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The best prog metal you can buy this month

Album Review

Dom Lawson takes you to the dark and heavy hinterlands of prog.

If you require proof that the future of progressive metal is in safe hands, Painted In Exile’s almost comically epic debut album The Ordeal (self-released) should fit the bill. Like a snottier, spikier and ever-so-slightly weirder Between The Buried And Me, the Long Island sextet’s bewildering mastery of countless musical styles and their explosive cross-pollination is beyond impressive: it’s almost eerie. Songs like 10-minute mini-symphony Jupiter arrive swollen with a surfeit of insane ideas, and yet for all their wilful perversity, Painted In Exile have the virtuoso chops to make every last wild detour make perfect sense. Vocalist Robert Richards deserves a special mention for a truly mind-bending performance that encompasses everything from soulful crooning to guttural barks. Truly, this is a debut album to savour.


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