Native Construct – Quiet World (Metal Blade)Sunday, 12th April 2015
The product of a collaboration between several Berklee College of Music students in 2011, Boston’s Native Construct aim to push modern metal parameters through their eclectic influences and wide array of instrumentation. As a result, their debut album Quiet World is quite the progressive metal offering – as this debate about what is/isn’t in that sub-genre can be saved for another day. Let’s safely say that this trio who took three years to write said 7 songs incorporate flourishes of symphonic, extreme, and airy/jazz fusion beyond their metal platform – which could easily set faces to stun mode and cause transposing nuts spasms for their fingers and ears.
The first song “Mute” paints a vivid kaleidoscope in 6:21 – a quiet keyboard passage and Devin Townsend-like cyber voices take refuge against symphony blast beats, before the circus throws and volleys take place part to part – light jazz/samba, ELO-oriented vocal harmonies, blackened speed passages and measured lead breaks all have a place in the maniacal maze. Then you get video game-like percussion and keyboard openings circa the 80’s for “The Spark of the Archon”, a tour de force in technical prowess and time signature free flow for the rhythm section while the guitars weave and bounce in a theatrical Fair to Midland meets Between the Buried and Me mannerism.
Just when you think you latch onto Native Construct’s patterns of composition, they throw an alternate feel or nuance to transport you into a new dimension or way of thinking. Guitarist Myles Yang is bubbly and controlled when called for, expressive and intricate the next – a perfect foil to the chameleon-esque charm for vocalist Robert Edens. The new age/Queen harmonization for the lighter “Your Familiar Face” and the overall massive undertaking for the bombastic, cinematic, progressive epic metal battle that is the 12 minute plus “Chromatic Aberration” prove Native Construct are here for the long haul, as this isn’t your brother’s Dream Theater clone.
The imaginative concept of a mute outcast creating his own fantasy world due to a love not returned should keep you coming back lyrically as much as the wide sonic scope the band provides on the music front. For being in college, Quiet World is an auspicious beginning and could launch Native Construct into quite a career, as their talent and genre bending antics amaze and astound.