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Schemata Theory: Dry Lung Rhetoric

A powerful blend of metal and prog on the Reading rockers’ debut.

It would be a mistake for most bands to take fashionable metal fodder and give it a progressive edge. But then Schemata Theory aren’t most bands.

The Reading unit’s debut album, Dry Lung Rhetoric steals a position between the steroid-fuelled screamo pack and progressive metal types like Cynthesis, Leprous, even Vektor. For hapless romantics, chunky vocal melodies occasionally take centre-stage, while full-force screams come at you from the other corner.

Yet always scurrying underneath the sung parts is a brilliantly crafted rhythm section that combines Dream Theater noodling with weighty bass and distinctive clipped drumming. ‘Don’t be categorised,’ screams Myles Dyer on lead single A Complex Slate, in what sounds like a rallying cry for trend-followers. If this is their rulebook then they score high throughout.

Crisis Unveiled deploys a stilted tech intro, bursting into quick fire power metallic thrash before lunging into a hulking half-time instrumental epic. The album’s finest point actually runs throughout. Hardy and soulful co-vocalist Luke Wright is the perfect amalgam of a mafia leader and Elvis. He leads until the final notes.