Spiral Architect A Sceptic's Universe

Although the band is named after a Black Sabbath classic, those that are looking for a little bit of Sabbath-style technical ecstasy may want to look elsewhere. This Norwegian quintet is the most futuristic, technically adroit bands currently out there. A Sceptic's Universe is the band's debut release and wow, what an amazing debut it is. Led by the tasteful, complex rhythms laid down by the band's leader, bassist Lars Norberg, they rocket through nine futuristic songs that up the ante in current progressive metal. Norberg's bass is the catalyst that propels the rest of the band forward, pushing guitarists Steinar Gundersen and Kaj Gornitzka's complex, twin guitar interplay while meshing perfectly with the precise drumming of Asgeir Mickelson, a name familiar for his drumming on the newest Borknagar release. Rounded out by former Manitou singer Oyvind Haegland, who has a voice on him like a cannon, this record is well worth the three-and-a-half years it took the band to piece it together. This is the most exciting new progressive metal band since Watchtower emerged in the late '80s. A Sceptic's Universe has raised the standard for all prog metal and is an instant classic. (Sensory)