When you think of Northern New Jersey and New York area what popular progressive power metal band comes to mind? Yup. Symphony X, of course. Well, welcome newcomers to the underground metal scene, Psychoprism and their debut album Creation, dropping this month on Germany's Pure Steel Records.
Now the reference to Symphony X was more geographical than comparison. Psychoprism does not sound like that band, even though they probably take some cues from them. Their progressive power metal is a blend, even a hybrid, of genres and elements. Of course the foundation of their music begins with classic heavy metal. Then they throw in some speed to give it power metal hustle. There's also a considerable symphonic element to the Psychoprism sound that you catch immediately. Next, toss in an abundance of guitar shredding, meaning the neo-classical style. Guitarist Bill Visser can tear it up with the best of them. Finally, there's Jess Rittgers voice, with his clean but, at times, high pitched vocals. Think Geoff Tate mashed with Dickinson. Add these things up, with notable emphasis on the vocal contribution, and Psychoprism may remind some of a modern day Queensyrche. That was my lasting impression.
As for the songs, the description of the Psychoprism's style basically defines them all. Mostly, the songs in arrangement are full, from breadth to depth, of each element and participant. I'll speak to a few. For example, there's Shockwaves, where the symphonic keyboards are self-evident and the shredding guitar line incessant. Yet, near the end, after some significant shredding, the arrangement drops down to some bright piano in league with the bass line. With Chronos and Defiance, by example, the pace quickens, the swiftness of power metal reigns in both songs. Curiously in both, the keyboards are dialed back, merely accent, with the riffs and guitar solos rising over the power metal. Heavy ballads come with Friendly Fire and Stained Glass, with the tempo more steady, the riffs and bottom end thick, and Rittgers voice a bit more somber and emotional, especially in the latter song.
All in all, it's good to have Psychoprism on the American metal scene with both their classic and modern interpretation of progressive power metal. Creation is a fine first effort and worthy of your consideration. Yet I wonder if my American heavy metal mates will take notice. Nobody here seems to give a rat's ass about true heavy metal.
All in all, it's good to have Psychoprism on the American metal scene with their both classic and modern interpretation of progressive power metal. Creation is a fine first effort and worthy of your consideration.
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