Status Minor – Ouroboros
Melodic progressive metal, now this I could get behind. Status Minor releases their sophomore effort “Ouroboros” on April 25th through Lion Music. This was my first experience with Status Minor, but I am told that Dialog was pretty snazzy and that I might have wanted to familiarize myself with it to have a point of reference. If you really enjoyed Dialog, be prepared to be taken off your feet, because after really enjoying Ouroboros, going back to their debut seemed like a big step down.
On an instrumental level, I enjoyed Status Minor at all points. While the drums were what pulled me into the more progressive metal landscape, the keyboards and guitars were distinctively Finnish (which I love). In particular, the bass stood out as rather extraordinary throughout the album. In terms of production, Ouroboros is extremely professional and crisp: I feel like the effort put into allows me to really enjoy the complexities and intricacies involved with the album. I cannot stress enough how important this is to progressive metal. If you’re not producing your album with care, I will never know how much effort you put in, so kudos on that front.
The first 8 tracks of the album represent a wide range of ideas with a fairly broad scope of influence. Neo-classicism here and there, a really masterful female vocal performance along to some piano, and really enough to keep any proghead happy. The final track, “Sail Away” brings it all together excellently, and is the strongest selling point. This is exactly how a closer ought to wrap up a strong album. On the whole, we have something that exists with a businesslike professionalism, while losing nothing in creative edge.
The strong melodic influences of Finnish metal add another flavor that I think is rarely pulled off so well in the field of progressive metal, and that’s the sheer dramatic and epic effect of the album. Ultimately, I expect Status Minor to be a very enjoyable album for a lot of people, there aren’t moments on the album that I could see turning someone away for any reason. For myself, being a fan of both classy progressive metal, as well as melodic Finnish power metal, I get a really strong dose of both. Especially for the starving Finn power metal fan in me, I hear a lot of similarities in the keyboard parts to that of Jens Johansson, and I will NEVER fault a band for that. The solos are generally quite energetic and fantastic, and that’s something I’m not used to looking for in something this proggy. I can’t possibly see someone regretting Ouroboros, even if it’s not the landmark revolution of progressive metal. It’s a genre piece that has enough variety to keep me listening all the way through, and to even keep me coming back for more.
Dagg’s Rating: 4.25/5