Something wicked comes this way from the deep south. Texas prog aficionados “Color Chemistry” are about to unleash their new album “A Light Above” and plan to hit hard from just about every angle with their take on synthy prog rock and metal.
Where do I even begin to start with this album? “A Light Above” hits fast and hard with many influences and styles that come from all angles and genres, but with cohesive songwriting have managed to make a rather creative and original record. I’ll start with what pops out most, the keyboards (after all the band have branded themselves “synth metal”). Ranging from sounds that would resemble a Zelda soundtrack, the retro pop histrionics of say “The Killers” or “Muse”, and even the quirky keyboard shenanigans of hardcore titans “Horse the Band”….they definitely add a flavor of their own to the album alongside the arsenal of downtuned riffage that takes place. Often times adding ambiance or taking lead, this gives the album a definite edge amongst their peers. The band does a great job with the instrumentation on the album, often times blurring the lines between experimental indie rock such as “The Mars Volta” or technical djent wanketry of bands like “Sydonia” or “Seven”. The vocals throw another curve ball in the mix, at their heaviest bearing resemblance to a young Billy Keeton (Skrape) or Chester Bennington (Linkin Park) while switching over to a clean vocal tone similar to Cedric from The Mars Volta.
Key tracks from “A Light Above” include lead single “Extra Life”, “None of a Kind”, and “Rebirth”. “Extra Life” hits right off the bat with it’s video game tinged keyboards. Sounding like a journey through one’s favorite RPG game on Nintendo 64, the track hits everything in all the right places with it’s hard driving riffs, infectious melodies, and airy harmonies. The Rings of Saturn esque keyboard solo alone will have you heading to your local music shop to rock a key-tar. “None of a Kind” we see the band at their heaviest and good lord is it delicious. Tremolo riffs with djent flavored start stop djent-ism fire away with the band’s infamous keyboard overtones. The vocal performance on this track is possibly one of the strongest, shifting from harsh growls to dissonant minor-fifth vocal harmonies and quivering vibrato. We see an excellent shreddy guitar solo tear it up to build on the band’s already extra terrestrial atmosphere. “Rebirth” is a beautiful piece of soundscape with it’s melodic vocal tones. Here is where we see the band tone it back, but keep the instrumentation big and wide. The chorus with its anthemic chants of “ohs” and “ahs” is destined to have the crowd waving their lighters or smart phones (after all this is 2019) in harmonic unison in a live setting. The keyboards take a step back, adding subtle ambient passages that help build this track to the sky.
Color Chemistry really hit it home on this one. With great it’s great experimentation and hard hitting nature, “A Light Above” is bound for success and deservedly so. I highly recommend giving this a spin if video games and djent are your thing. The album drops tomorrow on July 26th, so be sure to keep an eye out on all of the band’s social media and online streaming platforms! Don’t take my word for it, find out for yourself and let the headbanging commence!