I've just imported this from US, to the UK - the album's currently unavailable in Europe as far as I can see, which is a shame. But Amazon.com is the way forward! So...I'm on my second play through, which makes this is a quick first impressions review...
...and it's outstanding. Tight, catchy, songs, excellent melodies throughout, the type of layered guitar hooks that made the band's first EP (albumette) such a hit. When you delve a bit deeper, you realise that the musicianship in the songs is first class. The guitar work on tracks 4 and 5, for example, is quite amazing - fast progressive runs, and not a note out of place. The two guitarists tones have that bright, crystal-clear, slightly 'spacey' edge that made progressive metal bands like Pulse Ultra (RIP!) so distinctive in their day....listen to track 9 for a good example; if you know the Pulse Ultra sound, you'll see what I mean. The drums are equally sharp and keep things fast-paced, but settle the mood at times...nice
There is definitely a hat-tip towards The Mars Volta; you can hear a bit of Cedric in some of the vocals, and I wonder if a couple of the riffs on here are (I wont say borrowed from) influenced by Omar Rodriguez Lopez's solo albums...the comparison extends to the 'empty' musical filler, on track 7, that TMV do so well, but which seems a little out of place here...but it doesn't detract from the rest of the album. Track 11 even brings to mind some Liquid Tension Experiment/Dream Theater moments. That all said, I'd agree with the last guy, because CIM haven't tried to copy anything here - they've made this their own; an original, progressive rock record, that I think will get more and more listens from me.
I'd recommend this to anyone who likes their music bright, fresh, loud, and intricate.
There are moments on the album when I'm not