Artist: Distorted Harmony
Release Date: May 14th, 2012
1. Kono Yume
And what am I up to this time if not for fresh progressive metal from the hot middle east. As they say on their FB page, “The band started their journey in 2009, when the composer and keyboardist Yoav Efron met the drummer Yogev Gabay and the two started working together…Distorted Harmony works to establish itself as Israel’s leading progressive metal band and aspires to be recognized as one of the leading international bands in Prog/Metal and other musical scenes”. Their debut album “Utopia” was released earlier this year and gained noticeable success among the local scene; the band performed numerous times, including in the Progstage festival held in Israel in October, with major bands such as Pain of Salvation and Orphaned Land.
The album opens up with the rather light “Kono Yume” that proves to be a track that combines light bass-based melodies with distortion-filled bridges. I was surprised to hear death metal blast beats in the end of the track (and in various places along the album as well), for it wasn’t what I expected from a piece that melodic and some say “soft”.
The album carries on with “Breathe”, a track that has more symphonic volume compared to its predecessor, but it keeps the same direction nonetheless.
“Obsession”, “Blue” and “Unfair” follows up and continues with the continuous duet of the band between hushed and louder parts. There are some parts in those couple of songs that one cannot remain indifferent to, such as the intro in “Obsession” with its impossible time signature, the chorus in “Blue” or the outro in “Unfair”. Highly recommended!
The album comes to its end with the “Utopia” track. I like to think the band wants us to consider this one as their epitome of this album, with its length and strong message that lurks beneath the music. The song hits us with quiet violin sounds, bearing resemblance to music you hear when you watch films about World War II; it goes on with rhythmic paradigms that lead into the song itself, when the verses come in and Misha’s wonderful voice kicks in.
Now, anyone who knows a little about progressive metal is familiar with Dream Theater, and that’s the elephant in the room. The band shows great resemblance to the American proggers, mostly due to their musical style, which includes complex time signatures, soft melodies as well as brutal parts, and many more intriguing elements. But as much they are alike, they are also different; It is noticed that DT is a much more experienced and diverse with their material (Without forgetting the fact they’re around for a few decades).
To conclude, “Utopia” is a great album that’ll fit in any rational progger’s playlist for a long time, until their next album and beyond.
Misha Soukhinin – Vocals
Guy Landau – Guitars
Yoav Efron – Keyboards
Iggy Cohen – Bass
Yogev Gabay – Drums