Staff Rating

4.65/5

User Rating

0/5

Reflux - Illusion of Democracy

knifeandfacetragedy   (61 reviews)

Posted: 09/21/2005 | Comments: 24 | Rate:

Reflux is the best progressive metal group to hit the scene in a long time. From the lyrical content to the intense musicianship of "Illusion of Democracy," Reflux hammers out socio-political messages with the complexity of dillinger escape plan, musicianship that rivals Dream Theater, guitar solos to rival Joe Satriani, but with a unique melody-driven style that is purely signature to Reflux. Their live show is intense, complex and brutal. They throw in a few sound bites for their live show, adding a new element to the music that makes it even more interesting.

Vinny Vinh is a frantic, busy-as-hell drummer and drives Reflux with some of the most impressive licks and grooves ever applied to metal. Tosin Abasi's guitar style is unique and rippling, utilizing a broad array of effects throughout the album, focusing primarily on looping, which is used profusely in most of their tracks. This album is especially incredible considering there is only one guitarist, who uses two separate amps and looping effects to duplicate every sound on the album for the live show.

Evan Brewer's bass licks are jazz and funk influenced, though the production of the album unfortunately renders bass levels almost inaudible. Having allegedly been trained for several years by incredible funk bassist Victor Wooten, Brewer's style is unique to heavy music and should be emphasized moreso.

Ash Avildsen's lyrics are political and philosophical, good for anyone who's fed up with the war in Iraq, the current administration or general injustices in the world. His vocal style provides versatility, something that has been overlooked time and time again in the progressive metal genre, including a variety of screams, shouts and clean choruses.

I give this band a 100 for technicality not because they play breakneck warpspeed blastbeats or ridiculous transitions that consist of ten different time signatures in five seconds, but because they utilize time signatures from across the board for several minutes at a time, leaving plenty of room for creative interpretation. Most of the songs clock in around 6-7 minutes and easily float in and out of several genres, including thrash metal, fantasy metal guitar solos and massive off-tempo hardcore breakdowns, while entirely avoiding cliché metalcore riffing that you hear in bands like Atreyu, FATA and other shitty bands.

Ultimately, Reflux deserves a high five for this release. It is one of the most elaborate and well-thought out releases this scene has seen and will prove to be a good precedent for a second album release, which I am already waiting for.

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Comments
Old Head
39,027 Posts
62/M/NA
reflux owns.
awesome
595 Posts
37/M/ID
Also, mp3's can be heard at www.myspace.com/reflux
Whatulookinat?
3,285 Posts
34/M/NA
The next record should be good.
awesome
595 Posts
37/M/ID
It'll be interesting to see if it's more cohesive or as across-the-board as this one is.
Whatulookinat?
3,285 Posts
34/M/NA
As long as they don't totally switch up their sound, it will probably be better.
gary
62,973 Posts
32/M/NA
I heard this band being played at the last metal show I went to, didn't sound too bad.
I have no legs!
119 Posts
29/M/VA
i've pleyed with them before, their singer ash is a jerk
life is gawbage
22,796 Posts
39/M/NY


Reflux are fucking excellent live
awesome
595 Posts
37/M/ID
You must have caught Ash on a bad night. He's actually a great guy.
I have no legs!
4 Posts
37/M/NA
we were playing a show in europe with theses guys & they're just amazing musically & personally + I love tiod!
I have no legs!
20 Posts
38/M/FL
this band is def good. However, sometimes when listening I think enough already move on to the next. However, I can't figure out how they come up with that much shit to fill that album out with like a never ending gobstopper of riffs and parts and such. My speculation is they will run out of ideas and the next record will sound very very similier. Although I hope it does not.
awesome
595 Posts
37/M/ID
I know what you mean. A song can go on for 8 minutes and only using the same riff twice ... yet each song has character and not just a bunch of random parts stuck together. I think the newer material will be tighter with songs averaging around 4-5 minutes instead of 7-8 minutes, with more clear transitions and a bit more to the point. Who knows though, they could revolutionize their sound as it is, I'd almost like that more. as long as they progress, who cares though?
listen to neurosis
10,733 Posts
34/M/VA
I think the vocalist for this band sucks, not as a person, I just think he lacks a lot of talent (though he might be a tad crazy). For instance any and all clean vocals on this cd blow hard, and his screaming is certainly not top notch. Anywho, the rest of the band is wildly talented though as of late I have trouble listening to it, I just think some of the songs could have been more solidly written.
awesome
595 Posts
37/M/ID
Ripping on Reflux's vocalist when you've got Whitesnake in your profile is pretty gutsy. Nothing personal...



I think he's a great vocalist. People need to take bands for what they are and quit comparing them to what they personally think the band should be. Some great hardcore/metal bands have really bad vocalists, but they get along just because the music is good. Ash can actually sing, and while he doesn't wail soprano vibrato like david lee roth, he has a great voice for the music they're performing. Besides, there are only a few clean vocal parts, and I think his scream is well above average. Much better than some of the bands they tour with, especially. Besides, you've got hardcore/metal acts like high on fire, hatebreed and terror listed -- talk about baaad metal vocals.



I agree that sometimes the music can be pretty scattered and random, but again, I take it for what it is. I assume they intended to do everything that they performed on that album, and in the shadow of their incredible abilities, I like to think it's a privalege to even try and understand what they're all about.
stilltrue
2 Posts
14/F/NA
good stuff

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