Last Chance To Reason

Level 2

BY Birkir FjalarPublished Apr 12, 2011

Picture the film Revenge of the Nerds happening in this Internet- and computer-obsessed age. Instead of being bookworms, imagine them as metalheads and programmers that decided to put together a band that worship at the alter of Cynic, those quaint, essential extreme fusion metal luminaries. But it doesn't end there. This erratic space-prog cocktail is a vehicle for some of the geekiest lyrics I've come across in years. Gaming, caches, downloads, programming, viruses, coding and binary are amongst the subjects tackled. It is ridiculous at first, but soon you are buying into the concept and the poignancy unveils itself. "What is this that scans my mind? Is there truth to this digital life? I reprogram this world to user specifications." Indeed. These guys are bold and ambitious like Between the Buried and Me, and there are aural similarities between the two. "Upload Complete" and "Programmed For Battle" grab your attention and feature fantastic moments. But that's what Level 2 is: an amalgam of moments that vary in the memorable department. With multiple change-ups and transitions within each song, they rarely get the chance to soar as high as some of the album's parts desperately want to. But when they do, much like in the second-half of "The Prototype," you are reminded of how arresting this band could be if they'd managed their collective ADHD.

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