Schemata Theory: Dry Lung Rhetoric

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

Why you can trust Louder Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

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.

With over 10 years’ experience writing for Metal Hammer and Prog, Holly has reviewed and interviewed a wealth of progressively-inclined noise mongers from around the world. A fearless voyager to the far sides of metal Holly loves nothing more than to check out London’s gig scene, from power to folk and a lot in between. When she’s not rocking out Holly enjoys being a mum to her daughter Violet and working as a high-flying marketer in the Big Smoke.