Every now and then, a band comes along that restores your faith in the art of musical creation. With certain bands lacking a creative drive for excellence, it’s easy to get jaded as a music listener and feel that there isn’t much left out there to listen to and that everything has been done. So while going in with no expectations with regards to listening to the second album from Pressure Points, I left myself open to experience no disappointment if the end result wasn’t to my liking. But after listening over and over to this album, I experienced the complete opposite and I’m overjoyed to relate to you, the reader, that this is one of the best albums I’ve heard in a long time.
“False Lights” is the second album from the band, and it’s safe to say that they’ve nixed any idea of the dreaded “sophomore jinx” coming into play. A truly accessible prog sound is the best way to describe Pressure Points. Each of the songs are around eight minutes or longer, and they’re designed to let the music flow without expectations of time constraints. And although the sound is consistent and varied, each song is strong enough to stand on it’s own.
“Wreckage” starts out with a light bass thumping with accented guitar work, then melds into an organ driven, riff-laden atmosphere. The harsh vocals were a bit surprising considering what’s going on instrumentally, but it works. There’s lovely progressive energy coming at you in droves with the musical pace seamlessly switching between fevered and all-encompassing. Vocals also switch to a clean approach, which shows a nice contrast to the harsh vocalization. “Between The Lies” and it’s double-bass drums propel a fervent and upbeat start to the track, throwing in emotive guitar solos for good measure. The pace slows down mid-song, with a laid-back setting comforting the listener with lots of ambiance. “Electric Shadows” starts out very in your face with an Opeth sensibility, but still remains true to the Pressure Points sound. I love the interplay between the guitar and keyboard in this particular song as it gives out a great electricity and radiance. “Sleepwalk” features a nice light syncopation between the guitar and drums. There’s a electronic feel in the middle of the song and the drums use this to become more spacey, as well as the keyboard effects adding a robust atmosphere. “Dance Of Coincidence” takes much the same approach as “Electric Shadows”, with serene acoustic passages added into the mix when the pace starts to slow down. The track feels very much like a companion piece to said song, while at the same time standing on it’s own. “In Desolation” finishes out the album in glorious fashion, taking the progressive death approach. The band throws all their energy and might into this final track, leaving the listener with what must amount to an unreal level of satisfaction with a perfect climax and denoument to “False Lights”.
I love how you can’t tell where the band is going next in their sound. It just develops very organically. There’s no pressure (no pun intended) to throw everything at the wall and make it stick. The band instead opt to let the sound build expansively, yet at the same time remaining grounded. There’s no need to show off with instrumental theatrics here, and it leaves me wanting more out of every song, but not in a disappointing way at all. It just makes me not want it to end. Sound-wise, while I don’t like comparing other artists to a band I’m currently reviewing if I can at all help it, it’s important to note that the Opeth and Dan Swano leanings are somewhat evident. I don’t say that in a critical way at all. I say it in the sense that this music brings me back to the excitement of their all-time best albums, while building on that excitement and breaking new and fresh ground with their own take on the all-encompassing sub-genre that is progressive metal.
I can’t wait for a new album from these guys, because “False Lights” contains everything I want in an album, and I can’t see how they won’t be able to grow and make even greater strides in the metal world when they get to album number three.
02. Between The Lies
03. Electric Shadows
05. Dance Of Coincidence
06. In Desolation
Playing time: 56:40
Release date: 14 August, 2015
Label: 7hard Records
Website: Pressure Points Official Website