1/11/2013 - Review by: Greg Watson
L.A. based Prototype is a thrash band that has jumped into my face and hit me with a hard left, leaving me bloody and bruised. The cause of damage is their newest release, Catalyst. While it states that the band is thrash, they also incorporate elements of power and prog metal throughout the album. At times they combine the sounds of Evergrey, Dream Theater and older Bay Area thrash in a symphony of metal fit for the Devil himself.
The band is a quartet comprised of Vince Levalois handling vocals and guitars, Kragen Lum on guitars also, Pat Magrath on drums and Kirk Scherer on bass. Levalois has a very James LaBrie type quality to his voice at times yet hides a set of pipes that would make any metal head bounce their head in happiness. His emotionally raw delivery at times really allows you to feel the emotion in each song, whether it be anguish, anger or indifference. Musically Levalois and partner Kragen Lum present a very solid duo of melodic, technical guitar work with lots of tempo changes and different stylings and effects. The solos are frenetic, fluid and incredibly perfect for each song.
The riffs and back end of Magrath and Scherer provided plenty of head banging hooks and catchy rhythms that you will find yourself tapping out on your desk or steering wheel. The band uses keyboards in a more atmospheric context than the typical layering style of other prog metal bands out there. Some of the standout tracks on the album are as follows:
My Own Deception-The opening hook and chorus riffs are so catchy that I find my typing cadence matching up as I type this review.
Catalyst-The albums title track is an example of the bands broad influences and encapsulates the essence and abilities of the band.
Ageless Heart of Memory-Again, an incredibly catchy riff featured throughout this song and my overall favorite from the album. The structure and words in this song are phenomenal and it just hits you and speaks to you on so many different levels.
This album is definitely a must have for fans of both thrash and prog metal but is also for anyone looking for something new to sink their teeth into. Definitely go pick this album up and let yourself hear the next big band to come out of the West Coast.
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