March 9, 2022

Psychoprism is a power metal/progressive metal band from New Jersey/New York which was founded in 2012 with just one 4-track EP, Bloodlines, released in 2014 of which three of the four tracks also being included on the full debut, Creations, in 2016. It has taken from then until now for the crucial second album to be released but, finally, we now have R.I.S.E. to enjoy.

Psychoprism is a fairly typical American metal/progressive metal band with a sound very much a derivative of bands like Queensrÿche, Redemption, Shadowkeep and Fates Warning and that is not bad company to keep. They have a 5-octave vocalist in Jess Rittgers and he very much has a sound of John Arch and James LaBrie and is pretty good at the Rob Halford type screams too as he drives much of the band’s sound. Adding the power is the mercurial Bill Visser on guitar with his Schenker type riffs and solos with Eric Hugo (Ashes Of Amber) on bass and Kevin Myers (Cypher Seer/Gothic Knights) on drums and they offer the typical speed element associated with power metal giving the band a definite 100mph delivery. Over this speed driven virtuosity are the lush keyboards of Adam Peterson which are mainly used to provide contrast rather than something like a Jordan Rudess masterclass but, combined, the musicians work perfectly together to produce a totally classy and superior American style power metal.

Of course, the voice of Rittgers and the superb fretwork of Bill Visser will get the headlines, and rightly so, but this is truly team affair and the music would be totally diminished without the contributions of the others! The tracks are all mini-epics designed to allow the musicians to have a little fun and there is a fair amount of theme exploration in the extended soloing with Bill Visser quite possibly being the best guitarist you have never heard of. For sure, this is an album of excess and lots of brilliant individualism and exploration but isn’t that what power metal and progressive metal is all about?