CD Title: Heavy Crowns
Band Website: www.protomythos.com
Label: Independent Release (2019)
Rating: The Albumís Heavy-ness Sometimes Detracts from its Compositional Depth
Protomythos are back with album number two entitled Heavy Crowns. The album opens promisingly with some crunchy guitar riffs laid over top of some haunting Mellotron styled strings/choir sounds and it immediately got my attention. Essentially a trio of musicians, the band is the brainchild of London based, Israeli born multi-instrumentalist Tom Treivish. Tomís email to me indicated Heavy Crowns was heavier than the previous In Human Sight so I was somewhat prepared for the tougher musical stance. Letís just say he was not wrong. Keyboards do tend to take more of a back-seat, support role on Heavy Crowns while the crunchy guitar riffing, bass and drums pound away often in double time. Appropriate sonic reference points would be Mastodon, Opeth and Porcupine Tree. The eight compositions here tend to be anywhere from five to nine minutes all coming in together at fifty-two minutes. Without going into my usual danger signals about Prog-Metal music, I was somewhat pleased that Trevish hadnít abandoned all his compositional skills for the sake of sounding heavy. There are a good many times where the music relaxes and moves into what I might call Heavy-Prog areas which allows for a bit of subtlety and nuance to be appreciated. Needless to say those were more my favorite parts. None-the-less this is a pretty heavy album and there were lots of moments where I found myself tiring of the heavy-pounding and aggressive delivery. What kept me listening is the knowledge that Treivish is a gifted composer, so I eagerly anticipated hearing something more musically substantive in the next track. Sometimes I heard it, sometimes not. This second release is a mixed bag for me. I like a good heavy guitar segment when itís used as an accent or to make a musical point, but sometimes too much heavy-ness simply detracts from appreciating any compositional depth thatís there. Then again, maybe itís just me?