We’ve spoken a lot over the past few years about modern progressive metal; we seem to go back and forth between derision/exasperation with the genre and hope for the future, as many new musicians seem to be intent on dragging the more conservative and tired elements of the genre into the future. Luckily, I’m here today to talk about the latter; PSION deal in the kind of energetic and fresh progressive metal that’s sorely needed today and which blends well with the (re)surging interest in the genre. Their music is the kind of sleek, engaging progressive metal which channels influences from the past of the genre while doing plenty of interesting things with it to keep the listener interested.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise either once you look at their lineup; Tom MacLean is best known as the ex-basist for Haken and current member of the jazz fusion group To-mera. Alongside him, another familiar name should be Jasper Barendregt (Dodecahedron, Ulsect). Together, the two do much to inject the energy found on the band’s debut EP. However, ignoring the joint forces of Nikolas Wolf on guitars and, especially, the impressive vocal performance of Bryan Ramage (of the insanely underrated Cilice) would be a mistake. Together, the resulting music calls to mind Pain of Salvation mostly; Ramage’s flairs above thick synths, booming bass and heavy guitars ties the EP directly to the middle era, “dark progressive” that was enshrined by Pain of Salvation.
The track available for streaming right now, ahead of the album’s release on September 1st, is all of that and more. It’s hard to stress how much “Void” gets right; the thick, djent like lines on the outro (coupled with Ramage’s screams), the intricate passages and composition of the main body of the track and the overall insistence on forward momentum make PSION a good name to watch out for if you’re interested in what modern progressive is doing today. Head on above to their Bandcamp and pre-order the album. As someone who has heard it in full, I can say you won’t regret it.