Ora Nombro - Between Man and Machine (Independent)

I understand that a lot of people like prog metal, or at least the idea of prog metal. But at least two thirds of them are quick to follow that up with "but not that soulless wanky Dream Theater crap where they can play really well but can't write songs". And despite that being an inaccurate assessment of the band, I can understand why so many people hate them and everything they stand for. With that in mind, how shit would an album which is just "everything they stand for" be?

That's what we've got here - and the answer is "unlistenably shit". 

Ora Nombro's Between Man and Machine (Jesus fellas, with a name like that you could have at least given us some lame turn-of-the-century industrial/techno groove metal crap instead of this) plays like an itemised list of every real and imagined problem with prog metal in the modern era. 

Songwriting?  The record doesn't have any songs.  It's just melody soup as one runs into another. 

Riffs?  I'm sure they're there, but buggered if I can remember any two seconds after they're finished. 

Lyrics?  Suitably pretentious, half of them stolen wholesale from Dream Theater ("Reason To Live" sounds like it started life as a cover of "Learning to Live" both musically and lyrically). 

Vocals?  Wimpy enough to make power metal fans cringe, and utterly hilarious when he tries to put on a tough-guy voice. 

Cheesy keyboard synths?  Dunno what violins sound like in Italy, but over here, they sure as hell don't sound anything like what these guys have on their album. 

Vomit-worthy soppy ballads?  Christ, I couldn't even make it to the bathroom in time to air the contents of my stomach.  Even the cover artwork is a one hundred percent Photoshop effort.

Because I've spent more time than I reasonably should have defending prog metal against its detractors, I'm probably a lot angrier at Oro Nombro than I should be.  But there's just no way around it: this album's shit, and the fact that there are hundreds of bands who sound like this peddling something which is in no way whatsoever progressive as "prog metal" infuriates me.  Prog metal has 99 problems, but Dream Theater ain't one. If you'll forgive a non-metal reference: Ora Nombro's Between Man And Machine is very much one of the 99.

Ora Nombro's Between Man and Machine is out now.