Prymary: The Tragedy of Innocence
ProgRock Records is starting to branch out into heavier territory, as evident by their brand new release by the California band Prymary. The Tragedy of Innocence is the second album by Prymary, a band that also features two members of Redemption, drummer Chris Quirante, and bassist James Sherwood, and is rounded out by singer Mike DiSarro, guitarist Sean Entrikin, and keyboard player Smiley Sean. A concept album telling the tale of a young girl who is abused by her father, and how this negatively effects the rest of her life through promiscuity, homelessness, drugs, suicide attempts, and institutionilzation. It's a sad, tragic, and depressing story, but Prymary use their progressive metal skills to get this tale across to the listener, and it's a very solid and enjoyable dark metal ride.
Elements of latter day Fates Warning and Scenes From a Memory era Dream Theater are two good reference points here, but Prymary have a darker sound than either band. While not as indulgent from an instrumental standpoint as Dream Theater, there's certainly more going on here from a prog perspective than in the music of Fates Warning. The keyboards of Sean are lush throughout-just check out his gorgeous piano and synth tones on "Miracle", or his thunderous interplay with guitarist Entrikin on "Soul Deceiver". The use of female vocals to occasionally play the main character in both the younger and older stage is very well done, and lead singer Di Sarro does a great job here telling the story, hitting all sorts of moods and tones with power and emotion. Listen to him belt out all sorts of kick ass lines on the prog-metal mania of "Only Love", supported by ripping guitar work, busy rhythms, symphonic keys, and ethereal female backing vocals. There's some pretty heavy and complex pieces here, such as the majority of the second half of the album. The mini-epic "What Little Girls Are For", the raging "Running Away", and the intense "Dirty Room (Part II)" are all much heavier numbers (which goes along with the theme of the lyrics) and feature plenty of crunchy riffs and intricate passages, while the most progressive and symphonic piece is saved for last, the near ten-minute gem "Choices". This one shows the band really ripping on all levels from a complexity standpoint, yet the song is highly melodic, with a great vocal from DiSarro.
Despite its unsettling lyrical nature (which unfortunately is a story that realistically probably happens every day in today's society) , The Tragedy of Innocence is a compelling listen, and a must hear for progressive metal fans. Prymary has arrived folks!
01. Dirty Room (Part 1)
02. In My Shell
03. Space In My Soul
04. Soul Deciever
05. Oceans Of Insolence
07. Born Again
08. Only Love
09. What Little Girls Are For
10. Running Away
11. Dirty Room (Part 2)
12. Ask The Angels
Added: September 30th 2006
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Prymary Website
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|Prymary: The Tragedy of Innocence
Posted by Duncan Glenday, SoT Staff Writer on 2006-09-30 14:37:04
In a way, The Tragedy Of Innocence may remind you of Sylvan's Posthumous Silence. The subject matter addressed in this concept piece is just as dark and serious, and the execution - the telling of the story through music - is almost as masterful. The music is rooted in prog metal, neo prog and third wave progressive rock in approximately equal measure, making it slightly heavier than the recent Sylvan release.
In a way, The Tragedy Of Innocence may remind you of After Forever's Invisible Circles. The subject matter addressed in this concept piece is almost identical and it's about as heavy - in the metallic sense of the word. Prymary is fronted by a male vocalist, though, and its style of music is somewhat different.
The point is - this is an extremely strong album, and it's being categorized alongside some of the best in the business.
The story line traces the life of an abused young girl, who grows into a troubled young woman. The mood is dark, the songs are deeply emotional, and the vocal delivery is intensely expressive - sometimes a little overwrought, in the style popularized by Evergrey's Thomas Englund. Listen to the way the heartrending lyrics tie in to the instrumentation. You will be moved.
Although it is a relatively new band, Prymary has strong credentials - the lineup features two members of Redemption, the band has played with such luminaries as Fates Warning, King's X, Spock's Beard, and Enchant, they recently played the pre-party at ProgPower USA and they're scheduled to play the Headway Festival in Amsterdam. So the strong musicianship shouldn't be a surprise. The band's biggest strength lies in its instrumentation and songwriting. It features the standard rock lineup, and the excellent guitar / keyboard interplay is underscored by a powerful bass line that contributes to the record's heaviness. The structures are complex and the musicianship is strong, and Prog Rock Records's promotional literature accurately describes the songs as 'a mesh of melodic prog rock with an emphasis on musicianship, melody, and complex rhythms'. But that misses the band's ability to inject deep feelings into the music. This piece is a potpourri of emotions that range from helplessness through desperation to anger. It's very believable, the overall tone is somber, and yet the music manages to impart a glimmer of hope that saves it from being depressive.
One of the vehicles used to move the story forward is a young woman's voiceovers, that are clearly audible yet sufficiently far back in the mix that they don't intrude after multiple spins. Yet - here's a suggestion for the band: Mike Di Sarro is a very capable singer, but the story is about a girl. The Tragedy Of Innocence might have been still more powerful with a female vocalist delivering some of the more personal, intimate lines. (We told Sylvan the same thing.)
This CD will stay in rotation for a long time - and coming from a jaded reviewer, that is high praise indeed. Strongly recommended.
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