Artist: Native Construct
Album: Quiet World
Native Construct is a five piece progressive metal band based out of Boston, Massachusetts. The group came together during 2011 at the infamous Berklee College of Music where the classically trained members began writing and recording their debut album, Quiet World. Released in 2015 under Metal Blade Records, Quiet World received an overwhelming amount of attention over the internet and rave reviews from progressive enthusiasts.
Quiet World comprises of seven tracks ranging from two minutes to thirteen minutes in length. Although the album offers fewer songs than a traditional LP, it clocks in at forty-eight minutes and makes the most of each and every second. Don’t allow the number of tracks deceive you. Native Construct packs more into a single song than most bands can do in a full length album
The album begins with its title track which encompasses everything that you need to know about this band. This six minute and twenty-one second epic ventures in and out of nearly every musical genre that you can think of. “Quiet World” even goes out of its way to slow the song’s tempo down to a near crawl and transport the listener to a smokey jazz bar featuring the vocal harmonies of legendary groups such as Queen and the Bee Gee’s. Despite the lush vocals and layering during this and similar sections, the track “Quiet World” showcases the band’s full musical capabilities through an array of down-tuned rhythm progressions and face melting guitar leads.
Native Construct isn’t just a metal/jazz outfit, however. Tracks such as “The Spark of the Archon,” “Passage,” and “Your Familiar Face” all showcase a more melodic side of the group’s abilities. Certain sections of these tracks even pay homage classical sound of operatic and theatrical vocals which pair well against the strings and horns brought in to fill the space. Although not as memorable as the album’s title track, these songs are at the core of the group’s stylistic approach. They are all unique in their own way, but also fit perfectly beside each other on the album.
“Come Hell of High Water” is a literal incarnation of Beethoven or Bach spliced with Between the Buried and Me. The band blends beautiful classical elements and the gritty technical aspects of well thought out progressive metal effortlessly. The track is big, bold, and on a scale unmatched in today’s music scene. Droning horns, a thick string section, theatrical vocals, and a cinematic conclusion, the track has it all.
The tracks “Chromatic Lights” and “Chromatic Aberration” bring the album to its end with nearly fifteen minutes of unapologetic progressive misdirection. Everything from soft piano, to mind-boggling time signatures are present in these final songs.
An angelic vocal performance supported by charming keyboards and strings are featured roughly halfway through “Chromatic Lights.” This section gives the listener a chance to embrace the rich vocals and emotional lyrics before seamlessly transitioning into a funky bass line and thick layers of synthesizers. More times than not, synth parts are added to a song only to fill space or replace the redundancy of distorted guitars. Native Construct, however, uses them to create a heavenly atmosphere before heading straight into complete and under doom metal with choppy guitar rhythms and a variety of percussive instruments.
The final minute of the album is something straight of the depths of Hell itself. Chugging guitar riffs, guttural vocals and powerful drums bring the album to a conclusion leaving the listener hopeful for just one more song.
Quiet World is simply a masterpiece. The musicianship is impeccable. The song crafting and writing in inspiring and jaw dropping. The use of so many different instruments and vocal approaches makes you wonder if the band was actually recording with a full sized symphony orchestra.
Native Construct has shown the music world what progressive song writing is capable of. To think that Quiet World is only the band’s debut album and that there is potentially more to come is both unbelievable and overwhelmingly exciting. To put it bluntly, Native Construct has made their mark on the metal scene with an absolutely perfect album.
Brother Mountain Score: 10/10