Could I not write a review of a band with such a catchy monicker? Of course not and the CD did fulfill my hopes for quality music and surprised me with entertaining musical solutions I didn't expect from a genre mostly so far from Metal.
Prograss are a Swiss band which has released an album and a handful of singles, and the CDr I was sent is divided in two: the first part comprises five songs with Mike, the drummer who unfortunately passed away in late 2012 after losing a long battle with a disease. The other fours fall into the category of "club remixes" and show the latest evolution of the act privileging its Electro side.
Techno beats and guitars in the refrain along with clean or robotic crazy vocals in Italian with a thick Swiss accent are what you have to expect from "Monotono"; there's a crushing riff in the central structure, then Techno elements before the Electro beats start again; later on you'll encounter Metal/Rock and a brief guitar solo. Simply irresistible...
The remaining compositions are in English, such as the following "The Edge", that even displays 80s Pop vocals on an Electro texture alternated with Fear Factory-like stretches, where a guitar and a groovy, very low-pitched bass are protagonists. A mixture of ferociousness and captivation they know how to render full well!
"Four 7" sounds like a remix of Pungent Stench, to which are added lighter parts; the sublime samples are stopped in the vein of the best Breakbeat, there are synths galore, whereas the vocals can be energetic or softer but echoed. This is decidedly another well written, performed and mixed song.
Partly different than the others, "So Beautiful", begins with Alice Cooper-influenced vocals on a base of slow drum beats introducing a tighter chip of the track in which synths, guitars, Electro pulses and samples are tamed by clean aggressive singing. The initial strophe is shortly repeated twice, replaced in the middle by Modern Metal and Electro going arm in arm for several seconds.
Traditional extremist Techno comes back with "Phenomena Style" but the guitar and the samples following immediately later don't give you enough time to reach the dance floor and start moving your hips; Prograss wanted you to think it'd be a song devoid of Rock elements, yet this is not the case. Diverse kinds of vocals - threatening, looped, or weirdly mixed - appear later, passing through a great deal of stages and styles of electronic music. We're dealing with a long track for sure rich in nervous and frantic time changes aimed at maintaining your attention high.
In regards to the second part of the CD, "Monotono Reloaded" is a second version of the opener: pretty powerful bass sounds, while the guitar is less emphasized so as to enhance the role of the synthesizers. It's shorter and danceable but don't ask me to choose which version I prefer, cos I really can't.
"Monotone (Cocaine Bastard Remix)" is the third version and it's plainly longer and more complex; it's also more caustic and not only during an acid intervention with ogrish vocals in the backdrop; you will feel as if you were on a trip contrasted by tranquilizers like ketamine and exciters like amphetamine. This is the shit, man!
Still Electro, but including a few lighter shares, too, "Grogy Progy" is one of the most recent tracks composed by the Zurich-based Italo-Swiss quartet; these less heavy shares let you breathe and prepare you for an unexpected but welcome Spanish guitar solo surrounded by their usual beats. You will find an array of coloured male and female vocals and, finally, an axe riffing in the end.
Like the title suggests, "So Beautiful (Remix)" is a faster version with more vibrant singing with a good hook or even possessed one; some beats differ from the original and the guitar seems less wicked here in favour of the synths and a brief demonic laugh in the backdrop.
The CDr in my hands isn't available around and is only for promotion purposes and collects all of the four-piece's singles, but if you look around you'll be able to download all the digital tracks from the most known music sites. As far as I'm concerned nobody in 2015 mixes Metal, Rock, Techno, Dubstep, Breakbeat, Big Beat and Psytrance so well, therefore if your discography ranges from Rock to Chemical Brothers, Prodigy, Fatboy Slim and Taylor Swift, these tunes convey the impression of being a must for you.