‘Prosody: the rhythm and pattern of sounds of poetry and language’- Merriam-Websters’ Dictionary.
With a band name as unique as that Prosody, the first thing my nerdy self did was check out the meaning. Surely it can’t be by sheer coincidence that the band picked a name like that? I found it quite ironic – a word that describes patterns in something as universally beautiful as poetry being used to connote the music written by a metal band.
I was excited to see how the band used prosody in their music or lyrics. It took me a while and I think I finally figured it out. But more on that later.
Prosody is a quintet formed in 2011 hailing from Pennsylvania from the ashes of 90’s metal bands like Ossuary, Pave the Way and Demeter. Combining a brutal mix of thrash, death, and hardcore, the band has released their debut album, The Dawn of Brutality and has begun to pave their way into the metal market.
The album delivers music with an absolute gut-wrenching punch. Given their old school background, I was honestly expecting a lot more thrash, but was pleasantly surprised to find that death and hardcore had been given more than enough time in the songs. The three genres are extremely well balanced out, which isn’t always the easiest feat. There are also some very “nu-wave” of American heavy metal feel to the music. Think Hatebreed, Chimaira, and Slipknot.
The musicianship is spot-on. Stroud and Rosenko’s dueling guitars are a perfect accompaniment to Morris’ chunky bass-lines. Tight rhythms are peppered ever so lightly with pinch harmonics and the occasional solo or backing lick. Ebersoles vocals have excellent range – flipping from a low, earth rumbling growl to a higher pitched squeal and Smith’s drums are hectic.
The only qualm I have about the album is the production. This is not to say that The Dawn of Brutality doesn’t get the message across, but with ever-so-slightly better production, the message would have been a lot clearer. I will admit I am being nit-picky and that the production quality didn’t get in the way at all, but let’s be honest, no album is perfect and it would be remiss of me not to mention this.
Internally though, I still struggled to find a connection between the meaning of the bands chosen name and the music.
Then it hit me.
Upon my fourth or fifth listen, I realized what had been happening all along. I couldn’t find any poetic rhythms in the lyrics or the singing, but it occurred to me that it is in the music. By diversifying from their thrash roots and delving into hardcore and death metal, The Dawn of Brutality has certain section in each song that hit some of the most headbanging grooves that I have seen in a local act. The timing of the grooves are perfect too – just as the blast beats and tremolo picking have reached their apex, a slower, chunky, mosh-tastic valley of groove is introduced. So subtlety and well-placed are these grooves, that I realized I had been nodding my head to the infectious tunes all along without noticing it! Just like poetry and language has it’s own ebb and flow, Prosody’s music has takes it’s readers on a series of ups and downs, with each peak and descent appearing at just the right time.
Overall, Prosody have put together a solid release that they should be extremely proud of. The Dawn of Brutality packs a wallop and satisfies multiple metal-genre cravings. If the band continue on with the current song-writing process and style, and pay a wee bit more attention to the production of their next record, I’m sure it’ll be amazing as well. I, for one, cannot wait to hear it!
Christopher Stroud -guitar
Christopher Rosenko -guitar
Ken Ebersole -vocals
Bob Smith -drums
Dave Morris -bass