Finally after six years, it’s time for Prototype to release a new album. So many years is a long time between two albums, but music is a creative process so this long time between albums can inspire a band more than if they released an album sooner and this is what happend with this album! Lyrically it is a concept album about a science fiction theme, though little clarity is defined about the exact subject, either on the band’s website or on press material. Anyway, let’s go to the musical part of the album! Prototype has a rare ability that very few bands have and this is to draw from several styles and so make an interesting challenging and entertaining sound. Most of the band’s music could be defined as progressive metal but on a heavier darker side. To do this they add energy of power metal, the agression of thrash and the sweetness of classical metal.

The album starts off with a brief, melodic intro titled “Inceptum“, which seems as though it might lead into the next track, but it cuts off and then ”Catalyst”, the title track, assaults you with a dirty guitar riff which continues in the background while the vocals burn in with a grittiness unlike anything I am familiar with. The intense drums add some speed to the mix and blend together, creating a wonderful yet raw melody. The more progressive elements shine through on the next track, “Cynic Dreams“, as the guitars become less repetitive and jump out occasionally to remind you that there is a mind behind the sound, not just rough vocals and deep lyrics. The guitar work really explodes about half way through the track with amazing speed, melody and structure. Then it all slows down to a dreamy piece letting the guitars bleed into the vocals and the intensity cranks back up creating moments of guitar magic.

As the album progresses, it displays all these elements in variable amounts across the songs, sticking with the rough, yet not angry vocals and amazing guitar with the percussion to keep the rhythm on time. The lyrics are quite befitting of the musical style as they don’t only serve a mode for the vocals to compliment the rest of the music but they are actually varied, deep and thought-provoking. The lyrics deal with metaphorical concepts, humanity, history and faith. It’s quite personal and with so much going on in the music I found I had to listen multiple times to really pick out everything in each song and see how it all fit together. The album closes outwith an upbeat track, “Communion“, filled to the brim with guitar exposition and dynamic melody and the haunting “Evolution Reborn” repeated throughout. Front to back, this album exceeded my expectations and shows how much the band has grown since I heard their 2006 effort off the album ”Continuum”. If you like progressive metal both melodic and technical, but also powered by an assertive thrash groove, you’ll dig this album. Strongly recommended.

Track List Line Up
01. Inceptum
02. Catalyst
03. Cynic Dreams
04. The Chosen Ones
05. Illuminatum
06. My Own Deception
07. Into Oblivion
08. Impetus
09. Gravity Well
10. The Ageless Heart of Memory
11. Exiled
12. Communion
Kragen Lum – Guitars
Vince Levalois – Guitars, Vocals
Pat Magrath – Drums
Kirk Scherer – Bass