Abu Dhabi is known for a lot of things: grand skyscrapers, luxury hotels, golden beaches, searing heat. But prog metal? Not so far.
Anuryzm, however, have been valiantly flying the flag for the genre in the city since 2010, and their second album sees the group build on an arresting sound that’s snagged them support slots with the likes of Nightwish and Black Sabbath. For every two minutes of palm-muted metal chops, there’s another one resplendent in lush acoustic musings or key-driven atmosphere. And it’s this dichotomy that serves the record well, with highlight Humanoid – a distant cousin of Symphony X that brims with guitar gusto – complemented by the likes of the placid, Opeth-meets-Floyd Oceans Apart. Anurzym aren’t reinventing the ol’ wheel, but there’s enough imagination to tread new paths. And if prog fans have eight minutes to spare in their busy schedules, they should check out album closer Perispirit. It’s a microcosm of this band’s sound, with metal, melody and musicianship simmering away in a cauldron of honest, gritty songwriting that feels a world away from the ornate glamour and gravy train nature of Anuryzm’s plush home city.