To Exit a Maelstrom contains 45 minutes of modern progressive metal that incorporates elements of alternative and progressive rock. There’s also a djent influence, but it’s not an overbearing one.
Detailing personal tragedy, To Exit a Maelstrom is an emotive and compelling journey into Feather Mountain’s world. The nuanced songwriting is focused primarily on mood and feeling, but without neglecting the more direct facets of the music. Feather Mountain are at their best when they’re at their darkest, and on these songs, or parts of songs, the band really come into their own.
As the band name suggests, To Exit a Maelstrom contrasts delicate light intricacy with contemporary heaviness. There’s a dreamy, ethereal aspect to the music, counterbalanced by a modern set of heavy riffs that sharply slip and slide all over each other in sinuously jagged movements.
The band’s progressive rock influences lend the music an introspective air, especially in some of the lighter moments. These recall an older set of influences than the ones powering the heavier parts and the remaining lighter ones, which are more reminiscent of the last decade or two of the progressive and technical metal scenes.
The singer’s voice is clear and strong. His singing works well with the rest of the music. He’s supported where necessary by backing vocals, including impassioned growls.
Imagine a mix of bands such as The Ocean, Animals as Leaders, Tesseract, and The Contortionist, only with a more progressive/less djent approach, and you’ll be on the right lines for To Exit a Maelstrom.
I enjoyed To Exit a Maelstrom. It’s an album that grows on you over time, and offers a lot of enjoyable material for anyone into the style. There’s plenty of promise here, and Feather Mountain are clearly skilled and passionate about what they do.
A recommended listen for fans of the style.