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Nine Miles Down - Fractures

Nine Miles Down
Fractures
by Justin "Witty City' Wittenmeier at 07 October 2019, 4:05 AM

NINE MILES DOWN is a Progressive Metal band from Wales. Both guitarist Eddie and Guitarist/Vocalist Andy are from BLACK LIGHT MACHINE.  In addition, Andy also played with IRON MAIDEN’s Adrian Smith and his former band PSYCHO MOTEL. The first element I noticed about NINE MILES DOWN is they incorporate a lot more groove to their Prog than most bands in the genre.  It is a refreshing approach for a Prog band to just let it all hang out and just straight up jam and forget the pretense that all too often bogs down a lot of Prog bands.  That isn’t to say the album lacks stellar musicianship—Prog fans will find plenty of stuff here that will keep their interests.  However, I feel sometimes Progressive Metal bands forget the Metal aspect…NINE MILES DOWN nails it hard.

The first track “Mockingbird,” has a hard-hitting opening and throws some more riff service during the chorus and second verse to balance out the Prog moments that are showcased in the keys and drums during the solo. Another standout aspect of the band is Andy’s vocals.  His voice is just so smooth with perfect tone and inflection.  Growls also pop up on occasion—I’m not sure if he is doing those as well but they add another heavy element to their sound.  “Where We Belong,” features these growls—they are heavy but not so brutal they will turn off Prog fans who prefer cleans.  Still, most of the vocals are clean and they are a joy to hear.

Icarus,” is a fast paced, frantic song that hits like a ton of bricks…for the first minute and a half.  It then opens up to lusher landscapes before hitting a sort of Jazzy/Funk moment with clever bass and drums. The chorus that follows is epic and it was so good I rewound the song twice. The final track, “My Last Fire,” is pure instrumental bliss for the first two minutes.  It is a sweeping passage that flows into the next, which highlights the vocals. The middle portion of the track features some more of that hard-hitting groove that melds in with the ending that is boosted by layers of keys that end the song on high. NINE MILES DOWN have crafted a Prog album that retains a stunning grasp of the Metal side of things while also being crafty enough to impress even the die-hard Prog snobs.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Mockingbird
2. Where We Belong
3. Faithless
4. Beautiful Lie
5. Icarus
6. Long Way Down
7. My Last Fire
Lineup:
Andy Makin – Guitars/Vocals
Eddie Marsh – Guitars
Matt Cohen – Bass
Rob Wilsher – Keyboards
Nick Menyhart – Drums
Record Label: Doc Gator Records
     


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