Israel’s Distorted Harmony started out as a more straight up prog metal outfit with very obvious Dream Theater influences. They released their debut album “Utopia” for free and garnered much attention. When it came time for the second album, the band shifted their style away from the longer epic tracks and distilled their sound to a more “modern” prog sound. “Chain Reaction” was more song focused and definitely a bold move.
Now, Distorted Harmony is back with “A Way Out” and they’ve added two new guitarists as well. Guy Landau is out and both Amit Plaschkes and Yoel Genin are in. So once again, the band shifts their sound which is bound to happen when you change guitarist. “A Way Out” fully embraces djent while keeping a trace of their old school prog metal roots. Unfortunately for me, it doesn’t work.
For starters, the overuse of electronics and stuttering guitars has gotten to be cliche. Too many bands are doing the same damn thing. Now you can add Distorted Harmony to that list. The electronics are of the ticking, beeping kind that drive me nuts. They are fucking everywhere too. And the riffs are all over the place. They will take a standard thick djent riff and then shift to a standard riff and back again. The problem is that it just doesn’t quite transition well and sounds awkward.
Vocalist Michael Rose sounds good for the most part but decides to mix in a harsh vocal line here and there. I don’t mind harsh vocals but these seem so random that they sound forced. It sounds like they are trying to be more modern metal versus do what they do best. By the time the breakdown (metalcore) happens in “We are Free,” I am rather disappointed.
Bands definitely should evolve and progress. The problem is that Distorted Harmony are forcing it. They are attempting to mix Haken, Vola and even some DT into their music and in the process lose whatever originality and cohesiveness they had. The album does have some good moments though. “Downfall” is a solid opening track and “Time and Time Again” sounds like they used to sound.
Overall, “A Way Out” is a very sterile, synthetic sounding album that could use more tracks like the aforementioned “Time and Time Again,” “For Ester” or moments like the end of “Puppet on Strings.” Instead, the album feels like a band trying to fit into the current djent, modern metal scene rather than blaze their own unique path. Still, because of that many people will still find it quite enjoyable.
2. Room 11
5. Puppet on Strings
6. For Ester
8. A Way Out of Here
9. Time and Time Again
10. We Are Free