Distorted Harmony [Israel]
Progressive metal was never really my kind of thing, apart from that occasional Dream Theater, so receiving Distorted Harmony sophomore full length Chain Reaction, I didn’t really know what to expect with that geeky cover art, and the fact that they are probably one of the first Isreali band that I encounter so far. Yet with the 50-minute experience on the album, the band manages to impress, with that whole range of emotions (and musical influences) that the band has put into their songwriting.
Every Time She Smiles introduces the listener to an almost post-rockish soundscape, one that is extremely calm and soothing, before breaking into a slightly heavier segment and immediately the first band that comes to mind are the progressive rock bands that I listened to earlier into my exploration of the genre such as Porcupine Tree or Riverside. Yet the technicality that the band displays is more akin to the likes of Cynic instead, especially in the playing of guitarist Guy. Children of Red then hits the listener hard, catching one off-guard after that rather serene introduction to the band with a more aggressive vibe, that is not unlike the heavier material of bands like Dream Theater. The usage of the mellotron on songs like Misguided even brings in some comparisons to the progressive rock of Opeth.
The thing though about Distorted Harmony is in how they manage to keep the listener enchanted throughout the album, with the fusion of a whole range of sounds and influences coming together so coherently, putting the listener through an emotional roller-coaster. The songwriting ingenuity is displayed in how the band often manages to switch styles when least expected, yet not losing any of the energy or momentum that was built up prior.
Overall, what a great fucking album this is, with nice balance of all the elements that make an album great – songwriting, musicianship, emotions and technicality, complete with stellar production.