Surface Tension

Clockwork - Surface Tension ©1999 Sensory
1. Secrets Of Centuries
2. One Wing
3. East Of Knowing
4. If These Walls Could Talk
5. The Guardin' Of Eden
6. The Convolution Box
7. Smile Under Sad Eyes
8. Design Of Enlightenment

Clockwork's latest album from Sensory is a full menu of progressive metal that will interest most any fan of the genre. Surface Tension is not another Dream Theater clone release, but a widely ranging offering of varying styles of progressive metal play.

The songs are involved and complex. The standard fare of crunching and wailing guitars, precise and timely drums and bass are mixed in with piano, flute and keys to make for a lot of sound in the songs. The music is layered and intricate. The solo that begins "If These Walls Could Talk" is one example of the technical precision shown on this disc. The musicians are very serious about making music that is spot on accurate without losing the emotional flair that makes it a compelling listen. The instrumental "Convolution Box" races and twists and turns and is the type of song that makes progressive metal what it is.

The lyrical content has contributions from all around the band making for a wide variety of tone and content. The lyrics are delivered adequately by the singer who seems to be a bit far back in the mix, but it may just be that his voice is a bit more subtle than average. The play on the songs makes up for any inadequacies one might find with the vocals. The instrumentation is fantastic. My understanding is that the vocalist from Surface Tension has been replaced, but I have not been able to confirm that one way or the other.

The bottom line with this disc is that it is a very complex, widely varied contribution to the progressive metal offerings out there. Sensory's production is top notch and they are selective about the bands they sign. They choose only those who are pushing the limits of progressive metal and Surface Tension is one such disc of pushed limits.

Review by Matthew Braymiller

Review date: 09/2000

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