Prescient: The Polynomial Framework

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Prescient: The Polynomial Framework
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Prescient: The Polynomial Framework
Technical Progressive Metal
Self-release
December 6th, 2011
Release length: 30:04
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With the instrumental Progressive Metal scene continuing to grow exponentially as of late, there have been very few surprisingly bad entries scattered about the physical and digital worlds. One of the new surprising entrants, Prescient, is an Australian technical version that formed in 2009. Two years later, this four piece has come together to record their debut offering, a self-released EP titled The Polynomial Framework. This saw release back in December of 2011, but unfortunately did not have a lot of coverage. Is it a telling sign of what this release’s thirty minute length has to offer, or is this just another underrated and overlooked effort that should be at the forefront of the advancing movement?

The Polynomial Framework lasts about six tracks, and really has a strong production quality backing up it’s intricate output. The bass really shines through in the recording as its own beast, matching the edgy guitar distortion and cleaner leads in volume perfectly without drowning anything out, all the while becoming an important piece of the music’s foundation. The drumming is captured quite well with the clean cymbals close to the forefront that fill things up well, while the snares and the click of the bass kicks both sound really tight, though the first of the two sounds more impressive given that slight echo you can easily pick up on. There’s no lighter tone to the music that might set up some kind of aerial or region-specific atmosphere either, which is a huge plus considering the many bands of today, such as Animals as Leaders, who end up using that mechanic constantly.

Instead, what you get is some really heavy, rather complex, and headbang worthy aggression that is rare for instrumental driven Progressive Metal. “Revolutions” has a slow build up as muffled chords give a Middle Eastern touch to the introduction, but taking a back seat to the commanding riffs and drums that establish this effort as a bit of a darker, and definitely heavier entry. Things pick up about a minute in, and the bass offers up a catchy rhythm against the groovier chords that do stick to a tighter repeating pattern against disjointed drumming that can sound a bit off with the pacing in the main verses. Some chugging bridges and cleaner glorious leads offer a ray of hope prior to a slowing dismal crash that helps to build the tension once more with a slightly hollow, yet haunting passage.

While “Revolutions” makes for a great introduction, it doesn’t quite establish what’s to come too well. “Conductive Cell” is easily one of the best songs off the release, offering up some really dismal and oppressive riffs with a stronger bass presence that makes headbanging along impossible to resist. This includes during the executed breakdowns, an element that appears on others throughout similar to the slower passage of the previous track, and the solid shift between them to far more technical material, and an impressive guitar solo. The chorus here is lighter, but that’s due to it being driven more by melody, something that this EP capitalizes on to give the strongest Melodic Death Metal groups of today a run for their money. But, when it comes to attitude-driven material, “The Construct” has plenty of crushing bass pushed grooves throughout that end up interlaced with tighter guitar riffs for an interesting outcome. The guitar solo here does become usher in some eccentric elements, but given how brief this out of nowhere concept is, it ends up more like a failed performance they didn’t bother to cover up or re-record instead of something important to the flow of the song.

If you’re tired of these “out of body experience” instrumental Progressive Rock or Metal albums that seem to whisk you away to only one upbeat location, then The Polynomial Framework is definitely something right up your alley. The slight to overly technical push in the musicianship really speaks on the band’s musical talents, and not having every other riff become an overly dramatic push of showing off becomes a breath of fresh air, though sometimes what solos exist can take away from the heavier bite the deeper tones and louder bass guitar really make an effort to concentrate on. Prescient have put together a strong, commanding album that is unlike much of what the Progressive Metal style has been offering as of late, and it’s a six song EP that anyone who listens to this style simply needs to experience. The Polynomial Framework is a breath of fresh air, and one of the best instrumental albums in a long time.

01. Revolution – 6:27
02. Conductive Cell – 4:59
03. Phases of Penumbra Pt. I – 3:46
04. Phases of Penumbra Pt. II – 5:14
05. The Construct – 4:38
06. Foresight – 5:00
Overall Score: 9/10
Prescient (band)
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Physical review copy of this release provided by Prescient.