I am more than willing to admit that the genre of progmetal, despite being one of my all time favorites, is replete with bands that are competent but ultimately make music that's, well...boring. Sure, it's mostly about the "balls and chunk"TM, but if there's no interesting melodic component over the intricate rhythyms, you've lost me.
That's why it's nice to discover a band like L.A.'s Prototype. On their latest studio album, Catalyst, you'll find all of the usual progmetal ingredients, along with the melodic hooks that help a band's music transcend the ranks of artists that, while fully committed to their art, just don't catch my attention. Coming from a solid thrash background as the band Psychosis in the early '90s, Kragen Lum (Lead guitars) and Vince Levalois (Lead vocals, guitars) retooled their sound, and after a much lauded demo started to get a lot of work (their music's been featured in a few video games) as a new sound in progressive metal.
Vince's vocals still have the edge of thrash singer, but he's not without a good range and handles the tunes ably, while Kragen (awesome name, by the way) plays some fine leads without degenerating into the wankery that often steers a band wrong in this genre. I'm looking forward to more from this band.
The Bottom Line: Not just another Johnny-come-lately progmetal band, Prototype has earned its cred putting in performing time as a solid thrash outfit in the '90s before upping their musical game. They easily avoid the rookie mistakes of foregoing melodic interest for rhythymic gymnastics and the listeners are all the better for it.
Tracks To Make You Curious About Their Psychosis Material: Cynic Dreams, The Chosen Ones, Into Oblivion & The Ageless Heart of Memory
- Genghis really dug this album...