky guitar parts as well as brooding keyboard atmospherics to go along with bassist Paul Mozart Bjorke's gloomy vocals. Many of the doomy yet symphonic passages remind me of early Amorphis, as the dirge-like guitar riffs are offset by walls of keyboards for a neat orchestral effect, as on the rampaging "Curtainraiser". If your tastes veer towards the more progressive rock side of things, there's a lovely slice of Norwegian prog on the dripping melancholy of "Mausolos", complete with quiet emotional vocals from Bjorke and loads of haunting keyboards.

Of course, there's also some stunning melodic & technical death metal, like on the complex "Mandaughter", complete with wild guitar leads and brutal rhythm work. "Nebulous Termini" fluctuates from intricate progressive metal, to tortured moments of death, to atmospheric prog rock, all within the confines of just over six-minutes. Of course, this album wouldn't be complete without the band even throwing everything at you but the kitchen sink, like they do on the manic "The Expulsion", where guitarists Patrick Scantlebury and Eywin Sundstrom lay down some mind-blowing unison leads amidst the mix of haunting keyboards, death and clean vocals, and doomy riffs.

This is unique stuff, and should prove to be one of the most talked about releases of 2005 not only for The End Records, but in all of metal. Recommended!

Track Listing
01. A Survey (1:19)
02. The Expulsion (5:02)
03. Sins Of Omission (5:11)
04. But A Memory (3:52)
05. Mausolos (4:37)
06. Curtainraiser (5:47)
07. Mandaughter (5:46)
08. Nebolous Termini (6:22)
09. Cone (3:24)

Added: January 26th 2005
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Frantic Bleep Website
Hits: 3901
Language: english

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