"some music was meant to stay underground..."

Entropia - "Simetría" (CD)

Entropia - "Simetría" CD cover image

"Simetría" track listing:

1. Teorema (3:23)
2. The Cube (5:59)
3. Poetry In Motion (4:40)
4. Real Lies (4:38)
5. Simetría (8:27)
6. Transitions (5:38)
7. Elements (5:34)
8. The Sphere (4:35)
9. Epilogo (11:27)

Reviewed by on November 23, 2010

"The fact that this is a free release makes for an easy recommendation; those that don’t like it won’t lose a thing and progressive metal fans might find a few tracks that they enjoy enough to keep around."

The Internet has provided bands the affordability to promote themselves in ways that seemed impossible two decades ago. Bands from all parts of the world now have one central tool to get their music out to the masses. From the depth of Columbia comes Entropia, a young progressive metal band scratching their way through the muck of the underground. Their debut album, “Simetria,” is currently available on their MySpace page to download for free. That alone should get people interested enough to check it out, but even if it wasn’t free, there is enough quality songwriting to warrant a purchase for fans of the genre.

The band is clearly influenced by bands like Dream Theater and Symphony X, though with a notable melodic core. With the exception of a few tracks, most of their songs are punctual in structure and delivery. Any aimless guitar wanking or extended instrumental passages are kept to a minimum. These tracks aren’t complex or full of wacky time changes, making sure that there are boundaries to avoid devolving into clichés the progressive metal genre is infamous for.

The shorter tracks are far and beyond the weakest of the material on here. “Real Lies” is out-of-place with random growls, “The Sphere” is a filler track that doesn’t leave an impression, and “Teorema” is full of untapped potential. Adding to this are the screechy vocals, which get into these high-pitched fits that are more annoying than emotional. The first half of the album is a struggle to get through, with the muted guitars and loads of worthwhile ideas that don’t translate to anything particularly fascinating.

However, things start to pick up with the eight-minute title track. The band shows off technical chops, including a wicked bass solo 2/3 of the way through, and there is a surging energy that invigorates the band. The instrumental “Transitions” is a brilliant piece that doesn’t go down the predictable “endless solos on top of each other” path. Flamenco guitars, soothing keys, and a penance for restrained aggression make for a vivid display. Closer “Epilogo” is a little too long for its own good, but the upbeat pace saves the album from ending poorly after the lackluster “The Sphere.”

For an album that is self-produced, there is definitely a degree of professionalism behind the recording. With the exception of the rhythm guitar, everything else sounds full and thick. It’s not everyday that a self-released debut sounds this good, and the band deserves credit for not half-assing things on the production end. With a fuller sound and a little tinkering, this could be easily released to the masses with few complaints.

Like many first albums, “Simetria” is the sign of a band working out the kinks. The vocals and songwriting have to be tightened up, but “Simetria” is a strong first impression. The fact that this is a free release makes for an easy recommendation; those that don’t like it won’t lose a thing and progressive metal fans might find a few tracks that they enjoy enough to keep around. Either way, Entropia stands to gain at least some leeway with not only gaining a fan base, but making themselves known in a cyber world full of dreamers and up-and-comers with similar goals.

Highs: Title track and "Epilogo" are great epics, strong instrumental work, great production considering it was self-produced

Lows: Vocals are cringe-worthy at times, the first half of the album is nothing special

Bottom line: A strong step in the right direction for the progressive metal band, plus the album being a free download is a bonus incentive.

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 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)