‘Sentia’ is a prog/rock band from Melbourne. This new release contains 4 ambitious tracks that lean towards the more prog/metal realm using bold guitar leads and riffs, synth/strings to great effect and arrangements which don’t leave you scratching your head.
The group have a great vocalist who’s performance reminds me at times of a young Brandon Boyd (Incubus). For the most part it works well save for a few times when the notes don’t sit right or the range just isn’t there, quite forgivable. At certain points it felt like a harder edge or more abrasive vocal performance might have suited this material better. That may sound harsh and overall what’s been put down here is very confident and strong. It’s purely an area that could see development on future releases.
Opening track The Fire showcases the bands strength in full frontal guitars and lead tones. As a guitar player, it would be hard to dispute that a lot of time and energy must have been spent on the sounds and execution behind it all. Actually it should be acknowledged that the production value is pretty damn good on Origins. Each instrument and player sits right in mix, bass is deep and in the pocket with drums crisp and clean. The bass cuts through when needed but guitars have the floor most of the time. There is also plenty of space when it serves the song and it’s obvious that songwriting has been a focus rather than just piecing together riffs and ‘cool bits’.
Lead single Hydroflow starts with some ambient shimverb and subtle drum sticks tapping on the rim of the snare. Guitars palm muted heavily so as to sound like a clock ticking. Cool ideas. However the song lags a bit and the chorus falls flat which is a bummer until it’s massive final minute…big heavy grooves and a spoken word section brings back memories of The Mark Of Cain and then a prog outbreak of huge proportions explodes. These moments are the ones that hint at something really very special from ‘Sentia’. Like this is gold…much wow.
The instrumental title track Origins is a well executed piece of music that transitions between Hydroflow and EP closer Chrysalis. The off-time drums and intricate guitar tapping shows off just enough talent to get the point across…but pulls back to let vocals enter. When a verse is done it all rises back up again. The feeling is one of push and pull…tension and release. A very cool element to embed in music which could quite easily just let the prog take over.
It’s really exciting to see new and interesting artists coming out with music that brings imagination and fresh ideas to the mix. For ‘Sentia’ this EP should get definitely earn them attention but the real interest is for what might follow it down the road.
The musicianship is excellent, vocals are strong, songs are easy to listen to and never gets too much. Not many prog bands around at the moment can boast such things.
Give it a listen: