"The Tragedy Of Innocence" is the second full length from these progsters. Having never heard of their former album, I went into this band expecting yet another boring DREAM THEATER clone but I was dead wrong. Having learned that PRYMARY contains two active members of REDEMPTION in the band, I got just a little bit more excited before popping this sucker into my discman.
Alas, this sounds nothing like REDEMPTION, I would say it sounds more like a manic depressant FATES WARNING because the music found on this album is dark, dirty and utterly crushing. "The Tragedy Of Innocence" is a concept album telling the tale of a woman who was abused, raped and mistreated by her father as a child. Needless to say, this isnít a very happy listen at all considering that things like this happen all the time in this world. What adds even more to this story is that the female who does the narration on the CD is the person whom this story is based on, her voice even sounds hopeless as she tells her story, this adds a personal punch to the album.
The story starts from the girls childhood and details her life up into her adult her years and we are with her every step of the way. The story immerses you and weighs very heavily on your emotions. To say that this album is disturbing is an understatement as it is very in depth in its mission to illustrate just how horrible of an atrocity the act of child abuse is. Throughout the album, I not only cared about the story but I cared about the character, I wanted to find out what happened in the end, I wanted her to be okay. This concept album can easily rank as one of the best ever written, right along side "Operation Mindcrime".
While the story is about a woman, it is only the narration that is done by an actual female. The story is sang through Mike Di Sarroís very convincing and emotional voice. While I admit I found it strangely humorous at first that Mike assumes the role of a woman here, eventually it stops being funny after you hear the conviction he displays. It was simply amazing. Mike was born to sing on this album, his vocals hit hard yet you can also hear a soft, fragility in his delivery which suits the character heís trying to portray. I mean this as a compliment when I say that Mike was born to sing as this woman.
The music is your usual Prog fare. You can find stellar musicianship in each track and thankfully, PRYMARY restrain themselves from the usual instrumental wankery you find too much in this scene. Every track is chock full of melody and despite its technicality, they all remain easily accessible. DREAM THEATER this is not, there are no over-long solos of any kind....this is pure music dedicated to its dark theme, not to how talented the band is. There are no instrumental songs and are all sweetened by symphonic elements. Above all, however, is that despite the fact the PRYMARY isnít doing anything new, somehow this album sounds fresh and original. It goes to show that any album can be great if it is written with sheer inspiration, "The Tragedy Of Innocence" is a monumental example of this. You can feel how much care and love went into this album on every single track.
The music goes through a variety of changes throughout its duration making for a very diverse album. Since there are so many events that occur in the characters life, that also spells out different moods. Prog snobs who get off on technical song arrangements and phenomenal playing will find much to rave about. There are crunchy riffs, heaviness, slow and intricate passages and a traditonal complex and epic closer. "The Tragedy Of Innocence" has everything a Prog Metal fan looks for in a record..
The album is self-produced and that does have an impact on the album. "The Tragedy Of Innocence" sounds alright but it could have been so much better with a bit more polish to it. The keyboards are hard to hear sometimes and the background vocals are nearly unintelligible but this is only a very minor flaw in a beautiful work of art.
Itís clear that PRYMARY wanted us to know this girls story. I like to think I have a pretty thick skin but this album effected me. By the end of the album, I was drained emotionally and caught in a state of contemplation. This album can easily be recommended to anyone searching for a moving story or the next great Prog album. Be warned though, youíre in for an unsettling ride.
(Online May 23, 2007)