Style : Progressive / power metal
Rating : 3 / 5
Summary : A reasonably solid body of old-style progressive metal with love-em or hate-em vocals and nice dual guitar work
All the elements are here - solid rhythm, very good wailing metal vocals, tons of good guitar solos, and a great power ballad - everything you'd expect from your progressive metal. Utah-based Katagory V (say 'category 5') plays your basic standard heavy- or progressive- or power-metal, emulating in various degrees acts like Kamelot, Queensryche or Fates Warning.
Lynn Allers' vocals define this music, and while his timbre and range are up to the task, his style may not have universal appeal. Listen to "No Response" to hear the characteristic trill he adds. Some songs' melodies border on bland, yet other songs are rather catchy. The band is at its best when it is not playing your garden-variety metal - they come into their own when they break the mold in songs like "Your Dreams", the title track, and the particularly appealing "One last Time" which is a well-crafted, nicely played ballad.
The dual guitar work is solid, with strong riffs, good solos and some very capable acoustic work as demonstrated in the 7-minute title track. The rhythm section can't be faulted either. Don't expect to find many keyboards, though, and as a consequence the music doesn't have the same textures as most in prog-metal. Yet there are plenty of complexities built into the music and the better songs are rich in tempo and time signature and key shifts. The title track, for example, is a 7-minute piece that starts with acoustic guitars and with Allers singing in soft high registers, backed by a strong mid-range chorus. The well played guitars interact perfectly with one another for a wonderfully rich sound. The metal instrumentation breaks in after about 3 minutes, and the songwriting and structure remain interesting and the instrumental sections work very well.
The booklet is by Deron Blevins, and the cover art is an impressive piece by Rainer Kalwitz (Shadow Gallery, Mark Boals, Millenium). Production on A New Breed Of Rebellion is questionable in some songs, yet seems better on others.
You get the impression that with the maturing experience of this CD under their collective belt, Katagory V will be turning out some quality stuff going forward.