Review Summary: Progressive metal finally progresses
Progressive metal. This expression was originally created to describe bands that pushed the boundaries of metal by throwing the genre into new directions it had never ventured into usually by incorporating a variety of styles into their music. But when these same styles are repeated and re-done over and over by new bands, is it still right to call them progressive?
While you mull that up in your head, let me introduce An Endless Sporadic, a new band hailing from California that can be considered progressive metal by almost anyone’s definition.
Their first effort is the Ameliorate EP
which is an instrumental album (save a few spoken words in the middle of the opening track) that combines metal with various rock style (70’s prog rock and rock rock to name a few), some jazzy elements, acoustic sections and a few other instruments here and there. All this on a 4 track EP.
The basis of the album is clearly metal. Quick aggressive rhythms often over layered with soaring melodic leads, sprinkled with the occasional odd breakdown (and not those stupid chug chug “core” breakdowns) are the main foundation that the band builds upon by adding odd, often unexpected, time changes, synth lines (that sound straight out of an old-school prog album), acoustic passages and various effects.
The whole album is an onslaught of riffs. The band never seems to run out of ideas of original guitar riffs often over layered with melodic leads. But what makes this band unique is more than just their interesting guitar parts linked together by odd time signatures, melodic soloing and chaotic breakdowns. Each song features unique extras that separate them from the rest of the songs on the EP and make everything sound fresh.
These little extras can take various forms and sounds. Clean guitars are used, often coming in at odd times creating a pleasantly surprising change in the song. Various guitar effects are used throughout the EP to complement a clean section or over a heavy rhythm section to give a whole new dimension to the passage being played. Synths play an enormous role on the album. Impulse
and The Adventures of Jabubu
are full of 70’s prog-style synths while Anything
includes a few spacey sounding parts and Sun Of Pearls
features some techo-like sounds to complement to heavy guitars during the chorus. Both Sun Of Pearl
and The Adventures Of Jabubu
feature a small use of piano. But the most shocking part is the use of what sounds like a xylophone in the last song (The Adventures Of Jabubu
An Endless Sporadic release a superb EP in the hopes of anchoring themselves into the modern music scene and might very well be able to do so if their debut stays as strong and original as this.
Any fan of metal or rock that is looking for something new and exciting in todays music scene owes it to themselves to check out this EP. It makes a ferocious contender for EP of the year.