Zombie Frogs
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Zombie Frogs

Boston, Massachusetts, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014

Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Metal Progressive




"Spotify Friday Review #120: Zombie Frogs - Awaken"

Zombie Frogs is a young band out of Boston’s Berklee School of Music where, as all prog metal fans know, Dream Theater first met up in the late 80’s. And like Dream Theater, these guys play a heavily symphonic keyboard/guitar riff style of progressive metal – except the music here is all instrumental. Yep, you heard that right, we’ve got a band of hungry young musicians but they’re pulling out an old-school heavy prog sound without going the Meshuggah/Periphery “djent” route that SO many young bands all over the world seem to only want to do (although the guys do list those two leading modern metal bands as major influences – go figure!)

The band is a five piece band with two guitars, bass, drums and keyboards with the keys (from Joey Izzo) heavily steeped in a very Jordan Rudess-esque prog rock/romantic style that mixes well with the guitars but does tend towards a lighter romantic style that I often felt was out of place in this style of music. Since the sound is so much in thrall to the Dream Theater style of metal, it probably works better for them to be without a singer. This debut album, Awaken (nod to Yes perhaps?) is an eight-song album at just under 50 minutes and begins with the symphonic metal opener, Leviathan, which offsets a majestic melodicism with some great crunchy grooves and some nice laconic guitar and piano solos. Potentially Broken Orange is a great song that begins with a piano intro (too-long IMHO) and goes right into a very heavy, highly intricate song that alternates heavy riffs and keyboard/guitar led wild melodic flourishes. It’s a nice prog metal workout that really shows off the guys’ chops really well. Most of the rest of the songs follow in a similar vein and I think the band really works best the heavier they get. Awaken begins with a rather haunting synth opening before quickly morphing in to a killer heavy groove that gets progressively more intense the longer the song goes on despite the keyboard solo lacking somewhat in focus. Awake But Not Alive is mostly a feature for keyboards but the piano parts are far too much in a romantic style for my tastes. Fortunately (for me) the album ends with Void and it’s the best song on the album for me with some really beautiful melodies and a great epic prog rock sound that really captivated me.

Zombie Frogs are pretty serious musicians with a lot of talent, both technically and compositionally and I did enjoy their seamless mixture of keyboard-led, melodically dramatic prog rock and aggressive prog metal. This a cool first effort by a young band that has a ton of ambition and drive but really needs to develop their own style more fully which I hope they’ll be able to do as they mature in their sound and discover what works best for them.

Rating 7.5/10 - Jeff Stevens

"ZOMBIE FROGS Awaken Review"

Zombie Frogs is an instrumental progressive metal band based out the Berklee College of Boston, the same school of our devoted Dream Theater. They must have taken the same lessons as the leader of the progressive metal bands, because their music has plenty of references with them. Some guitars and keyboards parts can resurrect some moments of Dream Theater, but also the way the band use the stop and go structure in their songs. The style of this CD is very symphonic with some classical arrangements, and a large use of the piano throughout the CD. There is some briefs jazz intrusions and like many bands of that genre a bunch of guitars solos and also some nice keyboards solos. We can hear the influence of Michael Romero of Symphony X on some guitars parts and a bit of djent influences. This is a nice instrumental progressive metal CD with strong compositions, only a couple of songs have some shortcomings, but it's not going to reinvent the genre. For those who like music that is not too heavy but enjoy some progressive metal with a symphonic style of Dream Theater and a lot of piano will dig in. - rdtprog

"Song Review: Zombie Frogs - "Anura""

Goosebumps. That’s the answer to the question “What happens when a bunch of virtuoso-level students from Boston’s world renowned Berklee College of Music get together to make music.” Allow me to give an aural guided tour to what I believe is one of the most impressive pieces of music to ever grace the hallowed (pffft) halls of the IPHYB office. Continue on, dear reader, and I will show you paradise. Paradise in musical form.

*bump* First goosebump appears just as the intro swell builds to a reverse looped piano. The actual melody peers meekly around the corner, not willing to reveal it’s true self just yet. The guitars cut in, breaking your gaze just long enough for the melody to escape. You chastise yourself for being distracted so easily while the melody continues to play havoc with your mind, weaving in and out of the background like an Osprey gracefully practicing her turns through the clouds. Just as you catch another glimpse, it’s too late and she has returned to playfully clip your ear as she passes, a coy reminder of her elusive prowess.

*bump* More goosebumps. This time, she has manifested herself as the vast, rolling Ocean itself. The Synth solo washes over you, your insignificance in the greater scheme of things writ large in her undulating embrace. We are all nothing, yet everything all at once. Your entire existence becomes one great paradox. You begin to stir; a disquietened mind brings no rest.

*BUMP* Stronger now. Your unease is instantly set aside as she returns to reassure in the form of a den mother Wolf. The assertive warmth of the lead break brings you closer to home than you’ve ever truly been, though you are only just realising it. Smooth, velvetine fur becoming coarser without bristling to touch. A warm muzzle breathing stillness and innate calm into the very fibre of your being. You ARE home.

*bump* The final salvo. A gurgling, babbling brook appears as the bass takes it’s turn in the limelight. She speaks of nourishment, a bountiful harvest of lifeblood and the assurance that we will last the day. She makes no promises but in that fleeting instant of cognizance you realise that it was never necessary. She is here NOW and that is all that matters. Her, You and Now. Everything else is irrelevant. Transient. Inconsequential.

There are a thousand mindsets with which you could approach this masterpiece of composition and skill, yet none of them will ever reveal the true elegance found within. Every time you think you have it figured out, another piece of the puzzle presents itself. The relative softness of the production is the only thing that you could ever hope to improve on, although it may change the dynamic irrevocably. As it stands, THIS is art. THIS is where inspiration, skill, dedication and sheer craft intersect.

This honestly transcends our current rating system. Everything in this song is an utter masterwork. I am iffy on the production, but in the scheme of things it really doesn’t fucking matter one bit. I’m not giving this traditional ratings, but I can assure you that it gets a 10/10 for enjoyment. Every aspect bar the production is worth of a straight 10/10 in it’s own right as well. - Erised


Release: January 2014
Format: Album

Release: June 2014
Format: Single



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