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Watershape - Perceptions

Watershape
Perceptions
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 23 October 2018, 6:56 AM

WATERSHAPE is a Progressive Rock/Metal band, heavily influenced from the likes of KING CRIMSON, GENESIS, GENTLE GIANT, DREAM THEATER, PAIN OF SALVATION, and OPETH. The band was founded in 2014. “Perceptions” is their debut EP, described as a very personal approach, like those attributes from Steven Wilson and PORCUPINE TREE. The album contains nine tracks.

“Beyond the Line of Being” leads off the album, with some theatrical keyboards, and a steady pulsing of guitar, bass and drums. I can hear the DREAM THEATER influence here…that is until the vocals come into play. From there, it definitely turns a bit odd for me. It’s the vocal range that is responsible for most of this. “Cyber Life” is close to seven minutes in length, and goes harder, faster, and deeper from the start. The music is tightly composed and you can hear the skill that the band has in the composition, but it could just be a personal preference for me with the vocals. “Alienation Deal” is a tender acoustical piece, where the vocals seem to fit better. Keyboards soar here, giving it that outer-world quality. “Stairs” opens with a charming guitar passage with some piano keys as well. The main riff slams in hard and they are off and running. The keys tantalize you playfully, while the darker parts of the song play on your fears and insecurities.

“The Puppets Gathering” is an aptly titled song for a unique composition. The opening sequence of keys and vocals sounds like it’s coming from somewhere that you can’t reach. The harmonies are great here—just a little female voice here and there. “Inner Tide” is a three-minute transitional song, with light and airy keyboard notes and pensive vocals that exude an honest emotional quality. A saxophone softly fills in some of the missing notes. “Fanciful Wonder” hits hard out of the gate, with a flurry of notes and different time signatures. It has a funky groove and overall is one of the most put-together tracks on the album. “Seasons” definitely has that thoughtful sound that gives you pause. The music is fairly quiet and inconspicuous, while the vocals stretch out a bit. It’s a fairly somber sound overall.  “Cosmic Box #9 closes the album. It opens with a breezy melody and an air of mystery. Soon, bass guitar comes thumping in along with the main riff. The song is rooted in suspense, talking about God and creation.

Overall, I wasn’t sure that I connected with the album as a whole. The musicianship was strong for sure, but I had a hard time following the connections between the various passages. It was well composed, perhaps just not well executed. At times, it would get going and just about the time that I could follow, it shifted to something different. This is not to say this is a bad album. Indeed, there are some really good moments here. But they just weren’t enough to sustain my interest throughout.

Songwriting: 6
Originality: 6
Memorability: 6
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Beyond the Line of Being
2. Cyber Life
3. Alienation Deal
4. Stairs
5. The Puppets Gathering
6. Inner Tide
7. Fanciful Wonder
8. Seasons
9. Cosmic Box #9
Lineup:
Nicolo Cantele – Vocals
Mirko Marchesini – Guitars
Mattia Cingano – Bass, Chapman Stick
Enrico Marchiotto – Keys & Synths
Francesco Tresca – Drums & Percussion
Record Label: Burning Minds Music Group
     


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