Friday, February 24, 2012

Tetrafusion Expands The World Of Progressive Metal

It seems as if metal has more sub-genres than any other type of music and it just keeps broadening its horizon. It has more variations in its style than the color blue in a paint store. The Louisiana based band Tetrafusion has been around since 2006 and falls into one of the more interesting genres of progressive metal. Their latest EP Horizons is a great example of this family of metal and the guys sound right at home.

Progressive rock has long been associated with bands such as Rush and Yes. Well, progressive metal takes that same approach as this bands, but amps it up on steroids. The arrangements are complex and layered and technical at times while remaining very melodic. The more layers you peel back, the deeper the song structures turn out to be. It’s not over the top showy with trying to see how many notes you can crank out on your solo, but still packs a lot of style to compliment the substantial substance of each song.

The band’s instrumental debut in 2009 was Absolute Zero and received critical acclaim in Germany’s Rock Hard, Decibel and Progressive magazines. Their 2010 sophomore follow-up was Altered States and incorporated vocals. That album peaked at #13 on Amazon’s Hard Rock and Metal Bestsellers Chart. Their new album was produced by fan favorite producer Jamie King who has worked with Between the Buried and Me as well as The Human Abstract.

The opening track on the eight song EP is a short instrumental called “Aerosolus” and serves as a intro as if the opening credits were rolling on this short film that the listener is about to hear. The real adventure begins with track two called “Impetus” as the crashing guitar riff rings out to begin the track. This is a great track because it covers so much territory in its six minutes of existence. It has more layers to it than a toddler going out to play in the snow. Guitarist Brooks Tarkington puts on a clinic in diversity on this track.

“Cloudless” is definitely a standout track on this EP. Lead singer Gary Tubbs’ delivery combines spoken verse with soaring vocals while bassist Mark Mitchell lays down a wicked, thumping bass line throughout the entire song. I could also hear hints of Protest the Hero in the song at times, minus the insanity that they bring to their music. “No One Sleeps” starts mellow with an excellent bass line from Mark that really sets a tone for the song, even though it jumps speeds close to a minute into it. The group enters a massive jam session around the three minute mark that’s amazing! Yet another example of a song taking you on a journey with plenty of twists and turns along the way.

The EP ends with “Look Away Pt.1” and “Look Away Pt.2” and they are definitely a tale of two totally different songs. “Pt. 1” starts out with a calm, piano intro and slowly a rich string section can be heard in the background. It’s a beautifully composed song that shows a calmer, more somber side to the band that is warm and refreshing. “Pt. 2” is just the complete opposite, as far as the tempo goes. This is definitely a rock track and may be the most commercial sounding track on the EP.

Overall, I think this is a very solid release from this up and coming band. They show versatility and depth and they definitely are at home in the progressive metal genre. This EP would be great accompanying music on a road trip day where you just roll down the windows and drive with no particular destination in mind. The more I listen to it, the more I really love this EP. If you are a fan of progressive metal, then you must give this a listen. I think fans of all different genres of rock/metal should give it a listen and they might just be pleasantly surprised. It’s available from the band’s website as a free download, just click . So, what do you have to lose?

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