Thursday, February 25, 2010


The debut album from California Prog metallists Futures End is a hard hitting affair. The musicianship is superior to many other albums I’ve heard in recent memory. The songs themselves definitely resonate in the Metal end of the musical spectrum. Memoirs of a Broken Man features loud guitars, screaming solos, nasty bass and drum arrangements with smooth and rich vocals on top.

Guitarists Christian Wentz and Marc Pattison direct this metallic train of power. It’s their riffs, solos and harmonies that move the freight along in a positive direction. Fred Marshall (Zero Hero) provides the vocal performance. Jon Allen (Testament, Sadis) and Steve DiGiorgio handle the drums and bass with precision and skill.

Yet I must be missing something. I’ve listened to this album several times and it’s just not connecting with me. I hear all the components and parts, and in most cases I’m totally wowed by what I’m hearing. However not one melody is sticking with me. Progressive Metal isn’t always immediately accessible to one’s ear and often you just have to listen intently. One thing to note also is that sometimes songs are better heard in a live context so the emotional bond can be made in person. I’ve had this happen on many occasions, and album I thought was ok suddenly was amazing just by hearing it live.

Regardless of the above statement there are several items that are immediately noteworthy, the intense guitar parts of album opener Relentless Chaos are a combination of Maidenesque melody and brutal Metallica style riffage. It moves to a climax that really is something else. Perhaps the album highlight for me tho, is the fourth track ‘Your Decay,’ has a tremendous riff passage that both bass and electric guitar play at astonishing speed and execution.

‘Your Decay’ moves along at breakneck speed, with several quality melodic breakdown passages. That musicianship again shines bright and true. This could be a concert opener with its power and drive. A replay on the ole CD player is very much in order.

The very Maidenesque (there’s that term again….) opening of ‘Inner Self’ (think Remember Tomorrow) gives way to a semi thrash riff with tremendous power, almost Laaz Rockitt like. With a staccato like sound that breaks into different parts along the way. ‘Forsaken’ is a pallet of mood and atmosphere, slow, melodic, almost melancholy at times, with some very progressive breakdowns as well.

Memoirs of a Broken Man is a concept album, following the story of a military veteran who struggles with reintegrating back into society. These struggles are many, interpersonal, self deprecation, horrifying memories and the greatest struggle the loss of one’s trust or belief in God. The main character cries from deep within longing to hear an answer of comfort and acceptance. The amount of thought and work that went into this is project is amazing.

I’m just struggling with being able to remember the various melodies. That really is a stickler with me; I want that one riff or melody that is instantly memorable. Others may disagree with me on this point. Music is a personal thing that not everyone ‘gets’ right away and sometimes that’s where a live connection comes in. They may eventually show themselves here, but I’ve yet to hear that one melody. That to me is the difference between good and great.

7 axesPhotobucket

No comments: