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Psychoprism - Creation

by Ofer Mashiach at 16 October 2016, 3:39 PM

PSYCHOPRISM is a fairly new USPM band hailing from New Jersey/New York area. The band formed in 2012 and has released a four-track EP called "Bloodlines" in 2014. That release foreshadowed what would come up next, as three of the four tracks are now featured in their debut full-length, "Creation", released in July 2016. This album hosts a slew of uncompromising Power Metal with a distinct sound and style, utilizing the POWER ingredient to the fullest and making it one of the best albums I've heard in this genre for quite a while.

Diversity is the name of the game here. Their album rocks from start to finish, with exemplary guitar work and riffage over mid-tempo to fast-paced songs, and even a power ballad ("Friendly Fire"). The album, as a whole, is focused and each song belongs in there rightfully. One thing particularly notable about this album is the intelligent use of keyboards which, though pronounced, never divert the listener's attention but go on to intensify the atmosphere and support the guitar rather than steal the show, as can be heard in many (mostly European) Power Metal bands. The production is decent, but I wish I could hear the vocals more clearly, as they sometimes drowned by the massive guitar tone.

The album starts with a one-minute intro that starts with calm keyboards and then develops into a crazy guitar solo with scales going up and down at a fast rate, bridging to the title-track, "Creation." The band mentioned Yngwie Malmsteen as one of their major influences, which is evident throughout. Jess Rittger's voice is highly emotional, at times somewhat frail and unstable in the mid-range but strong and compelling as the pitch rises. He can produce some impressive Halford-esque shrills, but the choice of profuse falsetto singing instead of using head voice, makes it a bit cumbersome but doesn't manage to annoy. In contrast to the solid riffs, the solos lack originality and aren't so memorable, although competently performed with a nice, clean picking. "Shockwaves" is a powerful chugging track reminiscent of the compositional approach of KAMELOT's "Karma." The Power component is in full mode with nice neoclassical passages (did someone say Malmsteen?). "Chronos" is truly epic with a catchy chorus line, highlighting the strengths of Visser's singing.

Things slows down a bit with "Friendly Fire," which let's one catch one's breath before continuing with this volcano of an album. The next track, "Against the Grain," fully merits its title. It's intense and varied in pace, with strong riffs and some progressive elements as well, but it feels it could be a bit shorter. The band sounds tight and for a band to produce as solid and focused debut as this one is quite an achievement, all the more so in a genre that tends to wear out so quickly. "Defiance" is yet another explosive track, somewhat in the vein of RHAPSODY OF FIRE, that will make you bang your head. "The Wrecker" continues where the previous track left off, with what is arguably the best solo in the album. The closer, "Stained Glass," doesn't disappoint either and brings to the table more of the aforementioned goodies. If you, like me, had enough with cheesy copycats that pervade the Power Metal scene that made me nearly abstain from it, "Creation" will help you regain your lost confidence in the genre.

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

4 Star Rating

1. Alpha
2. Creation
3. Shockwaves
4. The Acclaimed
5. Chromos
6. Friendly Fire
7. Against the Grain
8. Defiance
9. The Wrecker
10. Stained Glass
Jess Rittgers - Vocals
Bill Visser - Guitars
Kevin Myers - Drums
Adam Peterson - Keyboards
Erick Hugo - Bass
Record Label: Pure Steel Records


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Edited 04 December 2022

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