Monday, January 13, 2014

Significant Albums: Soundscape - Grave New World (2009)

Original Long-winded review from 2009

I'm not sure how much more I can add to this Significant Album listing from that extensive review I wrote in 2009, that wouldn't be a ton of rehash.

I guess given it's been 5 years, I have not played this record extensively since that year, but I have had it on my mind still, especially recently for some reason.

I think part of my thought about it is, I still love it, and it is a big step up in production from Discovery. Soundscape also still stand out over a lot of the so-called "prog metal" that keeps being made, so much so, I think that is why I love this record even beyond my unhealthy fanboy-ism for the band.

But, I guess in retrospect, expecting a lot of people to catch-on to them was a bit naive. Forgetting the fact they were a name from the past, that never got much recognition when they 1st came out. Really, only among a select few into progressive metal and Dream Theater.

But traditional sounding prog metal has become watered down so much, even if a band like Soundscape stands out to me, to others? they are just caught up in a large numbers game.

But then again, to my ears they do stand out, and this record stands out in many ways. I just can't fathom seeing new fans acquiring even half the amount of interest I had, even if they love Rush and Fates Warning like I do.

But, it doesn't matter all that much now anyway. The record stands up, and this was a huge deal to finally get released in 2009, after waiting 10 years, and not really believing it would ever be released (but knowing it was made in some form at least).

Production was maybe the biggest thing that stood out on this record. It's incredibly clean and clear. It showed why the 10-year wait was well worth it.

I guess I can claim this to be 1 of if not my favorite more traditional sounding prog metal records, released in the last 5 years. And that is why I still find it stands out as well.

There's not any music on it that drags, or seems out of place, or just bugs me. The vocals, the guitar work, the keyboard textures, which are maybe even greater in many ways than on Discovery. I used to describe Soundscape like Fates Warning with really bubbly keys, and that is still present on Grave New World.

I dunno, I probably should and will go back to it soon and be even more reassured how much I enjoy about this record. It's 76 minutes, but it never feels long to me.

Is it their last work? likely. I would love to even just see them live once, but odds are maybe better I win the Megamillions, lol. At ProgPowerUSA would be the only likely time, and the cost of that festival and priorities seem low, even if they did go. I would go for just seeing a reunion show in Connecticut instead. It's too bad, Rob Thorne's activity with Sacred Oath still happens, so you'd think at some point the opportunity, desire, or even IDEA might still come up. But if it did, he might contact me. Maybe when his kids are older? lol..wishful thinking of course.

Soundscape's Facebook page

Stream some sample tracks per FB