Another band from the modern home of Progressive Rock Nirvana – Poland - Logic Mess have previously released an album under the name of Crystal Lake. Just why they felt Logic Mess was a better name I’ve no idea. Actually, ‘Element Of The Grid’ would be a better name.
No matter. ‘Element Of The Grid’ is a nine track progressive metal tour de force which owes a great debt of gratitude to the wonderful Arjen Lucassen insofar as it’s a concept album set in what sounds like a future police state, in its use of spoken prose passages and the use of the classic prog-metal template as a basis for improvisation.
Although the phrase tour de force suggests a blemish-free performance of tooth-loosening magnificence, it should be pointed out that not everything in this particular garden is quite that rosy.
One of the major bug-bears of writing lyrics in a foreign language is that what appears to make perfect sense in Polish translates into almost gibberish English.
Exhibit A, and I could have chosen practically any track, this from ‘Recall Of A Memory’:
Commodore do not restore
The Access Coding for my brother
I propose we better close
This case before he’d even bother.
Now if it were just the lyrics to the tracks it would not be that much of a problem, but this is a concept album and the lyrics are important in telling the story, so perhaps a little more attention to detail would not go amiss.
Musically, however, the band push all the right buttons. As well as the blazing guitars, anthemic keys and rasping vocals there’s an undercurrent of very good songwriting going on – inconsistent at times but showing great promise.
Four of the eight tracks are ten-minute-plus epics, and it’s obvious that a lot of thought and no little skill has gone into the music, and whilst it sometimes trends towards the staccato guitars, death growls and double kick-drum buffoonery of death metal at times, compensation is delivered in spades with some truly inspiring moments of musical clarity.
Whilst this is an entirely worthy effort, their second album should be worth looking out for. If they can drop the death from the metal and up their translation skills it could be a killer. ***1/2
Review by Alan Jones
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