I'm struggling to really get my head around 'The Great Unseen', the second EP from one man project Pteroglyph. Ex-Mishkin member Jimmy MacGregor is the man in question and, for this release, he has put together one track, split into three parts and unimaginatively entitled them 'The Great Unseen: Parts 1-3'. If tech metal bands such as TesseracT and Meshuggah, and according to the blurb, some Devin Townsend and Gojira, are your thing you might find that this is pretty good. My problem is I like all of those bands, but nothing on 'The Great Unseen' is getting me excited, which is odd because there isn't anything on this EP that's intrinsically bad. MacGregor makes a good job of all the instruments and programming; in places it is very well produced; the music weaves an unexpected path (very heavy in places, quiet and melodic in others), which you would expect from this type of metal and his harsh vocals are acceptable (if a little generic). On the other hand, the clean vocals feel soulless - there is something strange about their production (but I cannot put my finger on what that is); I'm not keen on the way the electronic sounds have been used throughout and, sometimes, the music seems to weave too much.
So a mixed bag then and a pretty mixed up reviewer. I imagine there will be some out there that play this and think it has that original spark of brilliance, it takes the genre forward and that MacGregor is some sort of genius. I think that for just thirteen and a half minutes of music there is far too much going on. It's almost as if he has tried to be too clever for his own good. This type of metal tends to pride itself on being a little off the wall and producing something that could perhaps be described as truly progressive. Having thirty, not necessarily original, ideas though doesn't mean you have to use them all in one go and I would happily choose any of the above mentioned bands before choosing Pteroglyph although I'll still be interested to see what happens when, and if, Jimmy MacGregor releases a full length album.
Red Tower Records
THE GREAT UNSEEN
Review by Rick Tilley
26th August 2013
1) The Great Unseen: Parts 1-3
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
"...for just thirteen and a half minutes of music there is far too much going on. It's almost as if he has tried to be too clever for his own good."