Concrete Prophet – Concrete Prophet

Concrete Prophet is yet more proof that Dream Theater-style prog CAN be pulled off. Just not, you know, by Dream Theater themselves. Elements of this band’s debut EP are clearly very Dream Theater influenced, be it in the LaBrie-esque vocals of Mike Newberry, or in some of the riffing which seems like what you might hear on ‘Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence’. But despite these rather obvious influences, Concrete Prophet does manage to maintain a unique identity, primarily by possessing the key values that much prog metal lacks: songwriting and a genuine heaviness to the music.

Concrete Prophet plays substantially rock-based music, but apart from the middle track, ‘Just Call My Name’, the music is metallic enough to appeal to many metalheads out there. Indeed, it’s more metallic than most prog metal, though the heaviest moments are usually kept brief, such as on one of the grinding intro riffs on ‘The Conquest’. The guitars have a substantial growl to them which offsets the more lilting and melodic leads that are such a staple of prog. The first and final tracks are better than the middle simply due to the more metallic nature; while ‘Just Call My Name”s pop sensibility is enjoyable, it doesn’t quite have the staying power of the other tracks here.

The production is clear and has a higher than usual bass presence, which actually adds a lot to the sound. The extra low end gives the riffs the punch that they really deserve and helps offset some of the more openly melodic sections. The tempo of the music is midpaced, and rhythmically, everything is an extra-technical rock base. The description doesn’t sound tremendously appetizing, but the finished product is definitely moreso. Concrete Prophet are very solid and professional songwriters who craft tunes full of catchy and heavy riffs, as well as a keen ear for the balance between prog complexity and straightforward rock and heavy metal simplicity. The prog parts maintain your interest because they’re expertly crafted as well as being virtuostic in nature, and never go into meandering, meaningless territory. The material has room to breathe, but is kept lean as well to maintain the forcefulness of each track.

Concrete Prophet is a very strong new member of today’s modern prog metal scene. Fans of Clay Withrow, Adamind, or other heavy prog metal artists would be encouraged to give these guys a try soon. Their debut EP is brief but effective, and does a very good job of introducing this musical endeavor to the world. Here’s hoping they can keep it up.


~ by noktorn on November 9, 2007.

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