CD Title: Scavenger
Label: Independent Release (2019)
Rating: Experimental Heavy Prog thatís very enjoyable
Stepping outside his heavy Prog-Metal comfort zone, Indian guitarist Prateek Rajagopal has created this highly infectious musical experiment called Scavenger. Performing under the Hoia moniker this five-track, thirty-three minute recording is loaded with wonderful riffs, melodies and adventurous intense Progressive Rock. The music of Hoia has a lot in common with bands such as Porcupine Tree and Pineapple Thief in the way in which haunting atmospheric preludes or interludes are then surrounded by pulsating heavier segments alternating between grinding guitar crunch and electronic soundscapes. If that sounds experimental well youíd be correct in going down that path. What makes the music of Hoia different is that whereas the two bands mentioned earlier would create similar sonic exercises that would typically rotate into a rockier vibe, Hoia will from time to time rotate into a more a-tonal, discordant phase. While that may sound unpleasant, trust me itís not. The discord sets up the following melodic segments to be that much more enjoyable. Experimental sure, but still very listenable. The vocals, what few there are, delivered in a kind of dispassionate, breathy, subdued manner, only add to the musicís overall haunting sound. I have to say for all the experimentation happening, the mixing of electric and electronic and the powerfully dynamic arrangements all make for a great listening experience. Scavenger follows two EPís and is Rajagopalís first full length studio album and I have to say itís a winner. Heavy in all the right places it still leaves plenty of room for the musical ideas to percolate and breathe. Fans of the bands mentioned above would do well to investigate further. Recommended.