Amogh Symphony – Vectorscan

Location: Washington D.C., USA
Genre: Experimental/Avant Garde
Released: September 16, 2014
Format Reviewed: FLAC
Feature: National Uprising – Recent Releases

By: Kris Kotlarik

I am usually wary of albums that feature excessively long album/song titles, regardless of the genre. Fiona Apple is famous for this, and she’s basically the queen of indulgent pop (You hear that, Lady Gaga?). The song titles in this album are so freakishly long that I will not be mentioning them.

I’m also wary of albums that have pointless introductions, and this intro is terrible; nothing more than ambient noise, which only gets worse on various parts of the album, such as the third track. This includes frog noises, deliberate cutoffs, and distorted samples, which serve no purpose. Essentially, this is Devlab but with weak(er) production.

There are actually some good moments on here; the second and fourth tracks show a wide amount of ethnic influences in Amogh Symphony’s music, as well as elements of metal, classical and jazz. The problem is that it’s poorly executed and mixed in an even worse fashion. There’s no coherence at all (the sixth track is all over the place), and the only vocals to speak of seem to come from samples of various female singers from India.

There is beauty to be found in experimental or Avant Garde music, but even the most bizarre Coltrane records still had more coherence than this album. Everything feels thrown together, and the only reason I could think of to listen to this is if…well, see the overall summary.

Overall: This is the equivalent of being trapped in someone else’s trip on ‘shrooms gone awry. In Amsterdam. 

Rating: 1*

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6 comments

  1. Actually, it’s a poor review with no actual research on the artist. I heard the entire album for about 5 times with the storyboard posted on their website and it all makes sense. I think the production is very top notch and experimental because i am a sound engineer myself 🙂 so at least i can use my ears and tell. The album is really innovative and interesting. I am not really a big fan of their previous albums but Vectorscan goes to my favorites list. I would give 8 in ratings.

    1. I tend to do extensive research on artists that I am not familiar with, and this case was no exception. At the same time, the artist itself does not necessarily do much to change the rating, which is why I don’t make a point in rattling off the artist’s biography when doing the review unless it adds something of note, and I didn’t see anything that stood out. I mentioned Devlab, the electronic ambient album by Devin Townsend, who I have stated on several occasions to be among my favorite musicians. I do not care for Devlab; I consider it to be overly indulgent to the point of being grandiosely incoherent, and that makes an impact on how I feel about the album’s sound. That was basically my thoughts on this album. And I stand by my comments on the production, although I can see where others would disagree for various reasons. It throws a lot at the listener, and while the sound quality itself is pretty good, the mix throws everything off balance for me.

      Simply put, this is probably not a style that I am not going to be in favor of most of the time. The promo I received for this album tagged it as progressive metal, and it wasn’t what I was expecting. Thanks for your comment. If you have recommendations of albums I should check out, I would be interested in any suggestions you may have.

      1. I got your point. Don’t worry i am not hating your review. You’re doing a wrong comparison(referring to devlab). So you imagined a wrong picture. I personally found the mix very breathing and head-spacy. It has a lot of dynamics and they’ve kept it uncompressed(i am tired of ear fatigue extreme compressed mixes we hear in modern prog metal bands with programmed drums). I am not defending anything but the review is pointless and misleading.

        i would suggest you to hear artists such as John Zorn, Behold the arctopus, The Axis of Perdition, Usssy and such. Again, i agree with some of your points.

  2. I’ve enjoyed this album for a while now. First got it from bandcamp and now CD. The songs work extremely well and feels like they are locked with visual imagination of the concept story. I actually didn’t like The Quantum Hack Code because each time i hear those narrations it used to get on my nerves. They kept the entire album silent this time. the ambient soundscapes are spooky and very greatly done. They actually recorded with Goregaon Brass Orchestra this time and it gels so amazingly !! I am impressed that they did not use samples but engineered the album with some prog jazz parts. Everyone think of only allan holdsworth when it comes to jazz these days. This reminds me of Zappa, Sonny Sharrock and Axis of Perdition. Don’t really understand why would anyone hate it. Well we all have opinions.

    1. I can see why people would like this album; I’m just not one of them. The only time I would unilaterally condemn an album is if it gets a 0 or 0.5 rating. I may not have liked this album, but it’s far from “terrible” just because I didn’t like it.

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