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The Final Sigh - "Prologue" (CD/EP)

The Final Sigh - "Prologue" CD/EP cover image

"Prologue" track listing:

1. Empire
2. Elias
3. Good Friday (live)
4. Empire (live)
5. Seige (live)

Reviewed by on October 13, 2010

"...what holds this EP back and casts doubt on the forthcoming full-length is the quality of the recording. The songs sound compressed and muddy, lacking that crisp and clear sound needed for such complex music to truly shine."

Releasing an EP containing songs from an upcoming full-length is always a risky thing to do. If the EP is a flop then any momentum going for the forthcoming LP is killed. The opposite can be achieved as well, building anticipation for a strong release. “Prologue,” the new EP from The Final Sigh, serves as a sampler to the band’s sophomore album “Canada,” although it really leaves more questions unanswered. Now with the recent revelations of the band members deciding to disband and go their separate ways, who knows what “Canada” could have been.

The two studio tracks that appear here, “Empire and Elias,” are great musically and fill the gap between progressive metal and melodic rock with odd time signatures, diverse vocals, and occasional breakdowns. But what holds this EP back and casts doubt on the forthcoming full-length is the quality of the recording. The songs sound compressed and muddy, lacking that crisp and clear sound needed for such complex music to truly shine. The Final Sigh is definitely expanding on its musicianship and these songs do demonstrate that. It’s just the production does not do these songs any justice.

Three live tracks round out the EP, including a live performance clip of “Empire,” which appeared as one of the studio cuts. The inclusion of the short live set adds nothing special to the disc besides an extra 13 minutes in playing time. The sound quality also seems restrained and the songs’ subtle intricacies get lost within the larger chunk of the down-tuned guitars. The lack of enthusiasm from the live crowd also has a negative impact on “Prologue,” which is a shame since the material is anything but routine and would take talent to perform live.

While “Prologue” may be a lackluster release, there is still a sense of anticipation left over for “Canada.” If the production problems on the studio tracks can be resolved in time for the full-length’s release (that is if we ever get to hear the full-length) then there is a good chance it can be a great record. The music is adventurous and The Final Sigh is undoubtedly talented, as “Empire” and “Elias” are both complex and memorable, which are two things that aren't easy to combine. Only time will tell if “Canada” will live up to its potential.

Highs: Two unique studio tracks that fit into the progressive rock realm.

Lows: The live songs just dont mesh well with the first two songs.

Bottom line: A teaser EP featuring some good songs, but with bad production.

Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls
2.5 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)