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Driftglass - 'All That Remains' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/4d/d4/0b/Driftglass-All-That-Remains-99-1451159929.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     December 26, 2015    
 
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The intriguing debut album from a Canadian Progressive Metal six-piece.

'All That Remains' is the intriguing debut album from a Canadian Progressive Metal six-piece who are light on promo material and seem intent on letting their music do the talking. And when their music speaks, it speaks in tongues. Tongues of porcupines and dreams, kings and queens, of maidens clad in iron and Alice's in chains. It also speaks in shades of pink and black and crimson. A veritable Tower of Babel inhabited by men called Alvin Ihsani, Ilya Maximenko, Andrei Zaretski, Alon Shenfield, Gera Kisselman and... Jeff Marshman.

As is often the case when so many different voices attempt to speak as one, the results can sometimes be confusing. '...Remains' is clearly competent and well-intentioned. There is much here that does intrigue. There's also much that struggles a little for its sense of uniqueness and identity. Apparently Driftglass used to be called Dissident Saint – and you certainly need the patience of one to unpick some of what's here, as tracks slip from section to section, threatening to take off in inspiring fashion for pastures and countries new but rarely managing to do so.

That said, when the combination of musicians and influences does work, it really works well. 'Evelyn' is smooth and coherent and contains the album's strongest, sweetest and most powerful melody. 'Disconnected' is another that offers something a bit different with guest female vocals contributing to the track's slightly haunting and edgy feel. The impromptu burst into The Dave Brubeck Quartet's 'Take Five' during 'The Unfolding' is a delightful and entertaining surprise. Ditto the title track's string embellishments.

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A particular highlight for me is the keyboard playing of Zaretski which provides drama and colour throughout, adding to the tracks without intruding and lifting them above the mundane. Check out, for example, the cinematic intro to 'My Last Lament', the solo in 'The Rise' or the moody piano intro to '...Unfolding'. There's plenty of cool guitar work too – courtesy of Maximenko and Kisselman – for those interested in John Petrucci-style virtuosity.

Driftglass is not a bad name for a band producing music that is sharp but sometimes in need of direction. 'All That Remains' is not a bad name either, and it's not a bad album. But strip away the overt influences and what does remain? Talent and a few good tracks, I'd say. A little less musical jabbering and a bit more focus... and these guys could be an interesting proposition.

Michael Anthony

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