Lebanese Prog Metal band Turbulence will release its second album Frontal on March 12th 2021, and we got the chance the hear the entire damn thing and review it beforehand. That damn thing sounds like a major step forward from the band’s debut Disequilibrium; this one has lots of musical EQUILIBRIUM, very catchy tracks, complicated labyrinths of sound and nicely crafted straightforward passages. The vocals of Omar have also evolved to deliver what’s needed: loud on the track that requires it, and smooth and mellow to give more space for the instruments on others (the charmandar is now a charizard!).
Note: My review comes after 20 days of listening to the album on a daily basis.
Inside the Gage: The album opens with this long track. It goes through many well connected variations, slowing down and then picking up with buildups. It has beautiful bass lines, a fantastic guitar solo, nothing short of what Alain Ibrahim can deliver on a guitar. The track, however, is not just about one instrument shining – the entire band is investing in this track with nothing sounding overdone. The keys have a moment to shine with the very tasteful accompanying drums.
Madness Unforeseen: everyone got to listen to this one as the first single; it would have also been my first choice for an early release. It is very catchy, technical, and at the same time incorporates all of the elements of the album.
Dreamless: This is a short track connecting the story, describing the internal feeling and thoughts of the storyteller. It is still music unique with its own sounds and tone. It ends with the needed buildup for Ignite, symphonic style.
Ignite: The previous track in my mind just says, “Ladies and Gentlemen, I would like to introduce you to Ignite, we guarantee it will wreck your minds”. It swirls in with very catchy drum lines perfectly supported by the heavy guitars. Omar going up to the higher register while the guitars go to the lower scale. This track is well constructed from start to end.
A Place I Go To Hide: This one is a track I did not expect, but it is such a pleasant surprise. It has kind of a funky intro, playful drum lines, then moves directly to a mysterious keyboard sound. I highly enjoyed the vocals on this track as Omar showed another tone in his voice – a soft and then a much rougher tone. This track is Heavy and Proggy, reminding me of a genius track by Haken, something I noticed Turbulence had incorporated more in their music recently. The keyboards later come in to confirm, “We are as skillful and as capable of playing heavy circus-style Prog as Haken does”. This track is meant to be played on stage and if the band manages to pull it off (which I am confident they can), some necks will need physiotherapy while some people will be able to dance to it for 5 seconds every 10 seconds…you know, if you cannot dance to Metal, good luck dancing to Prog.
Crowbar Case: This track is my favorite on the album, heavy, loud, dense but more than anything, it is unique and for me, sounds like what Turbulence is all about. I wish the intro was 20 seconds longer though, to reach proper eargasm. Again Omar goes into a new vocal territory that I totally enjoyed. This track for me is the 10/10.
Faceless Man: This one qualifies as the album’s ballad, with a chorus sang by the band, a keyboard solo and a guitar solo with more or less walking bass lines and “straight-forward” drums. For me, it sound like a nod to the main influencing band Dream Theater, a good one of course.
Perpetuity: I would like to apologize. Crowbar Case has been dethroned. Another track claims the top of the list as the favorite track. A relatively long one, but perfect from start to end. What amazed me on this one is the drum work. Sayed Gereige showed amazing skill not in just playing the instrument but also in crafting the beats. Anthony Atwe on bass plays the perfect drum support part in the intro. He is SLAPPING that bass (Davie504 would be proud). Swirl and twirl, rise and fall (no Lantis here), always moving forward, nicely driven, wonderful synth work. Another 10/10.
As all of the album tracks have 7+/10 with perfection in two of them, the album easily gets an 8/10.
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