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Reasons Behind - Project M.I.S.T.

Reasons Behind
Project M.I.S.T.
by Rob Stone at 03 August 2020, 4:49 AM

There is a resurgence that has been happening in metal very recently. A resurgence that includes flashy neon colors, 90’s dance inspired synth lines over breakdowns. Merging two seemingly opposite genres of music in a weird and wonderful mix that somehow works. REASONS BEHIND are one of these bands that hope to lead that resurgence. While the band has released previous material, they have been hyping up this album a lot on their various social media pages. It seems like a new beginning for them, a moment for them to take that next step as musicians and release their magnum opus. The album artwork is trippy, weird and almost cyberpunk looking. Let’s find out if the hype has all been worthwhile.

"Unplugged”, the opening track, is a glitching, ambient, synth loaded introduction. The simple lead line and synth bass underneath are catchy and suspenseful, especially when the pounding drums come in with their marching army assertiveness. I am ready for the rest of this album. I also think I’m going to be saying synth a lot in this review. “Fireflies in the Wind” starts with a Motionless in White style lead synth line. The guitars chug with power, not being overtaken by the electronic elements like many songs of this nature usually would be. The vocals are almost operatic in nature. A slight nasality in the vocal tone reminds me of a very pop-centric style of singing. While the drums, bass and guitars take the bulk of responsibility with the heaviness, it is the vocals that accompany the synth in being the catchy memorable hooks.  The solo section is uplifting and showcases very adept playing ability. The sound would be a crossover between synth pop and power metal, with the heaviness of melodic metal.

“A Hidden Thread” begins as a much heavier track, clearly a headbanger. I wouldn’t be surprised if this would be a gig opener for tours to come. The intro highlights every instrument and each one gets a chance to shine throughout the track. Initially the vocal style did not appeal to me because it was so jarring and stand out. As I am now further into the album, I realize that it fits perfectly to the music. While the music has a lot of focus on electronics, the voice too seems very much in the style of an electronic singer, rather than metal.

The fourth track, “Shades of Neon”, has an intro that tops the previous as being a headbanger. Every new song that is put on is my new favorite. It’s an album that grows on me with each song played. The intro exploded into an all-out riff. Excellent production is needed for anthemic songs such as these and the band did an excellent job, as they themselves were producers for the whole album. The dynamics of the song creates sections that are so obviously created to be crowd moments at shows and I’m not mad at it. Anyone who knows the words for this song and sees it played live has a treat in store for them. A soaring chorus, a pounding drum tone and crushing guitar lines.

As the album enters track number five, “Ghostwired”, the listener may begin to notice a pattern in the songwriting. A quiet synth playing a line that will repeat throughout the verse, slowly a guitar will have a filter that builds up to the heavy guitar line with the massive drums. Although it may be repetitive to hear another song with this formula on a full album playthrough, it is still a very good standalone song and would definitely appeal to people interested in the style.

Right as the album is about to become formulaic and repetitive, the next track, “Beyond the Black”, begins almost as though it were a post punk song. Lo-fi drums and a static laden vocal line. Of course, the song does eventually come back to the powerful, uplifting style that has been shown throughout the song thus far. But the intro gave the listener a palette cleanser in the meantime.

The albums seventh track, “Living a Lie”, reveals something telling about the album. The production of the album is excellent, no debate there. But it feels as though the same synth/guitar tone/mixing techniques were used on every song. It’s very impressive that anyone would be able to achieve such a sonically powerful track but to replicate the same thing every time makes it feel as though the band is playing it safe with the whole album. Sticking to just what they know throughout. The song is undoubtedly very well written and well performed, but there lacks some experimentation in order to differentiate the songs from each other.

The lead single for the album, “Binary Stars”, was released earlier this month along with a music video, with a very well shot and edited concept. The guitar riff is the heaviest sounding of the album so far. And the vocals in the chorus are more anthemic and impressive, which is a hard thing to achieve given that the vocals for the whole album so far have been incredible. This song is an indicator that this band wouldn’t be out of place on the main stage of a festival like M’era Luna someday.

A haunting interlude plays a flashback of the album up to this point. “Between Here and Awake” implies that the subject of the album is living through the album asleep, and about to awaken.  The rhythms and groove elements of “(E)met” are very catchy. The stop-start rhythms of the chorus stand it apart quite well. There are also some interesting production decisions that create some interesting transitions between sections. The breakdown section, especially along with the subdued synth play off each other very well.

The final track, “No Dawn to Come”, is exactly what you expect it to be, with one exception. There is a different keys sound playing as the main hook over the heavy guitars. The bass tone is far more distorted and noticeable in the first half of the first verse. These two small changes are all it took for this to become one of the stand out tracks of the album, because it’s done something noticeably different to what came before it.

The songs individually are all very well crafted, brilliantly engineered EDM infused metal tracks. Unfortunately, the main setback of the album is that every song is so similar that it makes it difficult for them to stand out from each other. Having said that, they are obviously very certain of the style they are playing, and they do it well. So, if EDM Metal is a genre you like, then you’ll really like this album. If you are sort of into some poppy modern metal type stuff, then listen to the lead single and skim through, you’ll like at least one of the songs a lot. And regardless of the album as a whole, songs like this were absolutely made for being played live, so let’s hope we get to see some live shows sometime soon from Reasons Behind.

Songwriting: 6
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 7
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Unplugged
2. Fireflies in the Wind
3. A Hidden Thread
4. Shades of Neon
5. Ghostwired
6. Beyond the Black
7. Living A Lie
8. Binary Stars
9. Between Here and Awake
10. (E)met
11. No Dawn to Come
Lineup:
Elisa Bonafè – Vocals
Gabriele Sapori – Guitars, Keyboards & Programming
Michele Cavalca – Bass
Andrea Gambini – Drums 
Record Label: Scarlet Records
     


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