The heavy music scene is experiencing a renaissance. No longer are fans demanding nothing but the old and familiar, and a new school of bands is emerging with releases of unparalleled quality and originality. Italian quintet Prospective are one of those bands. They bring a much-needed change to the heavily djent-saturated progressive scene with their experimental and often unashamedly catchy tunes. Releasing their debut EP Chronosphere and following up with their first full length Beyond shortly after their inception in 2013, they are also quite a young band, and a very promising one given their list of achievements so far. Sharing the stage with heavyweights such as Northlane and Uneven Structure, Prospective have already began making waves in the Italian progressive scene, and now clearly have their eyes on a wider audience. 2018 saw the band emerge with an effort that is every bit as ambitious and polished as any of the bigger releases in the genre this year. The album made its debut at #4 of the iTunes Metal Chart and #13 Rock Chart and making it to #78 in Italy’s Top 100. Blending heavy elements and sing-along melodies with pulsating grooves and crushing guitars, the band walk the line between heavy and melodic masterfully, while incorporating ear-worm melodies and progressive charm. Fans of Circles and Polaris, this might just be your new favourite band.
Although many similarities can be drawn between Prospective and the early works of bands like Tesseract or Periphery, it is certainly a comparison based on very first impressions. Taking the time with Prospective’s work, one discovers there is a very distinct sound to this band that is very much their own, particularly in the way they build their song structures – nothing remains static for long and every track is an ever-evolving organism. While there certainly are elements that are expected and somewhat uninteresting, the band pulls the listener back just at the right time with a new groove or a catchy vocal section and keeps you on your toes. When Prospective decide to get serious about being heavy, their guitar works are uncompromisingly chunky and tight, contrasting beautifully with the pop-influenced catchy melodies on top. In many ways, Unreal is reminiscent of Polaris’ The Mortal Coil with its big melodies and ambitious leaps into djent and progressive metal territory, but there is a calmer and more approachable vibe to this work. Unreal is almost certainly the heaviest pop record you’ll hear this year, and its greatest asset is the fact that it can easily be enjoyed by fans of both modern metal and alternative rock, and songs like Only You would fit well onto any radio station’s rotation. This is somewhat of a departure from the band’s previous works, however an intentional one as the band themselves note. Guitarists Luca Zini and Davide Ruggeri are the driving force behind the unusual and soaring melodies of Pietro Serratore’s vocals. The production also helps this mix of moods and nuances work together. Teaming up with Italian producer Federico Ascari and Matt Dalton (Born Of Osiris, Emmure), the band has delivered a polished and modern sounding record that is a touch more organic than what’s common for the genre. Singles So Far Gone, Only You and The Void are great excerpts and perfect show pieces to sum up the record – heavy while remaining soft, simultaneously melodic and complex, and most importantly, incredibly original. The band’s venture into a more progressive territory pays off and it might just be what makes Unreal a formidable listen – every move is unexpected, but every track has the potential to be a single. The band’s skilful use of melody is the glue that holds the album together and what will ultimately set them apart from the rest.
Prospective are well on their way to becoming one of the most prominent bands in the djent movement, and this album is a testament to a band that is ambitious, unafraid and capable of breaking boundaries. Confidently emerging from the confines of genre, Unreal is perhaps the next heavily rotated album in your playlist.
Get there album HERE!