Prajna – Lost In The Void
Lost in the Void
It seems like someone turned the clock back on me just a bit: All the way back to the mid/late 80’s. Yes, Lost in the Void, the debut EP from independent Colombian band Prajna certainly has an old-school feel to it the whole way through, which is quite surprising since they appear to be a very young band. It is clear they have an understanding of some of the most important bands of those times, because they’ve captured the spirit of them quite well, and have delivered four very enjoyable songs any fans of old-school metal should be able to enjoy, provided they can overlook some weak vocals.
I especially notice influences of Helloween in their music, particularly from the Walls of Jericho days, as there is a lot of classic power/speed metal going on here with an edge to it, and everything sounds so authentic. This also means that the production is not up to modern standards, though for an independent band it is quite good. Everything sounds very clear, yet just a bit raw, which fits the sound that they were going for anyway.
The songwriting isn’t particularly fresh or inventive, but the first three songs are all very enjoyable. These are fast-paced affairs with some entertaining, sometimes thrashy riffs, soaring choruses, and some very technically proficient guitar solos (with a particularly long one on “Electrocuted” that really impressed me). Any of these songs would fit perfectly on an 80’s speed metal album, and while there’s nothing original here, it is very enjoyable and played with a lot of passion. It is also clear every member of the band is very talented, with lead guitars and drums in particularly sounding great. The EP ends with the 7 minute “Storm of War”, which is a bit more complicated and even includes some galloping riffs in the middle that reminded me of classic Iron Maiden. This and the first song are easily my favorites, though the other two songs are good as well.
However, as good as everything else is, there is one flaw which currently prevents the band from transitioning from “potentially great”, to” actually great”, and that is the singing of Andrés Murillo. I wouldn’t say it’s completely bad, but it is clear he lacks experience. I’m not sure his voice is the right fit for the music either. There are times throughout where he develops a near-screaming sound which can get very over the top, but it also illustrates that his voice lacks the fierceness to pull off that kind of wailing effectively. At points it seems like he’s almost mumbling the words instead of singing naturally, though I’m sure that’s something he could easily work on over time. He’s also the lead guitarist and songwriter for the band, so maybe he’d be better off delegating some of the responsibility.
But even with those criticisms, I really enjoyed the music here and acknowledge that the band has got some great potential. Though I admit the vocals caused me to lose some of that enjoyment at points. As said before, the band has clearly been influenced by some of the great bands to the 80’s, and for fans of that era, the four songs here should be very satisfying. I certainly look forward to hearing more from this very promising young group in the future.
Travis Green’s Rating: 3.5 out of 5