Having just released a few days ago, the sophomore album from UK melodic metal act Metaprism seems to remind me a lot of Amaranthe, which I thought was a bit surprising. Mixing power metal segments with bits of melodeath and female vocals is definitely the same shtick Amaranthe used before the big change into full-on pop metal, most evidenced by the band’s recent album. While female vocals aren’t the only vocal approach used here (we do hear some male clean and harsh vocals as well – again, quite like early Amaranthe) it can often sound like a mixture of Soilwork and Dark Tranquillity with a clean female element – again, like Amaranthe. That isn’t to say that some of of the melodies aren’t inspired, that the heavy sections aren’t bustling with rage and that the record doesn’t carry with it the spirit of melodeath, as it definitely does all of these things and then some. Catalyst To Awakening can even get quite furious at times, which I don’t think a lot of listeners will expect. There are definitely poppy female vocal elements in play, but judging from a few of these cuts, you’re getting a far more intense experience than you’d expect. It sometimes feels like there are four vocalists in the room at times, which can leave little room for air. I learned on my band’s forthcoming that songs need room to breathe, but when you’re going into full-on groove explosions as can appear on this album, such behavior is a bit more tolerable. Especially when these groove moments are followed up with thick solo efforts to differentiate them from becoming too monotonous. The band are set to go on a European tour with Iced Earth (who I’m becoming increasingly concerned about, considering the band’s odd decision to go back and re-record at least three of their old albums) where I think they will become a major standout. If you like a little bit of power metal with a clean male and female vocal approach thrown into your melodeath, then you may want to check these guys out. I think there’s something worth exploring here, and it’s a bit more than I had with my Lacuna Coil days. Not that I never liked the band, but they were never as heavy as I wanted them to be. I found that replacement in an act like Metaprism, which I think could grow to be a household name in the coming months.
(11 Tracks, 47:00)
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