Exposé Online banner

Frameshift — An Absence of Empathy
(ProgRock no#, 2005, CD)

by Jeff Melton, Published 2006-05-01

An Absence of Empathy Cover artWithin the network of hard rock musicians there are plenty of opportunities for various players to meet, establish a working partnership and make some new music. Sebastian Bach (former lead singer of Skid Row) would appear to be one of the least likely performers on a casual glance that Chain’s metal brainchild Henning Pauly would enlist to deliver his second CD of bleak lyrical imagery but somehow it credibly works. After a few nods to Queensryche and Dream Theater (re: pummeling unison riffing) the twelve tracks are a competent statement of sophisticated hard rock that is clever enough to ensnare prog metal fans across the board. Bach’s vocal delivery is everything you need from an assertive front man who can carry melodic pieces such as “Just One More.” Pauly is the real workhouse of the project handling equally guitar, bass, and keyboard duties as well all arrangement charts. It’s no doubt that his vision of the project as well the in studio execution of powerful tracks such as “I Killed You” and “Blade” represent the key successes of the disc. The former song generates a bit of Whitesnake drama before a well conceived multi-vocal part is performed. The latter track relies on a bagpipe intro before transitioning into a heavy percussion section that reminds me of prime Alice in Chains meshed with a crafted Celtic theme. At times the project is a bit heavy handed but overall it’s well paced and convincingly thought out upon several replays. Closing out the disc is Bach’s controlled lead vocal backed for the first time by a restrained electric piano accompaniment that sums up the disc appropriately. In summary, this is a studio project that needs a live performance to have the broadest impact but sadly it seems unlikely given cost constraints.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 33, 2005 releases

Related artist(s): Frameshift

Latest news

2020-10-14
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more

2020-10-06
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more

2020-09-05
Gary Peacock RIP – Legendary bassist Gary Peacock, veteran of many recordings and performances with Paul Bley, George Russell, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, and many more. » Read more

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the age of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Garden Wall - Path of Dreams – After a rough, albeit promising debut, Principium, last year, I was surprised to find that this — Garden Wall's second album, delivers on most of those promises. For sure there are still some rough...  (1995) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues