Band: Metro Society

CD Title: “A Journey in Paris

Band Website: www.myspace.com/metrosociety  

Label: Independent Release

Release Date: 2007

 

It’s always a pleasure to be contacted out of the blue by independent bands or artists working within the progressive rock genre. The other day I received an email regarding a band called the Metro Society and a few days later received their first independent CD release entitled A Journey in Paris. It’s an intriguing story which according to the liner notes goes like this… “Deep under the streets of Paris the winding tunnels of the Metro stretch throughout the city. Each day thousands of people enter the tunnels to ride the rails. Not all of them leave. These are the people of the Metro Society…” So begins a rather fascinating story line.

 

TheMetro Society consists of five members: Chris Mangold (guitars, keyboards, spoken word), Ian Ringler (bass, keyboards), Doug Brown (drums), Bill Mangold (drums on track 6) and Corey Brown (vocals). Musically the Metro Society falls into the prog-metal category, but as with all musical forms it’s what they do with the individual elements of the music that helps make their style unique. Certainly the fact that two members provide some keyboard support lends their music a wider expanse at certain points.

 

A Journey in Paris features nine tracks, many of them on the longish side and the disc closes with an 18-minute epic. The whole things starts off with some sound effects taken from perhaps an airport that I’m guessing is meant to be our introduction to going underground. Track one “King of his own World” (9:26) gets things off to a rousing start with a Dream Theater like composition. Brown’s vocals while not technically sounding like James Labrie, maintains a similar style and approach. It isn’t until track 3 “Welcome Home” (7:42) where we start to see a more subdued approach from the band incorporated into the compositions. I won’t say softer because there is still very much an intensity that runs through even the quieter passages on this disc. Then it’s on track 4 “Hills Will Role” (9:57) where the keyboards start to have some sonic impact on the compositions. The track opens with some spacious guitar strumming before slipping into a tentative series of building arpeggios. In fact the deeper one goes into this disc, the more interesting and varied the music becomes. Trying to describe any of these pieces is challenging in that they all slip and slide through any number of time and tempo changes, starts and stops, mood adjustments and so on. As one listens there are other influences that seem to come and go, there’s a bit of Rush every so often, some Queensryche, a little more Dream Theater and to my ears a bit of bands like Ricochet. When you put it all together you have the Metro Society.

 

The Metro Society has assimilated all these and many more influences to craft a sound that isn’t just guitar crunch and double-kick drums. Their compositions display more than the usual amount of variety, while still holding true to the prog-metal musical genre. For a first time effort this is quite an accomplishment and should offer fans of this style something of great interest. Kudos to the Metro Society, a young band that has chosen to defy the mainstream and have come up with a wonderful release. A Journey in Paris deserves to be heard. This is a band to watch.

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