Italian prog metallers Ensight have very clear influences. Dream Theater, Symphony X, countrymen Labyrinth and DGM are just a few. That should give you a general idea of what their debut album “Hybrid” is all about.
The songs are solid but I could do without the throwaway intro “Downfall.” After that, the band never quite hit the overall speed of Symphony X and they don’t possess the songwriting chops of Dream Theater. They do have chops though. Bassist Alessio Consani is a bit too buried in the mix however.
Vocalist Antonio Cannoletta isn’t the greatest singer in the world but he has a solid, strong voice and hits all the notes asked of him. The title track is a good example of how he is able to harmonize nicely with himself. I do wish he had a bigger range though. The lack of big notes keeps “Hybrid” from being truly great. Listening to tracks like “Words and Dust,” it seems that Cannoletta might not be the right vocalist for them to hit the big time.
I do think that Ensight will appeal to those people who like the heavier approach of Symphony X or DGM. There are plenty of riffs and some very tight interplay between guitarist Dimitri Meloni and keyboardist Gabriele Caselli which is never over done. Caselli in particular adds a lot of nice touches to each track.
“Hybrid” will not redefine progressive metal but that’s not the point. Ensight know what they are good at and execute it well. I would love to see the band push themselves and get better at songwriting. For now, “Hybrid” will please fans of prog metal that love big riffs and top notch musicianship.
3. The Pain Society
5. Words and Dust
7. Falling from Above
8. Until the End
9. As the World Falls Down