Reflections – The Fantasy Effect (2012)

“Djent” has been becoming more and more popular and it seems like it’s a trend now. There are some bands that don’t add much originality and sound quite boring, but there are others that are pretty original and bring something fresh or exciting to the scene. Reflections, a five piece progressive metalcore band from Minnesota, fits into the latter category. Reflections’ debut full-length album, The Fantasy Effect, is chock full of grooves, massive breakdowns, and spectacular guitar leads and riffs. “The Fantasy Effect” was released on April 28th, and I’m sure within no time record labels will be all over this band and they will be signed by someone within a few months. The vocalist of Reflections, Jake Foster, is somewhat monotonous; however, he does display some range, and when different vocal styles are used, they are executed extremely well. The lows are immaculate and the highs are spine-chilling. I think that Reflections would benefit from a bit more variety in the vocals, but as they are now, they are slightly above average so I can’t complain too much. It’s very clear that the guitarists, Patrick Somoulay and Charles Caswell, draw a lot of influence from Structures and Born of Osiris. The guitar leads are very reminiscent of Structures, and this comparison can be made on one track in particular, “An Artifact” (my personal favourite). They also add a very djenty tone and have chugging parts or breakdowns that sound like a combination of Volumes and Periphery. With that being said, they are by no means ripping off of any of the aforementioned bands. The bassist, Francis Xayana, throws down some awesome bass lines and really adds another dimension to an already multidimensional band. Similar to the bassist, the drummer, Cam Murray, does an above average job with his part in the band. He displays good technique on the kit throughout the album and my favourite part are the bass drops. They aren’t overused and they fit perfectly which makes Reflections seem even heavier than they actually are. The one major flaw with “The Fantasy Effect” is that the production is not up to par. It’s decent, but it is just a little too bassy. As I mentioned before, the vocals become a little monotonous as the album nears its end, but because there is the occasional change in style or pitch, it doesn’t bother me too much and it is just a very minor issue. The Fantasy Effect is an excellent debut release, especially for an unsigned band. All of the songs on this nine-track, 39-minute album are really good. I would go as far as to say that a few of the songs (“Good Push,” “Picture Perfect” and “An Artifact”) are the best progressive metalcore songs I have heard that have been released in 2012.
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By Steven Pongrac ~ Me Gusta Reviews