You know, albums come and go… We hear them, we love them, we hate them….
Some stick some don’t… Some click some just won’t… Some we can’t talk stop talking about and with some, we can’t make it to the 2nd track… And there are albums that you know from the very first note that you will love it… you know upfront that it will sit right with you… will scratch you where it itches so to speak.
When I first heard that Pete Morten made an album my heart tried to leave my rib cage – and then I heard that the bloke is doing the guitars, the bass and the keyboards as well as lead vocals. And man, dat range!
I got my hands on The Interpreter on a Saturday morning. My weekend was already planned and I was going to give a listen to the albums records labels sent me, a few errands around the house – OK this part is a lie – and then a Star Wars night… a lovely, easy, laid back weekend…
Ha! How was I supposed to know that Pete Morten was going to take my soul… and not let go?
Oh, I got to tell you… This album ticks all the boxes. Pete is winning on all departments… Well, not that many time changes or odd signatures maybe but plenty of fiery & tasteful solos, rich textures, very intricate arrangements full of melodic and rhythmic twists and turns, technical skill displays, fantastic song writing! All in a very modern approach!
Now… Pete Morten! Have you got some favourite musicians who make you go do your own soliloquy? May he make a new album… May he make a new album… Meta puns galore!
Multi-instrumentalist, competent vocalist and the brainchild of My Soliloquy just added himself to that list… You know how it is, some new-to-progmetal listeners come and ask you where to start… It is a delicate question as you have to pick a good band so as to keep them there. This one certainly will be one of those I’ll go with… Such an attention grabber…
Focus lady, focus – this is a review, not fangirl love-fest… people need facts!
Well yeah, here goes…
The Interpreter has 9 tracks that clock in over 50 minutes – all very technical but not inaccessibly so. It’s generally dark and heavy, yet so melodic and uplifting! The only time it really softens is during the closing track Star. Of course, I am ruling out the slower bits in the other songs here, as you will witness some blood boiling, dynamic, fast-paced, heavy sections quickly yet seamlessly transitioning into some atmospheric, mellow parts. The band is so damn good in moving the songs to surprising routes.
Very well executed guitars, bass and drums; the album has a lot to offer. Wicked! And man, the keys!!! Them, we get to see on both lead and supporting roles. All these add up to a nice and much appreciated constant builds up and glorious climaxes(eses)… And the brilliant production makes it doubly powerful!
Well what to mention next?? Yes… the Melody!!! These guys have a knack for creating captivating melodies for sure! Songs are full of catchy hooks, sing-along choruses, emotionally strong atmospheres, and versatile rhythm section, which result in instant accessibility. Well, simply put, the album is outstanding. I kid you not; those songs get under your skin… The album doesn’t demand your full attention; it simply rips, tears and gets it.
The vocals!!! Pete’s singing is bold, powerful, expressive, emotive and passionate! So much so that the album feels to be vocally driven at times and Pete elevates these well-crafted songs to even a higher level.
The Interpreter energized me, made me want to run up to a hill… It’s lively, it’s engaging… The album quickly became one of my go-to albums, you know, when I need such a push…
Those guitars… What would you need to be doing to that guitar to make it cry, shout, laugh, speak, dance for you…? Through its course, the album gets exciting, joyful, calm, passionate, painful, intoxicating…
When the first spin was over, I was utterly blown away and found myself typing out. I’m in awe of you Mr. Morten!
Ascension Pending is a great opener with varied and brilliantly arranged keyboards and is instantly catchy. Do you know those songs with a great chorus, great riffs throughout, fantastic instrumentation and a great solo? Yeah this one is beyond that… A solid opener to a colourful album!
Flash Point caught my attention with the propulsive drumming… Destabilising rhythm changes, jaw dropping solo and nice interplay and a Middle Eastern flair in the beginning. Calls and responses are very nice.
Although it’s unlikely, if you haven’t started paying attention to the album yet, Corrosive De-Emphasiswill make you do so. Oh, and if you find yourself dancing to this metal song, don’t feel bad! I’ve tested it on a few people around me and the result is 100% dance. Ha! It starts off like a synth pop piece of the 80s and it will blow your mind with the distorted riffs and pounding rhythms… Very uplifting, quick-paced, fun song with an abundance of creative heavy guitar riffs, simple but very effective bass lines and a guitar and keys solos back to back!
Powerful and groovy song with some heavy riffing?? Gimme!
Madness continues withsoaring vocals, exciting riffs. Perfectly chosen tones of Fractured… And then we find ourselves with a showcase of the vast range of Pete – Seriously, Six Seconds Grace starts off with low notes and Pete goes up and hits some real high notes and man does he comfortably belt them out? Guitar tone is sick on this song the melodies are simply gorgeous! Be warned! The emotive singing on beautifully layered distorted guitars can tug at your heartstrings!
Yes, a fantastic song all around, brimming with melody and emotion! It resonates with me in more ways than I could ever imagine.
Dream in Extremis is the rhythm champion… Both the drums and the bass are wicked! Vocal lines have an eastern vibe with the half tones. Harmonisation is perfect as is the case with the whole album. Oh, and this song boasts one of the greatest solos… I can’t decide which hurts me more – the vocals or the cut-to-the-heart shredding…
Exactly when I say I just listened to the most melody-intense album and there can’t be more, I find Inner circles awaiting me with its epic feel! If I have to define the song, I would say a classic hard rock anthem with progressive technical bits and pieces thrown in… The aggressive keys work so well with polished arrangements, some vey memorable music and the distant wordless vocals. After the 4.13 minute mark the song explodes to a beautifully layered, majestic midsection performed with brilliant finesse… Then comes a frantic finger work as we can expect from Threshold’s competent guitarist.
Coming to the end of the album, the band shift gears, speed down a little, as if trying to calm us down before the music leaves us. Yes, Star is a quite different piece, with a mellow feel throughout.
But let me tell you mate, if that was the idea; it doesn’t seem to work as I find myself hitting the play button again and again…
Overall, this record is a success. A competent and charming effort, an unforgettable first kiss…
That said, remember your best kiss this Saint Valentine’s, not your slobbering, awkward and incompetent first!