Sunday, January 18, 2009

My Universe - Infinite Spaces (2009)

When you look at this album's cover, the archaic font and album title probably hint at the musical content. And yes, this is in fact progressive metal. It's also instrumental, and good material! This is the project of Alexander Shvets, former bassist in Mechanical Poet. He invites a host of other musicians from Russian bands including Valkyria, Black Obelisk, and even Lex from Mechanical Poet doing some guitar.

There are 14 tracks here, ranging from acoustic/synth combos to balls out progressive metal. The entire album successfully conveys a shimmering, cosmic feel to it, proof of concept. Some of the melodies are quite lovely, and overall this is a captivating way to spend an hour or so, especially if you can use this as background music to some appropriate reading or gaming (I recommend old school sci-fi platformers, shoot 'em ups, or something like Master of Orion 2). All the songs on the album are good, but I'd choose the raging "Fear of the Unknown", the poppy "Doomed to Love", "To See a Thousand Years", and the electronic "Star Masters" among my favorites. But if you like one song here, you are going to enjoy them all.

The album sounds fantastic. All instrumentation is well mixed and clear, and with no vocals to get in the way, you will fully immerse yourself in the 'infinite spaces' conjured by the melodic integration of the guitars and synth. The playing is skilled, but somehow it never devolves into a wank off! Stylistically I could compare this to other multi-artist projects like Star One, sans the vocals. But that might do a disservice, since the music on this album is far catchier. The appeal of Infinite Spaces may be limited to prog metal fans and instrumental dreams, but all of these should snatch it up, and I hope Shvets will continue to thrill us with similar projects in the future!

Verdict: Win [8/10]

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