Grim Observations: Pressure Points – False Light (2015)

Pressure points are a progressive melodic death metal act that definitely caught my attention right from the very first glance. Most importantly, I noticed some dazzling guitar leads and terrific keyboard antics in addition to the obvious progressive leanings which would of course put them in the same vein as Dan Swano’s Moontower, latter Edge Of Sanity, Barren Earth and of course, Opeth. There are only six tracks on this album, but it still clocks in at just a little under an hour and offers a heaping helping of progressive prowess that you’ll definitely link right to acts like Dream Theater or Spock’s Beard, especially when they take further turns into that progressive landscape in order to really cement themselves as a progressive band who utilizes death metal elements, rather than a death metal band that utilizes progressive elements. False Lights comes packed with memorable melodies and punch-packing solos right from the very beginning, ensuring the listener that what they’re getting is the real deal, from a band they’ve probably never even heard of. Which is a good thing. Because if you’re reading this review right now, chances are that you’re actually interested in this new act and are willing to take a chance.

As you might expect, False Lights succeeds in the way that all memorable prog records do – it contains heavily detailed song structures, filled with both heavy and light sections in which passion and anguish are both experienced. “Between The Lines” (9:37) for example, comes in like a hurricane and goes out like a calming gentle rain, quite comparable to that of Pink Floyd. Yes, current-era Pink Floyd at that. There are some semblances of doomier ideas like that of In Mourning, but even those guys have their progressive touches, which have always made them stand out. It’s these incorporations that I feel have fortified such an act as this, with the thundering Opeth style death metal of “Dance Of Coincidence” (9:38) balancing perfectly against the almost meditative nature of “Sleepwalk” (9:19) which finds it’s way into a playful prog jam, much like the pounding closer “In Desolation” (10:01) which also fills with Opeth worship and incredible keyboard work. Pressure Points are the kind of band that can be extremely heavy when they want to be, yet can also take a chill pill and roll in the atmosphere when required. This kind of balancing act is not at all easy to do, especially with the sheer level of musicality and fantastic solo output as is explored here. It’s a disc for headbangers, sure – but there’s also something here for deep prog fans that choose to open their mind to it. Ultimately, Pressure Points hit my pressure points with quite a punishing and yet delicate force; which I would most certainly recommend to you as well. If you’re a fan of progressive metal with deathly intrusions, then False Lights will serve as a bit of an unexpected enjoyment for your ears. It certainly has the makings of something great, already at a clearly defined stage.

(6 Tracks, 56:00)

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