Thursday, May 14, 2015

Words for Penga - Prose (2014-2015)


Words for Penga are a relatively new progressive metal band from my home state of Minnesota. I guess they formed in Ely, MN, but have moved to the Twin Cities relatively recently.

Long story short: I happened to meet their guitarist Ben Balitch, of all places, walking my Fiancee's dog in her neighborhood. He and the woman he was with (girlfrend/fiancee/wife? unsure) were walking their dog, etc. And he made a comment on my The Reign of Kindo hoodie, etc, etc.

Anyway, so timing was pretty good as this debut album of his band Words for Penga literally was released like a week or so after I met him. And I have been slowly checking it out and probably more surprisingly, really digging a lot of it (my Minnesota biased could be included, but I really don't think it would matter where they are from actually).

Musically, Words for Penga and this debut album Prose I would describe as progressive metal of a sort. But not like Dream Theater or even that much like Between the Buried and Me who Ben mentioned they either get compared-to or lumped-in with.

I would maybe compare them to East of the Wall (something like The Apologist) and some others. Their lead singer reminds me somewhat of Daron from System of a Down when he's singing clean, although I suppose you could say he has a bit of the Grunge/Post-Grunge style in his voice, but at the same time, I am beginning to appreciate his vocals the more I hear them. And the screams also do work well, and I suppose that is one reason I thought of East of the Wall.

They use saxophone in spots, which while it seems to be becoming more common, still is rare and very much something I enjoy in Metal in the right arrangement. The beginning of the record even on "The Mouth of the Nile" has some among some other moments (I want to say the closing track "Drown" as well "This Was Icarus Drowning"..which might be a reference/reprise per a Concept?).

But I will certainly be taking this in more this year, and maybe add more here or another entry in terms of details (or a Video).

I am enjoying this enough though to maybe regard this as 2015's Brice Plays Drums or RisingSide in that it's another local band doing progressive stuff that I am surprised how good and how much I am enjoying them. And for that matter, where they will go, as this is just their debut record.

I'd love to also see them live, perhaps with another band like The Royal Veil, Nomia, Maeth among other favorites. I wonder if the members and their fans know any of those bands.

1 The Mouth of the Nile 8:11
2 I Cover All 5:55
3 This Was Icarus Drowning 4:41
4 It Was Dark and Then It Isn't 6:26
5 Skinny Bells 9:44
6 Drown 7:15