"Meridian 1" (Independent; 2011)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

Phavian's "Meridian 1" is at first an interesting progressive rock/metal concept album that unfortunately wears out its welcome with colliding music styles that don't gel into a cohesive project.

The CD's ethereal female vocals just don't seem to fit in with the music; so much so, in fact, that the music and the vocals seem to be from entirely different projects. And, speaking of the music, "Meridian 1" is an admittedly courageous but ultimately ineffective cocktail of musical styles that wind up bumping and bouncing off one another, never really coming together. it's just a weird, confusing mix of musical styles that just didn't click for me. And it doesn't help that the first and last track seem to be from elsewhere as well: Track 1, "Slate," is some sort of bizarre instrumental and the final track, "Obsidian," some sort of melancholy piano outro. Neither piece seems a fit for "Meridian 1." The production is a little dry as well, not unusual for an independent release and not fatal here.

All that being said, there are a lot of bold ideas here and it should be noted that "Meridian 1" is a complicated concept album. Perhaps if I spend more time trying to follow the story, the rest of the CD will make more sense. It's certainly worth a try. Despite my reservations, however, I am very much looking forward to the second part, perhaps not surprisingly entitled “Meridian 2.”

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Revised: 02 Oct 2023 20:52:59 -0400 .