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Opus Arise – The Network

Opus Arise
The Network
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 16 January 2023, 10:19 AM

From their EPK, the album is described as “a CyberPunk-inspired world. Research involving chord progressions that manipulate space and time. He does research involving the Progressive Frequency Phenomenon. He has never found proof it existed, but his studies involved finding this evidence, as well as aiming to gain control of it Many years into his research, he comes across the inner skepticism progression, and this is where his journey begins.” The album has eight songs.

“Inner Skepticism” is the first. The opening tones are hasty, with plenty of strings in support. There are some early phasing issues, however. No vocals? This should be interesting because of the style. The guitar work is fairly sloppy, but the backbone of the music is decent. “Electric Judge” is a disjointed song where the bottom end doesn’t match the top. The musicianship is decent but that’s about all that I can champion about the song…the songwriting needs work…a lot of work, actually. “Antimatter” has another odd set of connections. The music is just very helter-skelter and doesn’t seem to follow any traditional trend. In many cases, this would be a good thing, but here it just shows amateur songwriting.

“Digital Soundscape” begins with sad cello notes. This song is a little bit more put together. Still, I have to ask myself, where is the song headed? Like a highway to nowhere, it’s not somewhere you want to set your tires on and drive. “Reminiscence” is another bizarre song. The pitchiness of the instruments outweighs whatever momentum the band has gained in musicianship. What indeed am I listening to? “Change” is another odd offering. I can’t help but repeat myself when all I hear is pitchy instruments and an overall sense of disjointed music. Again, what is this album all about? The themes mentioned above are not even making a connection for me. “Timeshift” is heavier but still features phasing issues. I get that this is an independent release, but those things can be cleaned up on the cutting board.

“The Unanswered Question” closes the album. It’s more of the same in this sad tale. Phasing, pitchiness, and an overall lack of direction suffer this song. Overall, this was just an odd album to listen to, and there were very few things to champion. The prowess of some of the members is noteworthy, but it falls quite short of the many shortcomings of the album as a whole.

Songwriting: 3
Musicianship: 6
Memorability: 2
Production: 6

2 Star Rating

1. Inner Skepticism
2. Electric Jungle
3. Antimatter
4. Digital Soundscape
5. Reminiscence
6. Change
7. Timeshift
8. The Unanswered Question
Shawn Hillman – Guitar, Cello
James Readman – Guitar
Daniel Carmago – Bass
Matthew Logan – Drums, Violin II
Matthew Hannah – Keyboards
Michelle Gao – Violin I
Ellen Smith – Viola
Daryl Bennett – Cello
Kyle Hagen – Contrabass, Bass Guitar
Record Label: Independent


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