After a five year absence, Brazil's Greensleeves returns with their second album, Inertial Frames. It's another exploration into some interesting and moderately more complex progressive metal.
The band has expanded their presentation to some extent, offering longer compositions with more complexity. With little recollection of the previous The Elephant Truth (after all, it was five years ago), this album seems heavier. The riffage is thicker, the bass and drums more dense throughout. Wanting to mess with your head some more, Greensleeves has increased technicality with the usual shifts in arrangements from tempo, time, and individual instrument contribution.
In one sense, this is much like the previous album as it gives you much to consider over 70 minutes. The music and the song arrangements are easily the strengths of the album, the pivot upon which all things turn. Not so much with Gui Nogueira's vocals, who sounds basically over-extended and strained throughout this work. Frankly, merely two songs in and I was already tiring of his voice, feeling disappionted. I had cause for hope within Broken where his lighter, softer, approach at the start fit the acoustic guitar lead composition. But then his voice rises and I cringe. Otherwise, the song is really good.
And that's the core issue, the delight of another Greensleeves album. This is really an interesting and entertaining melodic progressive metal. The balance of heaviness and segues of lightness, coupled with strong guitar leads and thrashing drums, within Unsolved make for a spry number. This guitar and drum fusion makes other songs as well. You can't deny the sharp riffage and diverse drums in Dyschromatopsia, another song that shifts between moments of heaviness and subtlety. Later, Fading Heroes moves more like traditional progressive power metal, upping the pace, securing the heaviness, and backing off slightly on the complexity for a more straight forward approach. Fixed reminds of Broken, beginning with more delicate acoustic, only to get more intense in the middle, then eloquently calm in the guitar solo over the acoustic guitar. Surprisingly, this is one of Nogueira's best, most controlled, performances. Again, not so much in the following Inertial Frames of References, where he's all over the place, with the screamo moments quite tiring. Otherwise, the song is another example of how the guitar/drum fusion leads the entire album, just in a longer format.
As with the previous album, Inertial Frames is another signifcant effort from Greensleeves, more of the same, but also different, a bit more complex and challenging. Alternatively, I'm not entirely sure that it's all that compelling or engaging, something rising above the current flood of progressive metal. This doesn't make it a 'bad' album, to the contray, it's certainly not. But I'll likely not be listening to it again for casual personal consumption.
Greensleeves offers you Inertial Frames, another album of their interesting and, perhaps, moderately more technical progressive metal. While another significant effort by the band, I remain somewhat ambivalent about it.
Mat Sinner is both an icon and legend in the German, and the larger European, hard rock and heavy metal scene. Cranking out music since 1982, Sinner is an industrious and prolific musician and producer whether through his namesake band, the heavy metal heroes Primal ... [ Read More ]