Discussing the release “Facing The Incurable” by A Dying Planet is a challenge. The progressive metal community has come to expect high-level music from musicians Jasun and Troy Tipton (Zero Hour, Cynthesis, Abnormal Thought Patterns). I was eager to review this new CD because of their previous works. I found out there were multiple vocalists enlisted, including former Sun Caged singer Paul Villarreal. The rhythm section is filled out with bassist Brian Hart and drummer Marco Bicca.
The opening track, “Resist,” is the longest on the CD and placing that at the front of the album is a tricky move which works for me. It works because Villarreal’s vocals are strong and smooth and the composition of the harmonies are stellar. The track begins with a chugging mid-tempo rhythm that slides into a mid-section that is dreamy yet engaging and features a Jim Matheos-esque guitar solo. The end of the track brings us back to the start and Villarreal’s powerful vocals create a satisfying bookend to a strong opening track.
The title track features vocals by Luda Amo who delivers emotional lyrics. The rhythm section is especially tight, lifting up the multiple layers of clean guitars. There is a spoken-word section which opens up a heavier section with female vocals, a repeating phrase, then some welcome odd-tempo metal chugging; it’s a nice development. “Human Obsolescence” is essentially a ballad with another vocalist whom I assume is Troy Tipton. It’s slow and is similar to the previous track except with no heavy parts.
Fourth track, fourth vocalist. Erik Rosvold (Zero Hour/Cynthesis) is back with former bandmate Jasun Tipton. The track is rhythmic prog metal but I have to admit; I’m more curious about why so many vocalists were asked to perform on this CD! I really can’t pay attention to the music any longer. “Poisoning The Well” is a good song but after track one, everything else pales. “Missing” opens with acoustic guitar and and Luda Amo reappaers on vocals. This could be described as neo-prog because prog metal it is not.
I’m left with more questions than answers by the time closing instrumental “Separation Anxiety” brings this CD to an end. I know the Tipton brothers are exceptionally talented. The rhythm section of Hart and Bicca are very tight. Track one was definitely the highlight of “Facing The Incurable.” I do have to give props for the production. The distorted guitars have bite and the clean guitars cut through; the drums are high in the mix and the bass pops through it all. The synth found under many calm portions of music is pronounced yet not over-powering. The schizophrenia of vocalists is too much for me since this isn’t Ayreon. If this group of musicians continues to write music, a single vocalist should be used (Villarreal would be my choice) otherwise it sounds too much like a haphazard gathering of songs than an album.
Rating: track one 9/10, all other tracks 6/10
2. Facing The Incurable
3. Human Obsolescence
4. Poisoning The Well
6. Separation Anxiety