Album review: SIMULACRUM – Sky Divided

SIMULACRUM – Sky Divided

Self Release  [Release date 28.08.15]

This is the second album from Finnish prog metallers Simulacrum and rather good it is too. The band are led by Niklas on vocals and Chrism on keyboards who take care of the lyrics and composition respectively.

According to the accompanying blurb this album, whilst still prog heavy, is more accessible than their debut effort. If that is the case then the first must have been a prog fan’s dream come true as this effort screams prog metal from the word go.

The music and lyrics have been influenced by the likes of Mad Max, War Of The Worlds and the Fallout game series (I didn’t have Vault Boy marked out as a prog fan!) which gave the guys free rein to be as creative as they wanted. Musically the band are top notch, this is highly impressive prog metal with more time changes than a horologist when the clocks go back.

After a short symphonic intro ‘Behind The Belt Of Orion’ kicks in at breakneck speed with more notes in the first minute than most bands achieve in a full album. The playing is spot on and highly technical, the guys certainly know their way around a fret board.

At times the prog is laced with a jazz influence which is especially evident on ‘Broken’ which features a sax solo that sounds uncannily like Lisa Simpson at the start of each episode of the show. ‘The Abomination’ is one of the longer tracks on the album clocking in at just under 11 minutes but there is so much going on in the track that it holds your interest throughout.

If you love prog metal then you will love this album which is a masterclass in the genre. For the casual listener though it may provide too much of a challenge, even with the guys toning it down this time around to make it more accessible. Technically brilliant but not for everyone.

***1/2

Review by David Wilson




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