Review Summary: Amogh Symphony's new album VECTORSCAN is a big challenge to critics and a fresh new "Soundtrack" approach in Prog music
I didn't like Amogh Symphony the first times I heard them( Abolishing the obsolete system - 2009 , The Quantum Hack Code - 2010 ), but upon repeated listens I came to appreciate them and eventually love their music. I can understand why some people don't like Amogh Symphony's music. Sometimes it's the lack of knowledge that hurt egos of progressive metal fans who are over confident with their tastes and ears. I can tell because I used to be one of such kinds. The most important things are focus and habit of searching new style of music, music that challenges listener's perspective towards the possibilities of breaking rules by extraordinaire musicianship. Amogh Symphony's music is almost impossible to explain in words. You gotta hear their music first.
Admittedly, ATOS and TQHC might sound like 'Nothing crazy and new about it, every band doing the same *** by catching the trend-wave in modern experimental metal' if one compare with VECTORSCAN. Some facts cannot be ignored - What many new age progressive metal bands are creating now, Amogh Symphony did that years before, and much better. Amogh Symphony's music takes time to register in one's mind. Feel is different, thoughts are different, imagination is different. This pretty much sums up to explain what a beautiful mind Vishal J.Singh has.
At first, I listened to Vectorscan on the day of release and immediately disliked what I heard. I have been thinking how could they come up with THIS record after 3 years?????? My sentiments were hurt, being a fan, because my expectation was something else. That's where the problem was hidden. I played the album once again and slowly I was getting into it. What really surprised me about 'Vectorscan' is that there is no 'Over the top playing' in it. It's almost an impossible task for technical progressive musicians who are habitual in 'more notes, more speed' syndrome. The best way to enjoy this album is to treat it like a Movie Background music/OST. I had few complaints with TQHC, for example, 'Osiris 1' was 'too chaotic and metal' to signify the dark character of Osiris 1. Vectorscan is an avant-garde soundtrack music exactly following the scenes and visuals, with every movement of objects, keeping the intensity and darkened atmosphere, without any dialogue or spoken words following. With guitarists like Fredrik Thordendal , Tosin Abasi following and evolving with the sound of Alan Holdsworth under 'Jazz' influence, Vishal J.Singh brings up the unexplored side of 'Experimental Jazz' or 'Free improvisation' which takes the listener's mind to remembrance of great players such as Derek Bailey, John McLaughlin, Marc Ribot, Sonny Sharrock and Frank Zappa. Introducing 'Microtonals' for the first time in this style. Offcourse, Microtones are not new in Avant-Garde style of music(Note : Modern prog metal fans do not understand the musical theory of intonations) but the way these Microtonal parts fuse with electronics and soundscapes , there is a strong signification of paranormal visions in the story of VECTORSCAN. It's a fresh and nice approach in a crowd of several Holdsworth-clones who failed to understand the importance of music writing, in the sense of 'Improvisation'. The production is fabulous. Jim Richman displays his tasteful Jazz chops and new member Andrey Sazonov was the only missing clue in Amogh Symphony to find their new sound ( Have a read on their official website about the concept story and notes on http://www.amoghsymphony.net ) .
I am very sure, just like TQHC and ATOS, people will start appreciating this gem within few years from now.
My only complaint is lengthy song-titles. Too hard to remember and some are written in language for which I couldn't find any translation.
Favorite tracks : 'Mayamohey bhora, aey dhorat' and 'Onamika'.
Note : Thanks to Sputnik users Choccyphilly and JohnnyOnTheSpot for improving this article.