Exposé Online banner

Standing Ovation — The Antikythera Mechanism
((Not on label) no#, 2012, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2014-03-08

The Antikythera Mechanism Cover art

For some listeners, I suppose, pretty much anything labeled Prog Metal will be attractive, but for someone like me who is outside that group, a prog metal band has to do something special to not warrant dismissal. That being said, I pride myself on being open-minded, and certainly take the time to soak in any music that I'm reviewing and give it a fair chance. Finland's Standing Ovation get off on a good foot with "Scatter," the short introductory track to this album. It features a very nice acoustic guitar part full of interesting chords and phrases; after nearly two minutes, keyboards and other instruments join for a very brief ending, again with inventive chords. Then we jump into more typical prog metal territory, with chugging guitars and pounding drums, but there are some nice touches, like varying time signatures and breaks where the bass or a guitar will toss off an unexpected harmonic flourish. The vocals are snarly, not gruff, for the most part, and don't detract from my enjoyment, though a few moments of awkward English pronunciation break the mood. I haven't delved too far into the subject matter, though there are certainly some dark images (torture, dismemberment, and so on), but they don't seem to involve any fantasy worlds or mythology. And the track "I Have Superhuman Powers" actually seems to be about a sensitive kid who finds comfort in comic books. Throughout, the music is well-played, and there's a good balance between quiet and loud, keys and guitars, and even some passages with very nice backing vocals. There are times when the riffs and fills venture outside the key signature, adding some harmonic interest as well. The album finishes off with the three-part title suite, running about 20 minutes, and while it's musically interesting and varied, I couldn't tell you what it's about, though it seems to attribute some kind of power to the titular artifact. All in all, an engaging effort that reminds me prog metal is not the dead end I sometimes think it is.


Filed under: New releases, 2012 releases

Related artist(s): Standing Ovation

Latest news

2021-01-18
Asia Minor Third Album on the Way – On January 29, AMS records will be releasing the long-awaited third album by classic Turkish-French band Asia Minor. Released last year in Japan, this will be the widespread debut of Points of Libration. The album features original members Setrak Bakirel (vocals, guitar) and Eril Tekeli (flute, guitar). » Read more

2020-12-09
Harold Budd RIP – Harold Budd, one of pre-eminent American composers of avant-garde and minimalism, has died of complications from the coronavirus. Budd came to prominence in the 70s, championed by Brian Eno on his Obscure Records label, with music that blended academic minimalism with electric jazz and electronic music. Much of Budd's best known work was done in collaboration with other artists, including Eno, Daniel Lanois, Robin Guthrie, Andy Partridge, John Foxx, Jah Wobble, and many others. » Read more

2020-11-20
25 Views of Worthing Finally Gets Released – A while ago, we wrote about the discovery of a "long lost" Canterbury-style gem by a band called 25 Views of Worthing. And now we're pleased to find out that Wind Waker Records has released their music on an LP. » Read more

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


Previously in Exposé...

East of Eden - Graffito – Hot on the heels of Eclectic’s reissue of East of Eden’s first two LPs comes a brand new recording from the founding lead voices of the band: saxophonist Ron Caines and violinist Dave Arbus....  (2006) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues