March 24, 2020

Progressive Metal Review: Epic Tantrum-Abandoned In The Strangers Room

Release Date: January 20, 2020
Label: ET Productions
One look at the cover of Abandoned In The Strangers Room from prog-metal band Epic Tantrum and you are thinking prog. It is something similar to what you would have seen on a Pink Floyd album. The choice for a band name? One word, brilliant! I love it and the artwork is eye-catching and it makes you wonder what is underneath that mask. Is it a person, alien, or creature from some dark corner or from hell itself? If you remove the red cloth what exactly will you see, something that is going to have an Epic Tantrum? It leaves it to your imagination, which in effect, is perfect for the listener with a sense of humor and an off-center thought process. It is indeed a strange cover and a creepy title for the album. There again lies the mystery and your perception of the entire package, figure it out for yourself.

Let me tell you something about this band, this is my first taste of their music, and they rock with a definitive progressive twist. I would be willing to bet at least one of these band members listened to Zappa. Lines like “I’m gonna take your skull and make you look pretty,” are not for the faint of heart. The band members are all part of the “Tantrum” family that includes Peter (guitar, vocals), Paul (guitar, vocals, keys), Greg (bass, vocals) and Z (drums). When you are endorsed by a legendary figure in prog-metal like Mike Portnoy that is very telling. Mike said of “The perfect blend of prog and metal.” And that statement could not be truer.

With a total on 19 tracks and 2 CDs, you get a ton of great music. CD1 is the studio cuts then CD2 presents all the cuts live to show you that indeed they are for real. Epic Tantrum is explosive, quirky and melodic all at the same time. And this is exactly what makes them “progressive.” According to the band’s website, the first part of the album, Abandoned, features studio recordings of previously unreleased material. The second part, In The Strangers Room, features live versions of songs from Abandoned as well as material that appeared on previously released demos. That fact there is quite impressive knowing that some of the music is just demos? They are high-quality demos that is for sure. Again, this just shows how talented this band of men are, with limitless potential ahead of them.

They are juggernauts with a vocalist perfectly suited to the music. I have to be honest though, the first time I heard the vocals I did not care for it at all (I think most people that enjoy prog-metal will love this after the first listen). Then a second try, a different day, and now I cannot figure out why I did not like it to begin with. So, there you go, with music it depends if all the sensory doors are open to the sounds and you are not sidetracked with another train of thought with the inability to really “hear” the music. And did I ever hear it all this time? You can count on it. Their ability to play at a slower pace and make some beautiful sounds that are pleasing then immediately bust right out of that at any second and peel off some vicious guitar licks backed by a powerful rhythm section is quite impressive. To see them live must be a real treat.

The guitar work is fabulous and what drives this well-oiled machine. Every track is packed with the firepower to get your blood pumping but you can also pause, and should, to hear the incredible musicianship at hand. In the end, what you get to enjoy is one of the more exciting up and coming bands in progressive metal that are going to raise some eyebrows from this point forward.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck

March 23, 2020

Review Provided By Prog Rock Music Talk

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CD 1:
01. Don't Bother...
02. Unfold
03. Accessory
04. Fables Of Fortune
05. Outside The Wire
06. Into the Clutch
07. Letting Go
08. False Idols
09. A Howling
10. Abandoned

CD 2:

11. Baillee's Gone Again (Live)
12. Franklin Park Blues (Live)
13. Letting Go (Live)
14. Now I Know (Live)
15. Accessory (Live)
16. Fables of Fortune (Live)
17. The Artist (Live)
18. Don't Bother... (Live)   
19. Drown (Live) 

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