Progressive metal has come a long way since it was put on the map by bands like Dream Theater, Queensryche and Fates Warning. It has diversified immensely and branched off into several different forms spearheaded now by bands ranging from tight and lengthy groove-laden musical structures as played by Meshuggah, to almost freestyle jazzy and yet face-meltingly technical metal such as Between the Buried And Me. The genre has been of late overcrowded with djentmetalcore (mathcore, deathcore and a dozen other cores) bands. But once in a while prog spews forth a band quite unlike the rest.
The Kindred is a Canadian progressive metal sextet, who used to be known as 'Today I Caught the Plague'. Their latest release 'Life in Lucidity' is quite the fresh take on progressive metal. This is a progressive record for heavy metal fans and fans of old school progressive rock pioneers like JethroTull and King Crimson. This album is complex, yet very much accessible.
The album starts abruptly with 'Wolvish' sparing no time in showcasing what the band can do with powerful riffs and synths. Vocalist Dave Journeaux's vocals are comforting and soothing at times and on the others confident and powerfully soaring, reminiscent of all the heavy metal greats like Bruce Dickinson. Although at times (as in the last section of the song 'Heritage') the band sounds shaky, and rather confused with which direction to go. Even the vocals at times feel rather overdone.
The lyrics in the album are very deep, dealing mostly with classical philosophical subject matter like change and the evolutionary progress of thought. The drum tone was top notch, and the guitarists Ben Davis and Steve Rennie add plenty to the table with the classical/prog influenced heavy riffs making the songs quite entertaining. David Journeaux is among the few vocalists the author has seen who prove that the progressive nature of music is not necessarily restricted to instrumentation because the human voice can pull off plenty of crazy stunts.
All in all, if you like progressive rock and still enjoy old school heavy metal bands like Iron Maiden and Iced Earth, this album, despite some inconsistencies and seeming rather forced at times, is worth a listen and will give you something quite different. The band has come a long way since shedding metalcore roots and moved onto a whole new territory and is a great addition to the genre. They have clearly matured, and are very promising. There is a lot to look forward to from these guys.
Individual Display of Skills: 4/5