1. The Sign Of Tomorrow
2. Dark Horizon
3. Shattered Memories
Toward the end of September 2000, Jamie Mazer posted a notice in alt.music.progressive alerting people of the existence of his band, Exhibition. I'm always interested in up and coming progressive metal acts, so I followed the URL to their web site and downloaded the mp3 files there. I was immediately struck by the level of the music and I wrote to the band for information on getting a copy of the demo CD. This review is based on that demo.
The three songs offered here are in the vein of melodic power metal with progressive underpinnings. There are hints of early Fates Warning evident in the songs, especially in the vocal melodies. The overall tone is darker than Dream Theater, more in keeping with recent work from Digital Ruin or Pain Of Salvation. There are changes in tempo and tenor as one would expect from progressive metal. Each of the songs is longer than the usual run of the mill pop schlock geared toward those of shorter attention spans. The disc opens with a haunting piece of organ work on "The Sign Of Tomorrow" which rips into a rocking ride for the rest of the track. The eight and a half minute "Dark Horizon" is a wonderful track weaving in and out of several levels of emotion. Those emotions come even more into the front of things on the closer, "Shattered Memories".
The music is guitar driven surrounded by the keys. Together the guitars and keys complement each other and play off one another to make for a complex atmosphere into which the vocals soar. There is a lot of attention payed to the composition and how everything fits together. There is no grandstanding or contending to be in the spotlight. The band works as a unit to produce the song. For a demo disc, I am very surprised at the cohesive feel the three tracks have between them. They play together as if they were meant to be together. Even the order of the tracks on the disc is purposeful. It is attention to details like that which promises big things for the future. I look forward to the first "official" release from these guys.
Review by Matthew Braymiller
Review date: 11/2000