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AudioPlastik: In The Head Of A Maniac

Fiendishly good work from three journeyman proggers.

It’s been a long time coming but AudioPlastik’s debut is finally here.

If you missed the news story in last month’s Prog, this is the new side-project from Dec Burke (ex-Frost*/Darwin’s Radio), Simon Andersson (ex-Pain Of Salvation) and Threshold’s Richard West. And what a project it is. Cinematic with equal helpings of pop, EDM and metal, In The Head Of A Maniac is ambitious and packed full of surprises. Across each of the 13 tracks, West shapes Andersson’s metal and symphonic influences into beautiful piano lines, giving the album a strong, modern, European prog flavour in places, but it’s Burke’s melodic, ‘poppy’ vocals that give it a truly British slant. Standout tracks include Bulletproof with its math-rock riffs, melodic harmonies and dubstep interval, and the regal World Of Wonder, which proffers a more classic metal approach with a well-judged measure of neo balancing things out. There are softer moments too, such as ballads It Matters So Much and Leave Me Here, complete with majestic piano. AudioPlastik offer something different from Bad Elephant Music’s current roster. If you’re looking for neo with a modern twist, don’t miss this.

Natasha Scharf
Natasha Scharf

Contributing to Prog since the very first issue, writer and broadcaster Natasha Scharf was the magazine’s News Editor before she took up her current role of Deputy Editor, and has interviewed some of the best-known acts in the progressive music world from ELP, Yes and Marillion to Nightwish, Dream Theater and TesseracT. Starting young, she set up her first music fanzine in the late 80s and became a regular contributor to local newspapers and magazines over the next decade. The 00s would see her running the dark music magazine, Meltdown, as well as contributing to Metal Hammer, Classic Rock, Terrorizer and Artrocker. Author of music subculture books The Art Of Gothic and Worldwide Gothic, she’s since written album sleeve notes for Cherry Red, and also co-wrote Tarja Turunen’s memoirs, Singing In My Blood. Beyond the written word, Natasha has spent several decades as a club DJ, spinning tunes at aftershow parties for Metallica, Motörhead and Nine Inch Nails. She’s currently the only member of the Prog team to have appeared on the magazine’s cover.