Overall Score: 7.5/10 Solo's: 9/10 Originality: 6/10 Instrumental Work: 8/10 Pros: Vocals | Solo's | Complex Riffing Cons: Feels too similar to Dream Theater in many places
For those not familiar with the name, Teramaze are an Australian prog metal group. Lead by the string six skills of Dean Wells, and having acquired themselves a new vocalist in the form of Nathan Peachey, their fifth album Her Halo is something of both a rebirth and a spreading of their wings. This album will serve as an introduction to Teramaze for many people, and the impression they receive should be a mostly positive one.
There are many songs worthy of particularly attention, with variation throughout the album. The title track “Her Halo” is where the album really starts to get going. It has an amazing solo and the guitar work throughout, particularly the underpinning main riff, veers more towards the prog metal territory of the likes of Symphony X and Dream Theater’s heavier songs which can never be classed as a band thing. Out of Subconscious has some great drumming, whilst Nathan Peachey’s vocal style and tone are more than reminiscent of the great James Labrie.
The instrumental Trapeze is definitely one for aspiring guitar heroes to sink their teeth into, with an intricate opening passage with complex riffing and solo’ing giving way to a delicate interlude and mid-section before picking up the pace again and going full throttle to the end. It’s a song that shows off the band’s considerable skills with their instruments perfectly. At the opposite end of the prog spectrum Broken slows the pace, with nice use of both acoustic guitar & keys coupled with very enjoyable vocal performance. It’s a great prog rock ballad, and includes yet another great solo from Dean Wells.
Delusions of Grandeur is a suitably grandiose and epic album closer. Soaring instrumentation throughout is highlighted by yet another great solo. The vocals in the final section of the song again are very Labrie-esque, so whether that is a good or bad thing is obviously down to the listeners tastes.
There is absolutely nothing “wrong” with Her Halo. Fans of prog rock and prog metal alike will find much to enjoy here. The main complaint is that in many places the songs sound very similar to some of the band’s influences and peers (particularly Dream Theater). It’s a big shadow to escape from, but with songs like Broken and Delusions of Grandeur, Teramaze show that they can be a hugely enjoyable and distinctive band. Overall Her Halo is a very solid album with some wonderful guitar work, and definitely worth investing some time to listen.
Teramaze’s Her Halo is out now on Mascot Label Group.