This is the new album from New Delhi born but U.S. based Yatin Srivastava and his studio Project. It deals with, as you might expect, the concepts of chaos and despair, and how they affect us all, either in our worldview or our mental health and also in our spirituality (or lack thereof). Lofty and involved subject matter, and yet this is a task the band aspire too and largely succeed in pulling off. This is intricate and dense music and followers of a more progressive metal sound will find it very much to their liking I’m sure. As for me, it’s not really my sort of thing, yet even so I can see the craft and care that has been employed to make this album a reality, and so I can see that this is a very worthy effort of its type. Personally I was expecting a larger influence on the sound from Indian music rather than the sub-Dream Theater elements that are evident throughout.
The album opens in strong style with Alive, with a very crunchy riff and a bounce to its step. The vocals are clear on this too and it’s not just noise as there is a lot of melody being employed amidst all the brutal riffery. A nifty little track all told.
Next track, Ozone, is longer still and opens with a soft male vocal and gently plucked acoustic guitars with some effective keyboards before urgent drums pick up the beat as the song charges forward. Distorted guitars enter the mix just before 2 minutes in with a fiery riff section and more impassioned vocals. Again a good use of melody amongst the harder sounding music with a nice synth solo towards the end making this another fine song, the piece ending with more prog metal sounds, in a Devin Townsend vein, masterfully played.
Another delicate opening to Congnizance features more clear vocals before the harder sounds comes back into force with an exciting solo riff passage, more synth laid over the top making a fine and exciting sound. This is thrashy but with harmony and melody amidst the pounding drums before reverting to more acoustic sounds. It’s the use of dynamics that makes this such an interesting and rewarding release, add a very tasteful guitar solo and this song emerges as a clear statement of intent and is simply a very fine piece of music with a harsh but intriguing riff as we enter the final part of the song. This one song held my attention and called me into a deeper appreciation of all that is going on here. It’s a great song.
The Unknown opens with piano and is initially very gentle and relaxed, the vocals of Sanjeeta Bhattacharya adding a more authentic Indian sound to proceedings. In fact, from this song on it becomes a more ethnic project than just being metallic prog, and is all the better for the change of direction as I feel this hybrid actually accomplishes far more and blends the various talents and styles into something of real worth. Just my opinion, though others may well disagree.
Program Obsolete features the vocals of Bruce Soord of The Pineapple Thief, with drums from Craig Blundell of Steven Wilson’s band. This adds some strength to proceedings too, and as the longest song on the album it is probably the strongest too, with a fine solo from Yatin himself.
Overall this is an impressive album, especially being self-recorded on a laptop. I suggest that you check it out for yourself, I rather enjoyed it.
01. Alive (4:44)
02. Ozone (8:00)
03. Cognizance (7:57)
04. Thje Unknown (7:47)
05. Program Obsolete (11:26)
06. Forgotten (6:15)
Total Time – 46:09
Yatin Srivastava – Guitars, Vocoder Vocals (tracks 3 & 5)
Rishabh Sanghi – Keyboards & Synthesizers
Archie Farrer – Bass
Arjun Mathur – Drums (tracks 1,2,3 & 6)
Bruce Soord – Vocals (track 5)
Craig Blundell – Drums (tracks 4 & 5)
Kunal Singh – Vocals (track 1)
Dhruv Visvanath – Vocals (track 2)
Aranya Sahay – Vocals (track 3)
Sanjeeta Bhattacharya – Vocals (track 4)
Marissa Landy – Vocals (track 6)
Utkarsh Varma – Bass & Guitars (track 4)
Abhishek Mittal – Second Guitar Solo (track 5)
Record Label: Independent
Country of Origin: India
Date of Release: 25th May 2018