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Album Reviews : Meliorist – ii

By on December 4, 2017

The Brissie lads have done a terrific job on this five-track EP. Opening track New Chapter veritably bursts out of the speakers with full-frontal prog-metal fury, the technical riffing, tempo changes and frenetic drumming flying every which way in an ultimately cohesive three and a quarter minute blast. Of course, like any progressive heavy band worth their salt, it’s not just a wall to wall eardrum smashing, they pull things back to an atmospheric passage about two-thirds of the way through, which features a narration that makes some interesting observations on greed and the folly of modern society.

Track two What You’ve Lost brings another sharp and welcome contrast. Opening with an ambient electronic moment which cedes to clean guitars, the intro building nicely into another fast and furious prog metal explosion. This track takes the listener through so many changes in feel, vibe and tempo it makes your head spin, but makes complete sense at the same time.

And the rest of the EP very much follows suit, cutting, pounding heaviness with truly engaging dynamics, variety and light and shade.

For this is the beauty of progressive heavy music. These type of bands can blast with the best, but they throw so many seemingly disparate elements into the mix, and this makes it significantly more interesting to the ear. And Meliorist have the makings of a major player in this musical realm.

Just two minor gripes. Obviously this band wants to swim against the progressive heavy music stream, and keep their tunes tight and succinct, and that’s absolutely fine. It’s just that, at five tracks and under 20 minutes of music, this EP slips by way too quickly and, to ears trained on songs that can travel anywhere between six and thirty minutes, it leaves you wanting way more. Of course, if this EP is prelude to something more substantial in the not too distant future, then that’s just damn good marketing.

Secondly, as a metal howler, singer Matt Williams is absolutely dead on the money. His roars are suitably ferocious and blood-curdling. Scary even. I’d love to hear just a little more variety and range in his delivery, maybe some clean, melodic singing during the more pulled-back moments, to match the sheer musical dynamism that is going on around him. At the moment the vocal department is just a smidgeon one-dimensional.

As mentioned, these are relatively small gripes, when the overall effect is so very strong. The songs are excellent, musicianship, production and performances are dead on the money, and this all adds up to a rather neat little package, and I can’t wait to see what this outfit comes up with next.

Band: Meliorist
Album: ii
Year: 2017
Genre: Progressive Metal
Label:  Independent
Origin: Australia


Rod Whitfield is a Melbourne-based writer and retired musician who has been writing about music since 1995. He has worked for Team Rock, Beat Magazine,, Heavy Mag, Mixdown, The Metal Forge, Metal Obsession and many others. He has written and published his memoirs of his life and times in the music biz, and also writes books, screenplays, short stories, blogs and more.