Review Summary: they show promise, but let’s hope they promise to do better next time.
It is as clear as a bell. The band wants to be the next Tool, but as we all know, there is only one Tool. With that out of the way, one has to wonder what’s left for Futile. There really isn’t an open spot for the next Tool clone. After all, there are billions of bands that shadow the said band only to end up horribly short. Futile may have worshipped the alter of Tool, but the altar has no mystical powers, and Tool is not a god. The same drum patterns, the same guitar patterns, and even the same vocal style only go so far as to make Futile copycats but without the substance of the original band. This leaves them in the middle of nowhere, and the middle of nowhere is a lonely place.
Futile, with their Tool worship being ironically futile, are left to dwell in the pot of bands such as Atomship and Karnivool. In other words, Futile may have failed on the experimental side, but they still ended up in a place that suits them better. They may not realize it, but Fragile exercise strong melodies in 7 Nightmares
, and are more appealing as a mainstream metal band than as a progressive metal band. When they cut back on their experimental side and let the melodies soar, their music can be ultra-cool, and decently catchy. Quite a few strong choruses inhabit the album, and yet I wonder if the band even recorded songs with choruses in mind. At this point, the band needs to realize what they sound like before they make another album, for if they continue at this pace, they might just slip up - they might not be as lucky next time.
Apart from groups such as 10 Years, Chevelle, Earshot, etc., Futile is a distinctly technical band, and also employ crushing guitars for good measure. None the less, due to the band’s progressive propensity, said technical skills barely appear despite holding considerable potency. It is a shame to see good talent go to waste, but from Futile’s pseudo experiments, their potential is wasted. Of course, this doesn’t mark 7 Nightmares
as inferior, but rather makes it something abundantly less impressive than necessary. It also makes the band seem too restrained or worse yet, forgettable. If they ever wish to grasp their potential, they must at least find their niche. As it is, the album is a perfectly fine if forgettable alt/progressive metal album.