|Review: Artizan - Artizan|
Year released: 2009
Genre: Progressive Metal
Review online: April 28, 2010
Reviewed by: Naamah
This is pretty straightforward classic prog metal done very well. The production is crisp and clean, not surprising coming from Jim Morris. The band is formed of experienced members – vocalist Tom Braden and drummer Ty Tammeus were in Leviathan together -- and it shows. This is polished, professional work that has been put together by musicians who know their tools very well.
The melodies are hooky without being too catchy. The lyrics are a little too simple for my liking, but I can see what the band was aiming for, and it works very well in context. The very simple, repeated, rhythmic rhyme scheme goes really well with the intense and articulate drums, and the drums are what really jumps out. A prog band simply cannot function without a good drummer, and Ty Tammeus is first-rate.
There's a nice split here of emphasis on vocals/vocal melodies and focus on musicianship. I confess I have only middling patience for prog. Good prog explores, it doesn't just fuck around for the sake of fucking around. This album exhibits solid songwriting with depth and complexity, enough return to the themes that the songs have substance and structure, enough variation that it's not tiresome or repetitive or too immediately accessible to be interesting.
The three songs transition smoothly from one to the other, and it's so skilfully done that it's easy to miss. Themes recur and are elaborated upon throughout the songs, making the album much more like one very long piece than three separate parts. It's an impressive feat.
If you are a fan of prog, you should check this out. It's solid.
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