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Review: Pentral - What Lies Ahead of Us
What Lies Ahead of Us

Label: Independent
Year released: 2021
Duration: 1:04:13
Tracks: 10
Genre: Progressive Metal


Review online: May 19, 2021
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Readers' Rating
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Rated 4.2/5 (84%) (5 Votes)

Pentral is a new band out of Brazil that formed under the shadow of the Covid pandemic. They used the time that might have been spent playing live to put together their debut album, What Lies Ahead of Us. Pentral plays progressive metal with the requisite quirky time signatures, quick changes and vocal lines that don't always follow the path of least resistance. It's a competently performed album that sounds good, if a little dry, despite being self-released. The lyrics tell a story of mankind's continuing refusal to acknowledge our impact on the environment so the tone of the album can be sad and remorseful at times.

Most progressive bands must endure comparisons to Dream Theater and Pentral is no exception. However it's the debut, Mechanical Resonance, that I am often reminded of, the time before James LaBrie and "Pull Me Under." I hear more grit in the singing and more of the emotions original singer Charlie Dominici tapped into. My favorite track is "The Law" which wraps up What Lies Ahead of Us where singer Victor Lima sounds a bit like Doug Pinnick from King's X. I also enjoy some of the acoustic work, which reminds me of Charlie Dominici's first solo record. While there are things I like, I find What Lies Ahead of Us to be too long (over an hour even without the two radio edits included with my promo). If you're going to make a long album, you need lots of hooks and engaging riffs and there just aren't enough here. For me, the album starts to drag even before the halfway point. It's no secret I'm not a fan of albums that approach/exceed an hour, so maybe it's just me and other fans might not be put off, but I think it meanders too much. What Lies Ahead of Us has some moments, so if early Dream Theater rings your bell, Pentral might, too.

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