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Prototype
Catalyst

Company: Nightmare Records
Release: 2012
Genre: Thrash
Reviewer: ChaosLord

  • Metal fit for the Devil himself



  • L.A. based Prototype is a thrash band that has jumped into my face and hit me with a hard left, leaving me bloody and bruised. The cause of damage is their newest release, Catalyst. While it states that the band is thrash, they also incorporate elements of power and prog metal throughout the album. At times they combine the sounds of Evergrey, Dream Theater and older Bay Area thrash in a symphony of metal fit for the Devil himself.

    The band is a quartet comprised of Vince Levalois handling vocals and guitars, Kragen Lum on guitars also, Pat Magrath on drums and Kirk Scherer on bass. Levalois has a very James LaBrie type quality to his voice at times yet hides a set of pipes that would make any metal head bounce their head in happiness. His emotionally raw delivery at times really allows you to feel the emotion in each song, whether it be anguish, anger or indifference. Musically Levalois and partner Kragen Lum present a very solid duo of melodic, technical guitar work with lots of tempo changes and different stylings and effects. The solos are frenetic, fluid and incredibly perfect for each song.

    The riffs and back end of Magrath and Scherer provided plenty of head banging hooks and catchy rhythms that you will find yourself tapping out on your desk or steering wheel. The band uses keyboards in a more atmospheric context than the typical layering style of other prog metal bands out there. Some of the standout tracks on the album are as follows:

    My Own Deception-The opening hook and chorus riffs are so catchy that I find my typing cadence matching up as I type this review.

    Catalyst-The albums title track is an example of the bands broad influences and encapsulates the essence and abilities of the band.

    Ageless Heart of Memory-Again, an incredibly catchy riff featured throughout this song and my overall favorite from the album. The structure and words in this song are phenomenal and it just hits you and speaks to you on so many different levels.

    This album is definitely a must have for fans of both thrash and prog metal but is also for anyone looking for something new to sink their teeth into. Definitely go pick this album up and let yourself hear the next big band to come out of the West Coast.


    About this Writer:
    Greg Watson // Greg Watson has been hooked on the loud and heavy sounds since the summer of 1994 when he first heard the opening notes of "Operation: Mindcrime" by Queensryche. Since then his tastes have expanded and grown like the ever evolving heavy metal tree of genres. He has been an active member of Maximum Metal off and on for 10 years. In his spare time, Greg enjoys deciding the fate of his loyal subjects in the realm of Skyrim and secretly playing air keyboard to "Separate Ways" by Journey when no one is watching. He currently resides in Roanoke, VA with his wife and his metal wannabe beagle.

    Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
    5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
    4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
    3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
    3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
    2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
    1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
    0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

    Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

    Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

    The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



    ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: PROTOTYPE
    CD
    TITLE BAND
    DOR
    REVIEWER DATE
    CatalystPrototype
    2012
    Greg Watson1/11/2013


    ALL SUMMARY REVIEWS FOR: PROTOTYPE

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