Chicago is quickly becoming a hot bed of great progressive metal. First there is the terrific group Mindwarp Chamber with one of the best releases this year and now comes the multi-talented duo that forms the group Something Beautiful. . I am going to have to look into relocating if this keeps up!
Their latest release Songs About Angels is a kind of morality play set to some very engaging progressive metal music. This is a story that is broke into 12 parts, (13 if you count the song "Something Strange" which was left off the disc because of length) which has a beginning, a middle and I won't call it an end but a finale.
The multi talented pair of Dale Tippett Jr. and Justin Smith brings you a terrific album that has to be called progressive but has a very dramatic flair that hints at a theatrical production. With equal parts Dream Theater and Andrew Lloyd Webber, this is a disc that you need to sit down and listen to as a whole. Any song on here will stand up on its own but it is the total package and how they fit together that makes this one a cut above the rest. From the slow churning intro called "Walking Slow into the Night" the band begins a tale of right, wrong, injustice and how our choices affect us. I am not going to give away the storyline but to say that sometimes when we are presented with options it is as much about the giver as it is about which path we choose.
These guys can take it to the extreme with some of the most flamboyant metal this side of Jim Steinman while delivering a truly cerebral message. Songs like "Crimson & Violet" and "Pray For Me" among others have this flair of drama, "To Those Whose Love of God Has Gone Away" is just bad ass heavy metal. There is even a little bit of electronica with the intro to "I'll Never Tell" before it explodes into a menacing metal monster and synthesizers reign in the eerie "Pleasant Dreams" also. Another twist is when they take you to the exotic with the sitar that permeates the start of the epic "Dreams About Your Skin". This is the showcase song and it is a wild trip for sure.
By the time the acoustic guitar and melancholy piano of "Even Angels Die" hits you, you will know that you have been on an amazing musical journey and the grey matter will have had a work out too! Whether you agree with their political and social point of view is immaterial as they have something to say and they say it. Listen and you might find out something about yourself in the process.
1. Walking Slow into the Night
2. A Voice in the Shadows
3. Crimson & Violet
4. Pray For Me
5. To Those Whose Love of God Has Gone Away
6. I'll Never Tell
7. Daughter of God
8. Pleasant Dreams
9. Lay Down
10. Dreams About Your Skin
11. Holding On
12. Even Angels Die