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Mercury X – ‘Imprisoned’

Frontiers Records
Dream Theater, Tesseract, Anathema
Release Date
December 10, 2021
Frontiers Records
Progressive Metal

The majority of songs on this album were written to accompany a 22-minute progressive metal opus initially intended for standalone release. Have I lost your attention yet? Bring it back, because this is far more interesting and impressive than you may think from that initial description. At a glance it seems like it could be textbook “we have no original ideas and pray to John Petrucci at a shrine in the bedroom we recorded this in” Prog Metal, but this is something much more, a genuinely fantastic slice of heavy, fun metal, with the similarities to Dream Theater more of an ‘inspired by’ than a ‘rip-off’.

The 4 ‘companion’ tracks are a nice blend of traditional Progressive Rock structures and modulations, straight Melodic Metal sounds, and brutal Tesseract/Haken-esque riffs, whilst title track and aforementioned 22-minute epic ‘Imprisoned’ is pure Progressive Metal on a level with the very best of Dream Theater and Symphony X, showcasing theatrical vocals, jarring transitions, and a full wall-of-sound mix with synth strings, and gorgeous clean piano piercing through from the background. This really is a manifestation of the best side of Prog Metal, and is a step up from the already great earlier work from Mercury X.

"A near-perfect example of modern Progressive Metal"

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