Album Reviews

Polarization – Polarization EP

  • Review by: Krishna Ravi

In keeping with the wave of djent/progressive bands that have grabbed the metal world by the balls, is an instrumental band from Los Angeles called Polarization – a trio comprising of students from Musicians Institute. The band has Prashant Mathias (India) on 8-string guitar, Sebastian Holm (Sweden) on bass, and Tom Asvold (Sweden) beating the drums. I picked up a review copy of their self-titled EP when they opened for Periphery in LA last month, and I’ve been waiting to write about it since.

The EP starts off with Pulse, and a few seconds into the song, you’ll find your neck moving. Soon after the riffs kick in, Prashant’s leads soar over on his Agile Septor 828. This formula is maintained for most part of the album, often interspersed with ambient passages. My personal favorite is Teardrop, right from its intro to the neat little riff, and then building into some strong passages. I especially like the tweak towards the end when the music shuts off like a broken record player. I’m not as fond of Solar Attack, but if I recall correctly, this was the first song I heard live, and it definitely works on stage. The fast, crunchy riffs get your head banging. Rounding up the album is an easily loved song called Neon Sky, and this one’s a definite crowd favorite. Sweet! – that’s the word I’d use to describe this. The song probably best represents the band’s musical direction, so much so that Prashant picked this one for a video.

While Prashant is clearly influenced by the likes of Tosin Abasi and Misha Mansoor, he keeps his lead guitar work subtle, emphasizing more on feel than flashiness. Sebastian provides that solid backbone to the band, and Tom keeps it simple and efficient on the drums. The album was produced by Prashant himself, who also studies audio engineering at MI. It’s none too heavy – this well-structured EP has just the right amount of melody, aggression and electronic elements. There is debate after debate about the effects of a vocalist in this particular genre of music, and for my money, I’d like to see Polarization stay instrumental – simply because you don’t fix what isn’t broken. This trio works well. Given that the band has just finished their debut tour of the west coast, you can be rest assured that the EP is a promising teaser of the soon-to-be launched full length album, and I can’t wait to see what’s in store.

The EP can be bought (US only) or listened to on their myspace page – http://www.myspace.com/polarization. Check it out. Now.