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Prototype - Catalyst

by YngwieViking at 01 October 2012, 4:08 PM

Unluckily, I'm barely excited and slightly disappointed by this new and third full-length album. But first, let me introduce the protagonists. This band started in 1994, in a very difficult time for Metal music. It was then a palliative project of the ex-members of the American Thrash Metal band PSYCHOSIS, but soon PROTOTYPE got bigger, more prominent and successful than the original act even if it finally lead to a reformation in 2006. So now both bands are sharing the same logo and are surviving in some parallel universes with Kragen Lum and Vince Levalois who are splitting their involvements in each of the acts.

The musical concept of PROTOTYPE is to mix Progressive Metal alongside Californian Thrash. So we might call it style Progressive Thrash. Well, not exactly. In fact the only real traces of the Thrash legacy are in the guitar riffing and some episodic harsh vocals. The band seems at the same time much more elaborate, extreme and yet very dark and gloomy than the early obvious description. Call it Techno Thrash??? That isn’t accurate either. The music is complex; the playing level remains high but yet in the norm boundaries. There is nothing over the top or too demonstrative here.

Honestly, I found this album a little boring and difficult to reach. It clearly had its moments but finally nothing stays stuck forever. It lacks the hooks and memorable riffs. I’m still a supporter of the band’s musical vision though, but I think it's the depressive atmosphere of this recording, mostly in the vocal lines that gave the whole a quite nebulous and hermetic feeling. Maybe it was their goal and this cryptic, enigmatic emotion spread all over was created to fit the sci-fi concept of this album. However, in the end, it’s a very hard time experiment for those who want to keep the focus for the full length. Nevertheless, ”Cynic Dreams” is a very good song with some FLOTSAM & JETSAM similarities. “My Own Deception” also holds some original swerves & surprising structures, and the guitar duo is still working well. So it can be inferred that the band still holds its old magic.

On the positive side, the lush production is crisp and clear. The whole sound is tight and the involvement of "mixing-board wizard" Neil Kernon (QUEENSRYCHE / DOKKEN / NEVERMORE / CANNIBAL CORPSE) for the Drums tracking isn’t a fluke and indeed a smart move.

3 Star Rating

1. Inceptum
2. Catalyst
3. Cynic Dreams
4. The Chosen Ones
5. Illuminatum
6. My Own Deception
7. Into Oblivion
8. Impetus
9. Gravity Well
10. The Ageless Heart of Memory
11. Exiled
12. Communion  
Kragen Lum - Lead Guitar
Vince Levalois - Lead Guitar / Lead Vocals
Pat Magrath - Drums
Kirk Scherer- Bass
Record Label: Nightmare Records


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