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Band: Elysium Theory

CD Title: “Modern Alchemy”

Band Website: www.elysiumtheory.com

Label: Independent Release

Label Website:

Release Date: 2010

 

I’ve always had a soft-spot for band’s that make proggy music that sounds ‘larger-than-life’, you know a bit grand, kind of stirring, dramatic but not over the top. So I was pleased to receive the debut disc from the American band Elysium Theory entitledModern Alchemy. This quintet consisting of Dan Peterson (vocals), Tim Reid (guitars), Benny Reyes (keyboards), Jeff Fister (bass) and Ted Feeney (percussion) manages to hit all the right notes when it comes to a more aggressive progressive rock approach.

 

Their debut disc Modern Alchemy is made up of 11 tracks that straddle the line between heavy symphonic rock and prog metal. It’s a style made popular by bands such as Shadow Gallery and Cairo, although I don’t think Elysium Theory are as consistently as hard as either of those bands, just similar. Things get underway with a short “Lorimer’s Pulse” [1:40] that builds in intensity and slides effortlessly into the title track “Modern Alchemy” [5:32] that has some aggressive parts inserted into the lushly orchestrated body of the song. Here I’m reminded of the ‘Ameriprog’ style made popular by bands like Styx and Kansas. The music of Elysium Theory is really well balance with definitive loud and soft parts, not just breaks in the action, instead the soft parts of each song are used to great effect, moving the song in another direction or building on a counter mood. Three of the tracks are over seven-minutes in length the longest being 8:40. Track three “Spriritcom” [7:36] is representative of the best of the band’s musical style. It starts off with some spacey synths before voices and then vocals are introduced with the songs chorus hitting at about the two minute mark. As is the case with most of the band’s compositions there is plenty of keyboard orchestration creating a grand, epic feel to their music. They’re also pretty good at mixing up the loud and soft against the hard and fast. Their music is very dynamic, movingly emotive one minute and then rousingly anthemic the next.         

 

As I said at the outset, I’ve got a soft-spot for this musical style and Elysium Theory are doing a lot of things right in my books. If you are a fan of the bands mentioned and enjoy the heavier side of symphonic progressive rock Modern Alchemy will be right up your alley. I encourage you to check them out.

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