Wings Denied – Mirrors For a Prince – 9/10
– This is a fun album to review for me because within a short amount of time just after hearing about these guys, my band got to play a show with them in Long Beach. From checking these guys out because of the high amount of praise I was hearing for them to listening to this album over and over again so that I knew the material well when I saw them live, this album got a lot of spins. Luckily, the journey of listening to it over and over again was worth it, because the musicianship is very high caliber for a debut from such a young band. When listening to it, I often forget that this is just a debut album because it feels like a band who has had a couple of albums under their belt and have gone through many different trials and errors to know exactly what their strengths and weaknesses are. I say this because the songwriting definitely plays to the band’s strengths and there is a high level of comfort from each member as the band plays through these difficult and technical songs. The style of music is a blend of Progressive Metal, Djent, and some moments of Technical Death Metal. It goes effortlessly through odd time signatures, bouncy riffs, technical guitar licks, and a wide range of vocal styles. Throughout all of this, it retains it’s catchiness and has you singing along with each song. From the Protest the Hero-like opener “Generation Y”, to the start/stop riffs of “In Search of the Sunrise”, to the classic metal riffs of “Maiden”, to the sludge metal of “Néant” (which features Joe Lester of Intronaut on bass), to the album’s closer which is an epic 11 minute song called “Six Years and a Day”, this 54 minute album can be tedious at times to listen to the whole thing in one sitting, but that is because of the complex nature and technicality of the music. Each member deserves praise. Sometimes when listening to the album, it is easy to just focus on what one instrument is doing. But the real reward is in listening to each instrument and seeing how they blend perfectly with each other throughout these complicated lines and counter melodies or poly rhythms. If you are in the right mindset for this type of music, it can be one of the most rewarding experience to see how they are able to develop over the course of a single album.