Album Reviews

My Soliloquy – Engines of Gravity

My Soliloquy is the band/project of multi-instrumentalist Pete Morten. The band has graced the stage opening for such popular acts such as Pagans Mind, Power Quest, Oliver and Rick Wakeman, and Threshold, as well as a second-to-headline set at Bloodstock 2005 and a showcase at 2007’s ProgPower UK II.
Morten had been an active member of British prog metal legends Threshold until his departure this year. The sound of My Soliloquy can best be described as technical progressive metal with symphonic keyboards, shredding guitar leads, and Morten’s soaring vocals. As with My Soliloquy’s last album The Interpreter, the brand new album titled Engines of Gravity was mixed and mastered by Rob Aubrey who has been a mainstay of Marillion’s camp for many years. Morten performed all instrumentation on the album, aside from drum duties, which were handled by Damon Roots. For those checking out My Soliloquy for the first time, Morten’s vocal style is hard to categorize, he has a powerful voice with a great range and sense of emotion and theatricality. His singing is a combination of John Arch-like upper register (original Fates Warning vocalist), Nils K. Rue (Pagan’s Mind), early Geoff Tate.

I enjoyed The Interpreter quite a bit and I feel that Engines of Gravity is a fantastic follow up to the debut. The songs on the new album are quite intricate yet they retain warmth, melody and aggression in all the right places. Electronic keyboard pulses signal the intro to In Bed With The Enemy, a melodic prog metal song with electronic influences, layered in swirling keyboard melodies, impressive guitar solos and crunchy heavy guitar rhythms from Morten. Fire In The Blood is a groove-laden prog metal monster with a killer main riff, melodic lead and harmony vocals. The Exposition Suite features A Modern Lexicon and Lamentation. Lexicon is a mid-tempo chugging guitar juggernaut with impressive soloing and a lush guitar melody layered throughout the song while Morten gives a powerful vocal performance. The song pace quickens and Morten shows off his considerable chops on the keyboard. Lamentation is shorter song with a simple drumbeat, clean guitars, soft keys, and Morten’s emotive vocals creating a somber atmosphere.

The Progenitor is a heavier and dark progressive metal song with some incredible guitar work as well as some melodic sections layered with keys and Morten’s expressive vocal tone. A Kind Of Fury is a furious and powerful prog metal song peppered with bright synthesizers and Peter’s high register vocals. There is some incredible lead guitar work and a very memorable and melodic chorus. Darkness Is Gathering begins with a female spoken word intro over a clean guitar part and Morten’s melancholy vocals fitting the emotional resonance of the song. The woman’s voice is interspersed throughout the song as the intensity builds with a multi-harmony vocal line; it reaches a dramatic and powerful crescendo.

Confluence is a piano ballad with a bittersweet melody and Morten’s vocals fit the song perfectly. The song never overstays its welcome, preferring to hit those melodic sweet spots and leaving the listener with an emotional experience.The albums final track, The Emptying of Meaning, is my personal favorite track, as it has a heavy main guitar riff, off-time drum changes, and Morten’s unique vocal styling. The song is epic in scope and challenges the listener with intricate performances and stop on a dime time changes. Drummer Roots really gets a chance to show off his chops behind the kit, pulling everything out of his arsenal, yet never overplaying. The synths in the song provide another layer to create a lush atmosphere and Morten also pulls off some amazing tasty guitar solos here as well.
Fans of progressive metal, Threshold and My Soliloquy’s debut album will love what they hear on Engines of Gravity, as Morten has seriously upped the ante and shown great improvement as a songwriter as well as a solo artist.

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