Prospekt – The Colourless Sunrise
Prospekt – The Colourless Sunrise (2013)
Reviewed by Daniel Millard
Ok so I clearly adore power metal, and recently I’ve discovered a certain affinity for “djent” as well. I don’t care if people hate that term, it’s quite indicative of what the music sounds like, and as an amateur musicologist of sorts, if I can stomach it, I’m going to do so until someone proposes a better term, mmkay?
Anyway, there’s not much overlap between these two genres whatsoever: which makes perfect sense, considering that they are constructed in wildly different ways. Maybe Empyrios has occasionally come close to bridging the substantial gap, but never for very long. What would happen if a band were actually able to successfully implement a combination of power metal and groovy, instrumentally demanding prog? I think that The Colourless Sunrise is about as close as anyone has ever come.
To say that England’s Prospekt plays power/djent metal would be ridiculous though. Rather, I would describe The Colourless Sunrise as being capable, driving progressive metal that explores both territories occasionally – enough so that fans of both genres could enjoy it to an extent, and perhaps even utilize it as a gateway to new sounds.
The core of this album is quite solid in and of itself. A fairly heavy and moderately fast moving work of music, the album also boasts the pristinely clear and gliding vocals of Richard Marshall, who reminds me a bit of Threshold’s own Damian Wilson from time to time. Uptempo tracks like opener “A Desolate Kingdom” and sections from the blistering “The Great Awakening” highlight influences of power metal sound upon the project, especially in the rhythm line. Though still usually deliberately syncopated, there’s enough double bass and recognizable patterns to feel comfortable to the ear of a power metal maniac. Honestly, this album listens like the band just occasionally needs to break into a rapid pace, and when doing so, chooses to utilize certain power metal rhythm formulas – with their own twist, of course.
The other end of the spectrum: the inclusion of the staggered, groovy, syncopated rhythms and riffs that characterize djent, is much easier to identify, and more prominent on the whole. While the first couple of songs move at a quick pace and blend influences together, “Shroud” features more groovy djent influence, particularly the first forty-five seconds or so. This song also boasts some superb melancholy vocal melody and atmospherics, similar in feel to another recent newcomer, Optic’s Iris In.
There’s more yet, however. The soft, dreamy “Visions” wouldn’t sound out of place on an Arena album, and “Shutter Asylum” explodes in an abrupt whirlwind of proggy neo-classical power metal fury – so much so that it almost comes as a shock. Despite the long-windedness of certain tracks and my wish that things would be just a *bit* heavier overall, this is a remarkably diverse album, and more importantly: it shifts betwixt those diverse influences with remarkably commanding fluidity.
I would highly recommend The Colourless Sunrise to fans of the more *progressive* side of progressive power metal (think bands like Stargate, Pagan’s Mind, and maybe Symphony X), as well as those who enjoy uptempo, relatively focused prog. It’s a bull market in the world of progressive metal right now, and Prospekt joins a host of young bands like Withem, Optic, Illusion Suite, and Until Rain that are laying very strong hands on the table, helping to build an almost frighteningly strong new scene.
3.75 // 5