Getting your head and ears around an Andromeda album can be a challenge. It's not that their music is perplexing, but it is often varied and eclectic. Consider the first two songs on their fifth album, Manifest Tyranny. Preemptive Strike is a short introductory piece of mostly heavy and thrash metal. The following Lies R Us slows the pace offering a melodic, yet heavy in parts, prog piece with a great melodic vocal arrangement. It's quite accessible. Okay then ...
Above, Andromeda: there's always one non-conformist in the group; can you pick him out?
Expect more than a little intrigue throughout Manifest Tyranny. Stay Unaware offers an abundance of riffage, but also noticeable synth layers and solo. False Flag, the longest cut here, seems a moderation, like heavier prog rock (also noticeable on Survival of the Richest), but shifts and moves with the clever ease you expect from progressive music.
Then there's simply some strange stuff. Chosen by God has a muted ethereal vocal arrangement, lots of riffage and synths, which evokes a lighter atmospheric motif. Then there's the integration of words (speeches) from political leaders. (This occurs throughout the album, often to the point of distraction.)
The nuance of progressive rock returns later in Go Back to Sleep. It offers a lighter blend of electric and acoustic guitar, with a later synth solo, and some disturbing lyrics. Of note, this song displays David Fremberg's supreme vocal talents. Allowing some more convention and accessibility, Asylum offers complexity but provides a hard rock edge in the guitar solo. Play Dead and Antidote find Andromeda simply offering an arrangement of, sometimes heavy, but certainly complex and delectable progressive metal.
With Manifest Tyranny, Andromeda continues to challenge and entertain. This is what a fan of progressive metal should expect: intrigue and enjoyment, and the need for more than one listen. Fans and critics will wonder if it's equal to, or better, than their critically acclaimed first outing Extension of the Wish (2001). Perhaps this is a question left to the fans or, perhaps, those who are braver than me. Strongly recommended.
With Manifest Tyranny, Andromeda continues to challenge and entertain. This is what a fan of progressive metal should expect: intrigue and enjoyment, and the need for more than one listen.
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