Slowly but surely Victory Records is starting to churn out acts that are really starting to make some waves on the metal scene. Between the Buried and Me has been hugely responsible for pointing many young hardcore & metalcore bands with serious chops into more progressive territory, and A Hero A Fake is a perfect example. Their debut Volatile was just the tip of the iceberg for what we now hear on Let Oceans Lie, a mature and powerful mix of extreme metal, progressive metal, jazz-fusion, and pop hooks that should certainly find an audience, especially those who are into the already mentioned BtBaM, August Burns Red, The Red Chord, All That Remains, Devil Wears Prada, and perhaps even Dream Theater.
The first thing you notice here is just how intricate some of these guitar and drum parts are. Opening tune "Our Summit, This World" features non-stop, ripping guitar riffs and solos, accompanied by flailing drum work and the mix of growls and melodic clean vocals from Matt Davis. "Swallowed By the Sea" offers an almost Arch Enemy-meets-Dream Theater sense of melodic muscle, and the catchy "Elk River Falls" is perhaps the most hook laden piece on the CD, but it's still quite heavy and contains a fair amount of complex arrangements. Elsewhere, there's plenty of proggy & jazzy passages on brutal pieces like "Astronomical", the chugging "Dear", and the dizzying title track, but it's the near 15 minute (complete with a few wasted minutes of silence) closing epic "A Year in Passing" that sums it all up. This one's a raging progressive metal beast, complete with lots of time changes, solos, and complex arrangements. Oh yeah, and even a closing brutal breakdown!
As good as Let Oceans Lie is, you get the feeling that the band is still trying to find their way, and that their masterpiece might be upon us in the not too distant future. Until that time, there's plenty to savor here, as A Hero A Fake have announced their arrival in a big way on the extreme progressive metal scene.
1. Our Summit, This World
2. Swallowed By The Sea
3. Elk River Falls
8. Let Oceans Lie
10. Impart Your Loss
11. A Year In Passing