Family are a band I’ve been meaning to check out since their debut album “Portrait” was released a few years ago. Now this band is not to be confused with the prog rock band from the early 70s of the same name. This Family is also a prog band but play some very heavy prog metal along the lines of Mastodon, Anciients, Baroness and The Ocean. While I wouldn’t say that Family sound exactly like any of those bands, they are quite similar. Merging Remission-era Mastodon with Crack the Skye-era Mastodon might actually be a fair description.
“Future History” is their second album and it’s a concept album about the evolution of the human race. I know, do we really need another concept album about a dystopia future? Well, no but this album feels more honest and less cheesy when it comes to the storyline. Musically, it’s very heavy and at times quite complex. I do like that the band separated the overtly dialogue moments into separate tracks. I’m never one for a lot of dialogue so this makes it easier to avoid after one listen.
While the music is really good, I do wish there were more dynamics. At times, it gets a bit pummeling after a while. Sure, “Prison Hymn” works like a short oasis where you can come up for air but I’d like more of that mixed in. In time, I think Family could learn something from a band like Between the Buried and Me. They have the same level of talent. Even so, there is no denying how strong “Future History” is as a piece of work.
If you are weary of the somewhat lighter nature of most prog concept albums, “Future History” by Family is a pounding, inherently brutal option that takes no prisoners. Tracks like “Floodgates” and “Precident” showcase the band’s heavy riffs and complex rhythms while also being really good songs. The family that stays together, slays together. This Family does slay.
1. The Dark Inside
3. Day Vision
4. The Trial
5. Prison Hymn
8. Funtime For Bigboy
9. Night Vision
11. Last Looks
12. Bone On Bone