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Mirrormaze - 'Walkabout' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/61/76/bf/3316_mirrormazewalkabout_1361401684.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     February 20, 2013    
 
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A well-played debut by the Italian prog metal band.

The suitably named Mirrormaze are an Italian prog metal band; like a maze, their music weaves one way and then the other in true prog style with varied time signatures and passages of heavy intensity and lighter more melodic parts. They mirror a lot of other prog metal bands like Dream Theatre, Fates Warning (whose lead singer Ray Alder puts in a guest appearance on ‘Deeper Signs’) and on occasion latter-day Rush. For a debut the band comes across as very assured. The musicianship is very good with solid guitar work that is both heavy and melodic although a tad generic at times. A big upfront bass sound works well on the Rush sounding ‘Joke’ and singer Fabio D'Amore has a strong set of pipes and equips himself well; capable of carrying a tune and harder angsty singing when the songs require it. A fine showcase of his abilities is when he goes for those pre-pubescent, high-pitched notes on ‘Earn Your Answers’. A forthright keyboard sound is used on occasion to add a broader texture.

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The title track and ‘Broken Soul’ are sturdy prog metal songs and ‘Vicious Circle’ is a good slab of modern metal. It yields more with each listen and a sense of the band’s own character grows. However there’s a sense that despite the musicianship the tunes themselves don’t always grab the attention like they should. While the album makes all the right noises it needs more choral hooks to really make it memorable. The music rises and falls but when it rises it doesn’t reach the crescendo you feel the choruses really require.

It’s a well-played debut that prog metal fans would acknowledge is accomplished, with powerful modern playing but one that needs some tweaking in the songwriting department if they want to keep people’s attention: something which is increasingly difficult to do these days with so many other prog metal options out there. They have the necessary tools, but to compete, their mirrors just need a spot of polish to make their songs really shine.

Duncan Jamieson

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