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Scale the Summit

The Collective (Prosthetic)

Reviewed by Dan Oko, Fri., March 16, 2012

SXSW 2012 Records

Scale the Summit

The Collective (Prosthetic)

Playing instrumental metal may be an uphill battle, but this jazzy, still-young Houston quartet is happy to let its strings carry the conversation. At times recalling their heroes Dream Theater, the band calls their brand of thrilling prog-rock "adventure metal," an apt description for music that could soundtrack freestyle skiing films. In short, things get heavy real fast on this sterling follow-up to 2009's Carving Desert Canyons. Would-be Guitar World cover boys Chris Letchford and Travis Levrier spin sticky, strung-out melodies lasting from less than three minutes to thunderous eight-minute opus "Black Hills." Produced by Mark Lewis (All That Remains), this release also finds the band a true collective, with increased contributions from drummer Pat Skeffington and bassist Jordan Eberhardt. From the torrid opener "Colossal," through the fusion-tinted quickie "Emersion," to the soaring outro "Drifting Figures," the Summit has many ways to take you higher. (Fri., 1am, Valhalla)

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