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Hidden Lapse - Butterflies

Hidden Lapse
Butterflies
by Sean McGuirk at 05 June 2019, 10:55 PM

HIDDEN LAPSE’s sophomore record “Butterflies” has a tough mountain to climb, in that it seems cut from the same cloth as hundreds of other fantasy-oriented Progressive Metal bands. Everything from the font to the promo photos, to the corny title, one can almost hear the entire album in their head before pressing play. That’s not to say that, when bands like this get it right, they can’t be very successful (see: NIGHTWISH, WITHIN TEMPTATION, KAMELOT).

“Dead Jester” opens with a solid DREAM THEATER-esque charge, then clumsily transitions to some near-acapella vocals from Alessia Marchigiani. It’s not the best introduction for her, but she soon shines in the more powerful belting of the pre-chorus. Vocals are so important to this genre, there’s a whole host of singers that are operating at such a high level, that it can be hard to compete. Marchigiani doesn’t sing in an operatic disconnected style like Tarja or Simone Simons (nor does she have the layers of production sweeteners that they do), she is more Rock-oriented and direct, forming a serviceable duet with guitarist Marco Ricco.
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After this semi-awkward start, the album really never lets off the gas. If you are expecting NIGHTWISH-style symphonies, you’ll be disappointed. This is a tight, easily digestible set of tunes. Songs like “Third” and “Glitchers” are infectious and close-to-perfect examples of Power Prog. The production — of Alessio Monacelli’s drums, especially — is very dynamic and clean. You feel the power of the double bass without hurting your ears or having it become overly repetitive. Ricco’s crunchy palm-muted riffs mesh beautifully with Romina Pantanetti’s showy bass playing, to create a tight unity within the band that fans expect from the genre.

It's clear a ton of thought, effort and attention to detail went into this release. The production is near impeccable for the what I have to assume was the modest budget. Even the outro, “Dust”, is a moody and thoughtful musical piece, with multiple, seemingly conflicting, sounds all meshing into one: an organ, an acoustic piano, a distorted guitar and what sounds like bits and pieces of a phone conversation. With this kind of dedication and solid melodic songwriting, HIDDEN LAPSE cannot be discounted when talking about up-and-coming Prog Metal acts. It may not be the most memorable release, but it’s a good argument for parity in a subgenre that seems dominated by a few heavy hitters.

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 5
Memorability: 6
Production: 8
 
 
 

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Dead Jester
2. Third
3. The Letter 0
4. Stone Mask
5. Glitchers
6. Grim Poet
7. Sleeping Beauty Syndrome
8. Cruel Enigma
9. Dust
Lineup:
Alessia Marchigiani – Vocals
Marco Ricco – Guitars / Vocals
Romina Pantanetti – Bass
Alessio Monacelli – Drums
Record Label: Rockshots Records
     


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