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Hailing from Oxford, Prospekt are yet another addition to Sensory Records' roster of prog-metal bands who fit firmly into the generic, rather than genuine, progressive category. The press blurb accompanying this promo, in one sentence, mentions the ever-contentious word 'progressive', then proceeds to say they're "influenced by bands such as Dream Theater, Symphony X, Opeth and Circus Maximus." While any band will never be entirely free from musical influences - and to be located within the metal genre will ultimately imply a degree of genericism no matter how genuinely progressive your music actually is - for a so-called prog band to be "influenced" by other so-called prog bands is a paradox. Well, Opeth are the only genuinely progressive act on that list. Dream Theater have made a career from mimicking Rush et al for many a year whilst simultaneously popularising what it means to be a contemporary prog-metal band for a whole new generation - ie. a multitude of odd, changing time signatures with emotionless displays of virtuosic musicianship. And, in one sense, that's the path Prospekt have chosen, albeit characterised with an additional layer of symphonic, almost filmic, grandeur. And it works well... but only on a surface level. Technically, this is flawless so, on a virtuosic plane, there's much to excite those who are impressed and in awe of sonic acrobatics. At this, Prospekt excel and should be congratulated for what they've achieved on 'The Colourless Sunrise'. Unfortunately, on an emotional level, the music is emotionally colourless. Technicality dominates throughout, so much so that there only occasional moments where I feel any kind of affective attachment to Prospekt's music. There's a great skill in combining technicality with emotional accessibility (and for all my earlier bashing of Dream Theater, they are capable of such at their best) but listening to 'The Colourless Sunrise' is a very affectively detached experience for me. Mixed and mastered by the ever reliable Jens Bogren and Periphery's Adam ‘Nolly’ Getgood, Prospekt's sound is massive which affords the songs a more emphatically epic punch so at least that's a positive of this record although, at the end of the day, this new act have a long way to go before they're able to marry enthralling prog with technical prog. Still, for a debut, it's impressive for what it is.
Review by Mark Holmes
November 2013
1) A Desolate Kingdom
2) Dissident Priests
3) Eternal Memories
4) Shroud
5) The Colourless Sunrise
6) Visions
7) The Great Awakening
8) Shutter Asylum
9) Hunting Poseidon
"Technically, this is flawless so, on a virtuosic plane, there's much to excite those who are impressed and in awe of sonic acrobatics."