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Albums Reviews

Amogh Symphony

The Quantum Hack Code
Independent release
[Three stars]

Deepti Unni Jan 27, 2011

After the ridiculously high benchmark that Amogh Symphony set itself with its debut album, it was more or less unanimously agreed that there was no topping its genre-mashing, mind-bending complexity. The one-man army behind Amogh Symphony, Vishal J Singh, is surely only too happy to prove people wrong with his second album, The Quantum Hack Code.

Firstly, Quantum is not a music album, it’s the soundtrack to a post-apocalyptic Matrix-meets-Terminator world swarming with cyborgs, sentient mainframes, viruses and mankind in a state of induced coma. The philosophy is dense, often too dense, for a casual listener to delve into, even with a voiceover narrating the story and events that unfold as the album progresses. The music is no less challenging. Singh take his guitar chops even further, effortlessly switching between djent riffing, jazzy picking, blues runs, Eastern scales, industrial grind, flamenco flourishes and dissonant harmonics, all augmented with a heavy dose of electronica that incorporates elements of everything from ambient to psy. Virginia-based drummer Jim Richman who threads tasteful grooves through the complex melee of Singh’s arrangements.

But the album’s problems are manifold. Firstly, the fact that every track contains a voiceover takes away considerably from both the story and the music, because it’s impossible to independently listen to either, which is a shame because there’s some gorgeous music in there. Two, the album lacks some serious low-end which means there’s nothing to ground all the trebly electronica and raw guitar and after a few listens it makes your ears ring. Also, the structure of the songs ”“ heavy riffing-ambient break-dissonant finish ”“ gets a bit repetitive in the long run. But what is indisputable here is Singh’s mastery of the guitar and the scope of its use, and it’s almost impossible to imagine what he might turn to for Amogh Symphony’s next album.

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Key Tracks: ”˜The Quantum Barrier Code,’ ”˜ Decoded Karnosiris’

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