Progressive rock is a genre that has its tested veterans and its one-shot failures, and very little in between. When a band forms and chooses its direction as progressive rock, that band needs to have a very clear goal in mind, or else they are usually destined to become one of the many one-shot failures. In the modern realm of prog rock, bands like Karnivool, Mutemath, and even Coheed & Cambria have garnered immediate success because of their clear and distinct vision and goal for their sound. So it is with New Jersey's newest three-piece prog act, Audio Insight. These college kids have a firm grasp on the sound they want to create, and while they require some polishing, their debut album Dimensions is an impressive beginning to their career.
The biggest upside to Dimensions is the maturity of the band's sound. Their music has flow and grace that most younger bands are unable to achieve, especially within the progressive rock genre. The album seamlessly moves from one song into the next, often without decipherable breaks in the sound, which almost makes it seem like one continuous composition. However, each song also manages to be unique in its own space, achieving distinct differences from the preceding and succeeding songs. This kind of compositional maturity and effort is rare among young groups, most of whom attempt to emulate the sounds of the biggest, most popular bands in their respective genres. Audio Insight is not afraid to try their own sound and style, a characteristic which will help them a great deal in the future.
That being said, Audio Insight does take a fair share of cues from other progressive rock bands in their sound. The most obvious influence is Coheed & Cambria, which could be a blessing or a curse for the band. Coheed & Cambria does attract a fairly large audience and is widely known for their distinctive sound, so Audio Insight would have no trouble appealing to their fans. However, some are likely to dismiss the group as copies of Coheed, a judgment that is far from the truth and gives Audio Insight far too little credit. Distancing themselves from Coheed's core sound a bit more would be a good plan for Audio Insight's next album. There does seem to be influence from non-progressive groups like Rise Against and Thursday, as well, and exploring these influences in conjunction with the progressive elements of their sound would be an interesting venture.
Overall, Audio Insight is a very impressive young band with a bright future to look forward to. Their sound is still developing, but it is strong and unique in many ways, which shows how much effort they've put into developing their goals for their music. That gives them a tremendous edge over their contemporaries, which they'll need in the creative and talented Jersey music scene. They may not be like Porcupine Tree or Muse yet, but given enough time, Audio Insight could easily reach the lofty heights of the honored progressive rock elders. Such potential is hard to find these days. Hopefully it will be fully realized in time.
Score: 7.5 out of 10
1. Everything is Nothing
2. Dimensions (Part I)
4. For the Corporations
6. White Roses (In a Black Chapel)
7. Like Flies Around a Dying Light
8. Dimensions (Part II)
Anthony Celi - Vocals, guitar
Michael Deverin - Bass guitar
Daniel Sullivan - Drums