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Priory of Sion - Priory of Sion

Priory of Sion
Priory of Sion
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 21 August 2020, 7:20 AM

PRIORY OF SION is a Progressive Metal band, hailing from Northeast England. With just over 300 Facebook fans, I am guessing they are relatively new to the scene. Written entirely by guitarist Adam Ironside, the album explores the wonders, horrors and tragedies of the human experience, and the world around us. Their self-titled debut album contains eight tracks.

“Welcome to the Priory” opens the album. Folky piano keys lead to lead guitar passage, with solemn tones. It runs along a classical scale I believe. Whomever is playing is absolutely amazing. Crunchy, rhythmic tones come in next in support. “Into Expanse” is an eight-minute beast, opening with heavy, punchy rhythms and some Progressive elements in the meter shifting. Brief, spoken words also make an entrance. A darkness permeates the song. The song takes a right turn around the half-way marl, and the Progressive elements are dialed up a notch. Each band member seems more than capable of keeping up.

“The Grand Qabaal” is a six-minute track. Opening with acoustic guitars and some melancholy keys/strings, it gives way to angrier bass guitar notes. When the distorted guitars come in, it’s a display of technical wizardry. Just after the half-way mark, it slows to breathe. The melody is very fragile here, but also very charming. “Leylines” is just over four minutes in length. It opens with a bossy attitude and some very dexterous guitar work. They expand the main sound by having the guitars branch out a bit, while keeping the main sound still at the forefront.

The title track is next, opening with some style of Gregorian chanting. Then, guitars and keys play together willfully, each taking the lead at various points. It builds to a crushing crescendo and then a key change, ushering in a new level of controlled madness. “The Solar Temple” opens with a full barrage of instrumentation. It’s hard to imagine the band keeping up with all of these starts, stops, and re-directs, much less writing them. It swells and then retreats, with some guitar work that was probably traded to the devil for their collective souls. “Quarantine” feature more of that fantastic guitar work, but it’s the addition of keys here that really brings out the melody. They keep on that heavy, rhythmic guitar riff throughout the song, but again the lead guitarist really nails a nice, breezy solo that brings melody to the forefront of the track.

“Jonestown” closes the album, and it’s a beast, at over fifteen minutes in length. It has an as-expected fairly lengthy opening sequence, followed by an all-out assault on your senses. Still going strong at the half-way mark, the heavy sound is not letting up. It then takes a breath, gathering steam for what is surely a memorable ending to the entire saga. Overall, perhaps what impressed me most about the album was the band’s musicianship. The music was dark and solemn but the band played with absolute command of their instruments. I really liked the keys but wish they would have leaned on them a bit more…keys can really transform music in my opinion. But overall, and exciting and excellent album!

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Welcome to the Priory
2. Into the Expanse
3. The Grand Qabaal
4. Laylines
5. Priory of Sion
6. The Solar Temple
7. Quarantine
8. Jonestown
Adam Ironside – Guitars
Adam Ashbridge – Guitars
Steve Grant – Keyboards
Josh Fascia – Bass
Joe Reid – Drums
Record Label: Main in the Telescope Records


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