This is the first full-length recording from Czech Prog Rockers WAVE. Before this, they released a single in 2004 (featuring “Don’t” and “The Day”) and an EP in 2003 (not featuring anything found on this album). They’ve all been self-released, but “Preventor” has still got an impressive scope for self-released, first long player. Twenty songs, 76+ minutes and a complicated conceptual story that I can’t begin to follow.
The style is a highly melodic brand of Progressive Rock with flecks of Melodic and/or Progressive Metal. Each song has some personality of its own; “Looks Like Blood” gets a little more technical, “Don’t” a little heavier (sounds like early LACUNA COIL) and “The Day” sounds visits what could be TIMEMAGE’s take on PANTERA before calming down. The best song may be “In,” as the band uses a synthed orchestra trying to keep up with the electric instruments in a manner Ihsahn would approve of. Unfortunately, the less-than-stellar (but usually competent) production detracts from it, as does a general lack of…I don’t know if “heaviness” is what I want to say, since I don’t think that’s the band’s absolute goal, but it comes across as a little weak. It doesn’t stick.
That’s WAVE’s big issue. After a week of listening to the album, I couldn’t recognize it in a lineup of one. While you’re listening to it, you may enjoy the songs (which have a tendency to flow together too well: it’s hard getting an identity), but you’ll walk away unable to really remember what you heard. Except some of the dialogue between characters in the play. The album, while not bad, simply sits there. It does not engage the listener, nor does it really give us a reason to care. Hopefully, the band can find some better inspiration for the next album, as this material is simply not engaging.
Random thoughts: I could swear I’ve heard the vocal lines of the chorus of “Breathless” somewhere before. Well, after the long story-telling sound clip of a teacher trying to lecture on Victorian literature while lollygag. How it connects to some of the other bits of dialogue, such as a police officer admitting that he’s not looking too hard for a man’s missing child, or a newscast about the accidental shooting death of a Muslim, I just don’t know. I really don’t understand this story.
(Online November 17, 2006)