Utopian Trap - Fiction fades into reality 2.5/5

Reviewed: 8-1-10





Tracklist:

1. Impaired
2. Hollow point death knell
3. Fragile
4. Hate machinery
5. Like child like man
6. Vicodin baby
7. Rebirth
8. A promise of paradise
9. Doctrine of premonition


'Fiction fades into reality' is the full-length debut from a new U.S. band, Utopian Trap. Its style is progressive heavy/power metal, and although there's a bit of diversity present, overall I'm reminded of Shadow Keep, Mindguard and especially Katagory V. In fact, the first thing that stood out to me was how similar the guitar work is to Katagory V's. The guitar work is quite good too, with plenty of interesting riffs, and it's probably the CD's best aspect.

The band has obtained a fairly good balance of tempo with this debut, but there aren't many speedy parts, as it leans more towards progressive/heavy metal than power metal. The songs are mostly upbeat however, with only a handful of slow parts, which actually help mix things up a little. We also get some harsh vocals on track 4 "Hate machinery" to bring in some variety, but most of the vocals are clear, from Anand Kanann, but unfortunately he's merely okay, and when compared to the vocalists from the mentioned bands, he's simply not as great and doesn't stand out like he needs to.

While the band could certainly use some ripening, I still consider this debut to be a decent start and some of the songs are quite catchy. Track 2 "Hollow point death knell" is probably the highlight, but there are also some instrumental segments/songs that are really impressive - just check out track 9 "Doctrine of premonition" for a quick example. So as far as songwriting, the band is headed in the right direction. Overall, I consider the music to be solid (3/5), but the vocals to be okay (2/5), and to simplify things, that's how I've reached my 2.5/5 rating.



CLINT




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