Prototype - _Cloned_
(Sublevel, 1998)
by: Brian Meloon (8 out of 10)
This is Prototype's first CD, and it features the three songs from their demo _Seed_ [see CoC #15] plus three new songs. Their older sound can be described as "a cooler (Wicked) Maraya": melodic power metal, with a good mix of technicality and memorability. Their newer sound is less melodic, more intense, and more syncopative (a la Solus, Meshuggah, et al.). It's still melodic at times, but not as much as their previous songs. This probably has at least something to do with their new drummer (Pat Magrath, ex-Killing Culture). He fills in the shoes of his predecessor quite admirably. The thing I like the most about their demo are the overplayed drums. The drummer takes advantage of the rather loose structure of the songs, and fills in the gaps. The newer songs are more tightly woven together, so that aspect of the band's style is gone. The songs all show a good variety in tempos and structures, maintaining a cohesiveness in sound, but avoiding repetitiveness. The production is very good. It's more powerful on the newer songs, but the older songs are more laid-back, and don't suffer. The weak spot of the album is the vocals. While those on the older songs aren't great, they aren't bad either. On the newer songs, the vocalist seems to be straining to hit notes that he doesn't have the range for. He has also stopped harmonizing his vocals, which helped disguise his inadequacies in the past. Other than the poor quality of the vocals, the music and the playing are very good. Fans of technical power metal should enjoy this.


(article published 7/6/1998)

11/18/1996 A Bromley 3 Prototype - Seed
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