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Teramaze - Esoteric Symbolism Award winner

Esoteric Symbolism
by Daniel Fox at 31 March 2014, 10:04 PM

"They're signed to Nightmare; they have to be excellent", I thought to myself, when putting on TERAMAZE's new record, "Esoteric Symbolism". Eyebrows and expectations tend to rise when people hear the term "Progressive Metal", having been spearheaded by the likes of DREAM THEATRE, FATES WARNING and QUEENSRYCHE. Needless to say, the sound of TERAMAZE came as a surprise. Hailing from Australia, the band explores sounds from all regions of the Prog spectrum overlain with a truly unique vocal delivery; somewhere between DREAM THEATRE's James Labrie and ANUBIS GATE's Henrik Fevre.

"Line of Symmetry" is an emotionally-moving tidal wave of carefully clipped and precise arrangements. It deviates between mystical, clean, OPETH-like passages, and incredibly powerful and fast riffs derived from the realms of Power. At certain times, I hear small inflections in the vocals and the man that instantly comes to mind is TOOL's Maynard James Keenan. "Bodies of Betrayal" was one of my absolute favorites; the riffs go from being deceptively heavy, with carefully-threaded grooves and sudden, evocative outbursts of melody. Brett, as I mentioned, delivers a unique timbre of vocals that shimmer between the powerful and the soulful. He is one of a small few vocalists I am aware of that barely use vibrato, in what is typically an extremely melodic genre. Like Henrik and FATES WARNING's Ray Alder, he delivers something that many other Prog bands simply do not have.

Like "Bodies of Betrayal", "Dust of Martyrs" proves the stupendous instrumental skills of the band. This track features particularly heavier and aggressive riffage, even incorporating a little ANIMALS AS LEADERS, to come up with beautiful guitar sequences; easily another favorite. Without a shadow of a doubt, the band seems to be capable of writing whatever the heck they wanted, and get away with it sounding excellent. The album closes with "In Vitro". I can exclaim with confidence that this track made the hairs on my neck stand on end. Swamped in thick-yet-melodic riffs, the timbres of the band's skilled vocalist evoke vibes that are bursting full of raw emotion and power, whilst at the same time, providing deliciously catchy moments.

I have to hand it to these musicians; it is dangerous and difficult to create such a lengthy Progressive Metal album without it turning stale, but not once did the band run out of ideas. Sincerely, I cannot criticize it.

5 Star Rating

1. All Seeing Eye
2. Line of Symmetry
3. Transhumanist
4. Bodies of Betrayal
5. Parallels-Dual Reality
6. Spawn
7. Punishment by Design
8. Dust of Martyrs
9. The Divulgence Act
10. Esoteric Symbolism
11. Order out of Chaos
12. Darkest Days of Symphony
13. In Vitro
Dean Wells – Guitars, Backing Vocals
Brett Rerekura – Vocals
John Zambelis – Guitars
Dean Kennedy - Drums
Record Label: Nightmare Records


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