Prototype - Continuum - 4/5
If there's one thing for sure as far as Metal bands go, a name goes a long way. Generally, your name sums up your style, i.e. Rhapsody of Fire - a glorious Power Metal name for a glorious Power Metal band. Prototype, then, were decidedly brave. Are they so prototypical that they deserve to be named as such? If not, they're going to look silly, and will probably have to change their name to Generic. Fortunately, this is not the case.
Upon a quick scan-listen, I was questioning if this was even Metal at all. The vocals are very Post-Hardcore, and will be a stumbling block for a lot of Metalheads. Lovers of the more extreme strains of Metal - I wouldn't bother with this. Prog/Power/general melodic Metal appreciators, read on...
The first track starts us off with some nice drum work and some split-chord harmonics before pounding in with a fast, furious palm-muted riff with the vocals kicking in with melodic stylings. You'll know now wether you like it or not, that's for sure. The song continues with pacey riffs and a questionable Screamo moment (don't worry, it's not as bad as all that) before introducing a first protagonistic guitar section, complete with solo. So far, so good.
The next track steps it up a bit, with yet more chuggy riffs and Post-Hardcore vocal harmonies. It soon gets quite catchy, but remains Progressive with some nice drumming and guitar work. It's around now (after a more in-depth listen) all doubt of wether this is Metal was quelled, in my eyes.
Track number three is a nice melodic number, sticking with the P-H harmonies and surging into some (again) progressive musicianship. This is a ballad, and if the vocals were going to get to me, it would be now. Instead, they serve Prototype very well, keeping the music fresh and more accessible. The band's moniker is very fitting, as I haven't come across anything quite like this before. Alright, it's certainly not Avant-Garde (it's not nearly bizarre enough), but it's certainly an untapped sound - a very palatable one at that.
The rest of the album follows suit, remaining heavy and yet melodic, experimental yet familiar to decent effect. The difficulties I had was the lack of predominant guitar riffs - you could listen to this album a number of times and not remember one riff. The vocals however, are very sing-along and keep the general style honest. Overall, a very good album, but definitely not one for everyone - if you want brutal, don't bother.