Up-and-coming prog-metal Turbulence is poised to become one of the next big names in the prog-metal community. Having spent its formative years performing as a Dream Theater tribute act and having released one album, the band recently took the next step in its career when it signed with Frontiers Music s.r.l. That deal will see the band release its second album Frontal Friday through the label. The eight-song concept record is a presentation that every prog-metal fan will welcome. That is proven in part through its noted concept, which will be discussed shortly. The musical arrangements that accompany the album’s concept strengthen the album’s presentation even more. It will be addressed a little later. The album’s production rounds out its most important elements and will also be discussed later. Each item noted here does its own share to make Frontal a successful new offering from Turbulence. All things considered, the album makes clear why Turbulence is one of the next big names in the prog-metal community.
Frontal, the sophomore album from up-and-coming prog-metal band Turbulence is a unique new presentation that is sure to help build the band’s name within the prog-metal community. That is proven in part through the album’s concept. The concept in question centers on the real life railroad worker Phineas Gage and the near fatal incident that happened to him on the job on . For those who don’t know the story, Gage was impaled by what is called a tamping iron when he was preparing to help blast some rock for a stretch of railroad. The iron went into his skull, destroying part of his brain, even though he survived. While Gage survived the tragic incident, it literally changed him. He was never the same person again in terms of his personality. That is due to the brain damage that he suffered. Few if any other prog acts can say that they have taken on this topic for their concept records. Dream Theater has crafted a concept album involving murder and a past life experience. Spock’s Beard has crafted a concept about a man who was born albino and his journey through life. Between the Buried and Me even crafted a concept record about a man in a coma. However, neither they nor other prog acts have crafted a story on this topic.
The story here starts following the event that nearly took his life. As it continues in ‘Crowbar Case,’ listeners find Gage talking to himself, trying to make sense of his physical and mental wounds. In reality, the case was a study of the impact of brain injuries on an individual’s personality. That is reflected here as Gage says to himself, “Blinded by this serenade/Afterglow is driving me insane/Pale, overrun and I’m dazed/He said: “Don’t you know me?/You don’t know that you can’t hide”/Would time restore the moments I’m betrayed?” The rumination continues in the song’s second verse, which finds Gage even more questioning what has happened to him. He sings here, “I don’t see the silver lining underneath the sky/My mind is grinding evermore/I concede a black desire/Dark and dignified/Take me back to the start where it all ends.” This does in fact reflect the bigger study that resulted from his accident. As the story ends, Gage is left wondering what will happen in terms of the result of his accident. He wonders about his own legacy and at the same time, seemingly pleads with people to keep in mind that we all deal with mental health issues. That is just this critic’s interpretation. It makes for an interesting finale to the otherwise heavy, introspective story presented here. The story in whole makes for quite the engagement and entertainment, considering the story and its delivery style. Keeping that in mind, the concept itself makes for plenty of reason to hear this album. It is just one part of what makes this record stand out. The musical arrangements that accompany the record’s story make for their own share of engagement and entertainment.
Starting back at the album’s end, the arrangement there is comparable to works from TesseracT. That is evidenced in the short, sharp guitar riffs and the powerful vocal harmonies. Even with that djent prog-metal influence noted, the song still boasts its own unique identity. By comparison, the heavy, driving guitar line, equally heavy drums and bass, and keyboards used in ‘Ignite’ creates a certain comparison to works from Dream Theater. That is especially considering the song’s clean vocals. The screams meanwhile just add their own touch to the work. ‘Crowbar Case,’ on yet another branch (so to speak), creates its own unique prog take, too. Listeners will hear elements not only of Dream Theater here in the pairing of the vocals and bass, but also in the classical style guitar approach, but also influences of Spock’s Beard to a slightly lesser degree. Between this arrangement, the others noted here and the album’s other arrangements, the overall picture painted here is one of a record whose musical content holds its own well against any of Turbulence’s more well-known prog and prog-metal counterparts. That and the originality in the record’s story collectively make the record that much more appealing. That collective content is only a portion of what makes Frontal a success. The record’s production rounds out its most important elements.
The production that went into Frontal is important to note because that work was responsible for bringing everything together within each arrangement. ‘Faceless Man’ for instance is a relatively busy song, considering the vocals, the keyboard runs, the percussion, and the guitar. What’s more, the song’s mood changes as it progresses. There are moments here that are contemplative, and moments that are more energetic. Those behind the glass had to work to balance everything between the two sides in order to create the fullest emotional impact. Those efforts paid off, too. What’s more, the keyboard line really forms the song’s foundation here, but the arrangement’s other elements play their own important part to the whole. So, just as much attention had to be paid to each part even in this aspect. That added attention paid off, too, resulting in an arrangement that creates its own power. ‘Dreamless’ is another example of the importance of the album’s production. This song stands starkly apart from the album’s other arrangements because it takes a relatively simple but still involved electronic approach. It starts off easily and subdued with a simple piano line. As it progresses, the energy builds along with the inclusion of the electronics and vocals. This means that the electronics had to be balanced just right with the subtlety of the drums and the vocals. That paid off, too. All of the subtleties here blend well together to make this song its own standout addition to the song. When it is considered with the production that went into Faceless Man’ and the rest of the album’s arrangements, the whole of that presentation shows how much work and time went into properly producing this album. That work and time paid off, and when it is considered along with the album’s overall content, that whole leaves no doubt as to the success of the record in whole.
Turbulence’s sophomore album Frontal is a successful second entry from the band and enjoyable major label start for the group, too. That is due in part to the story at the heart of the record. It centers on the tragedy of real life railroad worker Phineas Gage. It is a story that few if any other prog bands has ever touched. The musical arrangements featured with the album’s concept are important in their own way to the album’s presentation. That is because they exhibit influences from some of the genre’s most talented and respected bands. At the same time, they boast their own identity, and hold their own against the music from those counterparts. The record’s production puts the finishing touch to its presentation, bringing everything together. Each item examined here is important in its own way to the whole of the album’s presentation. All things considered, they make Frontal a work that any prog fan will find surprisingly enjoyable. The album is scheduled for release Friday through Frontiers Music s.r.l. More information on the album is available along with all of Turbulence’s latest news at:
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