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You wait years for one progressive band to emerge from the desert landscape of Dubai and in typical fashion, a second follows immediately.  After Absolace earlier this year another gargantuan rises from the depths of the sands, a metallic oasis establishing itself within the United Arab Emirates.  Formed initially in Lebanon 2003, eight years passed before the release of debut “Worm’s Eye View” across the Middle East during October last year,  an additional nine months until re-released in July to a much wider audience. The preceding years proved tough, band fragmented as lead guitarist John Bakhos traversed the world before the death of rhythm guitarist Bernard in 2005 understandably brought progress to an abrupt halt. In 2010, everything taking shape once more, Bakhos and drummer Martin Lopez (Opeth, Amon Amarth, Soen) collaborating, enlisting vocalist Nadeem Bibby, bassist Rami Lakkis and synth player Uri Dijk, producing a compelling beast of an album, copiously packed with powerful vocals, searing playing and variation, satiating fully the appetite of prog metal devotees.

Fragmenting the Soul” an authoritative sizzling opener, unyielding riffs propel,  Bibby alternating depths of depravity trachea cleaving growls and soaring clean tones  supplemented by Lakkis’ jazz infused bass lines and Lopez’ drumming an essential ingredient, bulldozing rhythms and annihilating fills impelling his authority within the back line. 

Skygazing,” an opportunity to catch breath and re-group, similar feel to Iron Maiden’s “Remember Tomorrow” before the title track, opening samples perhaps referencing Middle Eastern conflict and Western intervention.  “Killing Time’s” frenetic riff swaggers lithely before an amalgamation of blues based rhythms and short jazz passage interjection, Lakkis reverting to more familiar terrain. “Breaking the Ballot” again indicating conflict and revolution, the necessity for change, Bibby’s vocal range extended to falsetto limit. 

Throughout “Worms Eye View,” song structures are seamlessly interlinked, time changes and moods negotiated effortlessly,  Porcupine Tree and, especially Opeth influences apparent, perhaps an over familiarity with the Swedish giants in epic closing track “Where Mockery Falls.”

While Anuryzm don’t break new ground, they certainly breathe new geographical life into a genre, verification aided by both Absolace and Skyharbor, metal and rock not confined to any particular continent.

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