I always despise writing negative reviews. Believe me, I do. I
don't relish in it at all. Swedish group Tucana released their debut album in
the end of 2012, and they call it baroque progressive metal. This basically
means that it is metal with attention to detail that creates drama and grandeur.
I don't know about you, but that defines many, many bands out there. So, it
doesn't really set them apart in my mind.
Nonetheless, I will give my opinion. This group employs
progressive metal, i.e. riffing guitars, and mixes it with some delicate
orchestral instrumentations and piano. My problem lies in two areas, however:
the vocalist and the music. First of all, the vocalist is rather annoying. He
does his best impression of Russell Allen from Symphony X with maybe a splash of
vocal techniques unique to Roy Khan, ex-Kamelot. Yes, my main problem is NOT
that he sounds like them. My main problem is that he tries too hard to sound
like them through obvious vocal techniques. Now, I suppose there's nothing wrong
with this, but it's inescapable and renders his performance boring and lacking
in real personality.
While we're at it, I'd have to say that the music has very
similar problems. It sounds like the band wants so badly to be Symphony X minus
amazing guitars and drums. Yes, the band has a similar method of using classical
interludes, but they sound like a rip-off of something on Symphony X's "V". Now,
I usually hate comparing bands like this, but the fact that they sound so much
alike is truly annoying. On top of that, the music is nowhere near as
interesting or proficient as Symphony X.
What does this mean? It simply means that Tucana gives us
nothing more than half-baked ideas, dull orchestrations, and songs that never
really sound like real songs. Everything is so loose and messy to the point
where the listener will just lose interest altogether. It's Symphony X lite in
every possible way.
Now, there are some beautiful moments. "A Dream Within a
Dream" has some good violin, and there are some excellent piano passages here
and there. However, for the most part, the album is long, drawn-out, and boring.
Nothing sounds lush or full. It's almost like they forgot to write half the
music. I understand that these guys have talent, but I feel that "Tucana" is not
the best debut album they could have released.