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ReFrame - Reaching Revery Award winner

Reaching Revery
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 06 October 2020, 3:22 AM

REFRAME is a Progressive Metal band based out of Memphis, Tennessee. “Reaching Revery” is the band’s debut album, and contains twelve tracks. “F.E.A.R.” leads off the album. It’s a 31- minute opus. Piano and soft vocals open the song. Following the four-minute opening sequence, the heavy riff drops, repeated with some time changes. Everything seems to be working well together, and it has an ominous tone. I pick up on some slight phasing, but that is to be expected from a fledgling band. Some dual harmonic lead vocals take flight, yet that thick sound underneath continues. Just before the half-way mark, charming piano notes carry the melody. A sweeping guitar solo carries the song forward, with a darker passage to follow. This was a very ambitious song that they met, but with just a little bit of trouble.

“The UnBegun” is another long song, clocking in at over nine minutes in length. Dark tones from the bass guitar and some chanting open the song. Guitars chug in and I hear a bit more of those amateur elements. The structure of the song is just fine…they just miss a little bit in the transitions. The guitar solo section with ambient elements is a nice break to some of the heaviness. “And the Light Shall Die” is just over six-minutes in length. It has a bit more of a straightforward sound, with a riff that is easy on the ears and some well-done vocal harmonies. A secondary riff gallops in towards the end, along with an ear-piercing scream.

“All Yours” opens with beautiful piano notes that seem to wash away your worries and concerns. A baby coos, followed by the sound of children laughing and playing. Here, the vocal duties are shared by both a female and a male in a very pretty harmony. It moves slowly, allowing the hopeful tones to soak in and just makes you feel good. What a pretty song overall. “Stronger than Death” is eight-minutes in length. It opens with positive tones, and the album seems to be getting better as it moves along. I really like their songwriting here. Heavy guitars combine with hopeful vocals in a rich chorus. The melodies here shine brightly, and the keyboard sequence towards the end maximizes those melodies.

“April Showers” is a seven-minute track, opening with more of those lovely piano notes. They are somewhat melancholy in nature. Harmonized vocals come into play in what is a pretty sad song overall. They ride the line between hope and despair here quite well. April shower are supposed to be the start of life anew, but I like their take on it here. Guitars break in at the end, capping a nice song overall with a full chorus. “Fearless” opens with some bass notes and what sounds like bells, with a positive energy. The vocals are very emotive. It begins to pick up, and man do they pour the melody over you, washing away all of your fears and doubts. A nicely done guitar solo that follows the melody line brings the song to a close.

“Fearless Pt. 2 – I Want to be More” picks up where “Fearless” left off, pushing the melody above the stars and into the canopy. The multiple vocal layers create this richness. Like bite after bite of chocolate cake, you just want more. It takes a bit of a turn after the half-way mark, and those Progressive elements come out from another well-timed guitar solo, building to a lovely crescendo. “Strauss” is a very short acoustical guitar song that follows a Classical riff. “Head in my Sand” is just under eight minutes in length. The opening sequence leads to a heavy riff and a big chorus, with well-timed cymbal crashes. This song also has a certain swing to it that sticks with you, reminding me of DREAM THEATER’s “Scarred.”

“Invisible Gardner” is over 13-minutes in length. It opens with a lengthy Progressive sequence in which the band toys with the meter a bit, before this ambient passage of light seeps through. Just after the half-way mark, it builds into this charming melody that will grab you up and throw you into the sky. Wonderfully done, fellas! “Fearless III – Coda” is a short, two-and-a-half minute closer of keys and vocals that mellows you out to a calm and peaceful ending on what was a very enjoyable ride. Though it had a bit of a rocky start (it might have been that first lengthy opus), they found their groove along the way. I was eventually not only won over, but became immersed in their melodies and songwriting to the point of a big smile on my face that refused to go away as the album continued on. I highly recommend this to any fans of Progressive Metal and those who are looking for that next big band…because this is it!

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 9
Production: 9


4 Star Rating

1. F.E.A.R.
2. The UnBegun
3. And the Light Shall Lie
4. All Yours
5. Stronger than Death
6. April Showers
7. Fearless Pt. 1
8. Fearless Pt. 2 - I Want to be More
9. Strauss
10. Head in my Sand
11. Invisible Gardner
12. Fearless Pt. 3 - Coda
Ed Johnson – Bass
Joe Murphy – Vocals
David Lj George - Vocals
Drew McFarlane – Synths/Piano
Elijah Quinn Knight – Drums
Phil Berger – Guitar
Record Label: Luminol Records


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Edited 27 January 2023

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