In the mid-1990s, Fear Factory introduced a series of tropes into the metal canon that …
Brisbane unit The Stranger take what they’ve learned from Dream Theater and Opeth, mix it with some Caligula’s Horse through a TesseracT djent filter and come up with a progressive metal kaleidoscope of their own on album number two.
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The epic opening plod of Eleventh Hour highlights The Stranger’s ability from the outset.
Bright synths and melodies contrast the contemplative nature of the lyrical themes weaved throughout, soaring clean vocal lines clashing against more primal growls. Occasional further incursions of harsh vocal roars add darker colours to the likes of The Gemini and The Devil You Don’t, a song full of character from samples and a surging ebb and flow arrangement highlight some superb guitar interplay.
Each song resounds with the conviction of both message and performance and The Stranger display an astonishing skill at blending all their sonic reference points into a thorough and cohesive whole they can claim as their own.
Jungles pulses with throbbing, catchy djent guitars and a powerful turn toward death metal at the climax, chugging riffs churn through Creatures in the Canopy after a creeping intro and build that echoes some of Tool’s expansive moments, and Siren bounces with a heavy funk over an undercurrent of shiny 70s synths like The Night Flight Orchestra. Each song resounds with the conviction of both message and performance and The Stranger display an astonishing skill at blending all their sonic reference points into a thorough and cohesive whole they can claim as their own. Kaleidoscope is a real triumph.
STANDOUT TRACKS: Eleventh Hour, The Gemini, The Devil You Don’t
STICK THIS NEXT TO: Dream Theater, Caligula’s Horse, TesseracT