Power of Metal.dk Review

The Reservoir
Style: Progressive Rock/Metal
Release date: 14 January, 2014
Playing time: 53:41

I believe I may have found the most terrifying female voice ever recorded. Tungsten, a progressive rock band out of Philadelphia, has quite an interesting mix of styles and sounds, but, first and foremost, their female vocalist simultaneously amazes and disturbs. Now, this certainly isn't a bad thing. Not at all. Yet, it can take some time to appreciate. More on that later, though.

Tungsten is certainly an eclectic bunch when it comes to style. The band plays what they describe as a mix of Pink Floyd's psychedelia with the intense guitarisms of the likes of Iron Maiden. This is a rather good description, as you will notice tons of these two styles. What this description doesn't mention is the incredible way in which they weave these two components together. Many bands pretend to have a variety of styles, but they only pull it off by writing different songs in those respective styles. Tungsten, however, mixes these styles impeccably, and astonishingly, too, I might add. Blistering licks and solos penetrate a thick layer of psychedelic sounds and subtle keys: Technical drums bounce along with the wonderful bass and always come crashing back down into atmospheric sections. The music weaves back and forth, and it's not anything rare to hear riffs slam right into a wall of hypnosis. It's somewhat difficult to explain, but never hard to listen to pleasurably.

Of special mention are the guitars and synth. Ben Grossberg and Jeff McCall on guitars are impressive in not only their excellent skills, but also in their ability to turn that skill off at moment's notice. Their solos are also very solid and very organic. Justin Jones on keys is also a highlight with his uncanny ability to craft solos out of subtle, quieter tones. At first, I was taken aback, yet soon I began to appreciate the soothing, lower sounds in contrast to the bombastic, energetic guitars and the rhythm section provided by Mike Louis on bass and JT Wieme on drums. 

Of course, I can't forget Titi Musick. This vocalist has quite a voice, and that's putting it mildly. She has a wonderful, slightly crazed voice, but she also crosses over into harsh vox semi-often. I was really surprised at this. Her power and her range are really apparent when she does this, but I can understand how some people would be turned off by this. I, for one, think that it's strange and interesting to hear a female vocalist sing harsh vocals, and I enjoy them. However, there are some moments when she scares the piss out of me.

Tracks are all of very high quality. My favorites are probably "Water Over Stone", "Contamination", and the astounding epic, "The Reservoir". All of these, and the rest of the album, are heavy, yet contain many slower, key-driven sections. So, I can't say that every track has its own personality, or even that it's easy to tell them apart completely. However, this album is better taken as a whole with some great ideas that are implemented very well.

Bombastic in their metal, and quiet in their rock moments; Tungsten are a band full of diversity, and, yet, unity. Masterfully weaving contrasting elements, the band effortlessly has created a debut album of which they can be proud. "The Reservoir" is a success in that it showcases the energy, skill, and maturity that this band already has. I can't wait to hear what they offer next.

01. Water Over Stone
02. Contamination
03. Atmos (Masto) Stoma
04. Night Wanders By
05. Coda
06. El Dolor
07. The Opera House
08. The Reservoir
Label: Independent
Distribution: Tungsten @ Bandcamp
Artwork rating: 75/100
Reviewed by: Jason Spencer
Date: 22 April, 2014
Website: Tungsten @ Bandcamp