Progressive metal has grown to size where the movement is now drowning in countless bands that boast musical exploration and technical proficiency. Throwing their hat into the rather overcrowded ring is Australian progressive outfit FIGURES who are aiming to build momentum with their second EP titled Chronos. But is there enough in this new slice from the band to really show a statement of intent for the world of progressive music?
The EP begins with Recoil and through thick and heavy tones from the triple assault of guitarists Paul Callow, Simon Edgell and bassist Jen Fletcher, the track kicks off the EP to the best possible start. Swinging rhythms and heavy percussion burst the track into life but the highlight is Recoil‘s chorus. This is where Mark Tronson‘s vocals excel as his soaring clean deliveries matched with poignant lyrics really helps Recoil embed it’s hooks into the listener. It’s the standout track on the EP.
For a five track record, it’s commendable how varied Chronos is, giving just an insight into the versatility at FIGURES‘ disposal. Alpha is frantic affair with swinging melodies with a dual guitar assault before the chorus soars once again showcasing the band have what it takes to write incredibly catchy hooks before closing with a utterly explosive breakdown from guitarists Paul Callow and Simon Edgell. Tied Around is a whole different beast in itself. Adopting an almost nu-metal vibe, FIGURES unleash bouncing riffs that are neat and tight whilst Mark Tronson delivers vocal lines with absolute venom. The slight change in pace and tone in the track’s closure works wonders, once again showcasing the sheer range of FIGURES‘ soundscape, thus enabling the track to mould itself into the EP to allow it to flow.
The final third of Chronos aims to finish on a strong note and for the most part this is achieved. Standing as the longest song on the EP, Point of Doubt is an intricate beast of guitar trickery, steady percussion from drummer Josh Sforzin and soaring vocal lines from Mark Tronson. Ebbing and flowing in pleasant rhythm, Point of Doubt washes over the listener through several movements; intricate and subtle melodies allow Tronson‘s vocals to utterly soar before subsiding to pulverising mayhem of sound. The weakest song on the EP however is finale Crying Door which serves as an entirely melodic and slow affair. Whilst Tronson‘s vocals are again impressive and the gentle melodies from the band help create a relaxed atmosphere, there feels a lacking to the punch here. It’s not uncommon for bands within this style to adopt this musical style but in FIGURES‘ case, Crying Door lacks that triumphant closure which ultimately ends Chronos feeling flat upon its conclusion.
For the most part though, FIGURES have more than excelled on Chronos. A solid EP showcasing experimentation, musical efficiency and above all else, absolutely solid songs that will embed their hooks deep. With Chronos, FIGURES have showcased their musical edge and it leaves the future bright for a band who are more than capable with holding their own against the giants within progressive metal.
Chronos is out now via self-release.
For more information on FIGURES like their official page on Facebook.