Pronostic - Chaotic Upheaval

It has been about 8 years but listeners finally have a new album from the relatively unknown Melo Tech Death group from Canada known as Pronostic. The group started in 2010 and since their debut album they’ve had a few lineup changes with only guitarists and vocalists Alexandre Lauzon and Charles Pilotte being the remaining original members. In 2016 they acquired bassist Xavier Sperdouklis from the humorous Killitorous and for the album “Chaotic Upheaval” they got Samuel Santiago from France on the drums. For those who have not heard these guys before the result is a mix of Beyond Creation and Inferi with a lot of prominent bass work, so expect things to be jarring, jazzy, and as the album title suggests: chaotic.

Pronostic know how to balance the fine line between technical and melodic; the Inferi influences are strongly heard in the guitar and keyboard work with the high and low vocal trade off while the bass work is certainly reminiscent of Beyond Creation. Some of the drum patterns also suggest some Gorod influence as well, but the overarching sound is mostly Inferi. Tracks like the opening ‘Indefinite Contuinity’ start off soft and jazzy with touches of prog before leading into the heavier sections, but the solid production doesn’t lead to listeners missing a single thing. The sound is definitely accessible, especially when hearing a track like ‘The Pure Celestial Being’ which has plenty of bombast from the keyboards (nearly Septicflesh quality) and soaring solos that really stick with the head. It is nice to hear a band that takes the Melodeath level to a focus on the guitars and bass versus the vocals and the dual harsh/ clean trade off that so many bands these days use such as Amorphis or Dark Tranquility. The vocals are nothing to snuff at though. The lower growls from Charles are rumbling and matched by Alexandre’s highs but not quite Black Dahlia Murder high and piercing, and while they seem to work separately (such as on ‘Massive Disillusion’ with the highs and ‘Conclusion Impromptue’ using the lows) it still feels balanced. Both are discernible and easy to understand, much like Omnium Gatherum.

The only downside to the album is that while the band tries to use the technical side to keep listeners surprised, sometimes it feels random and jarring. ‘Massive Disillusion’ features a Opeth-esque classical guitar interlude that suddenly just jumps in and adds in some saxophone, offering a bit of River of Nihil touch, but then jumps right back to heavier bits a few seconds later, and again it just sounds like a filler interlude to the music. Other tracks like ‘L’impurete globale’ is a better example of how Pronostic uses even some spoken/ clean vocal parts with the bass work from Xavier to add in slower elements that are fluid and also surprising for listeners. The song is heavy and features explosive Archspire inspired drumming from Samuel, but still features those Inferi driven melodies and vocal harmonies (yes here the vocal approach is dual versus being only 1 vocalist), but at the end of the track again the band just adds in some spacey, jarring prog work that just seems randomly inserted.

Not to say the band isn’t good at instrumental work though. A solid blend of Melodeath, the interlude ‘Waves’ is much akin to Arch Enemy meets Soilwork and it just has some excellent hooks and melodies to follow without the vocals or funky bass lines. Those looking for pure Melodeath galore will really enjoy it, despite it being short and ending too suddenly. Overall, “Chaotic Upheaval” is rocky at times but a improvement since 2015’s “An Atomic Decision” which was more stop and go drum heavy with a bit more of an Arch Enemy tone meeting Aborted to it but not quite as technical (tons of guitar work though along with the throaty deeper vocals). Here on “Chaotic…” they’ve stepped up the technical bits quite a bit while not trying to copy some of the ‘greats’ directly and just trying to do something different, even if it doesn’t work perfectly at times. This album is certainly worth listening to for those who like Inferi styled Metal with Beyond Creation bass work and just a few surprises loaded into each song.  

4 / 5 STARS

1. Indefinite Continuity
2. Massive Disillusion
3. Conclusion Impromptue
4. Concealed Parasite
5. Waves
6. Bare And Wretched
7. L'impureté Globale
8. Drained By Remorse
9. The Pure Celestial Being
10. Abstract Entity

Reviewer: Colin McNamara
Nov 29, 2023

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