POEM – Skein Syndrome
The progressive rock/metal quartet named Poem hails from Greece, and this sophomore album of theirs entitled "Skein Syndrome" is quite the interesting and varied listening experience. The progressive and complex opus consists of seven rather long and convoluted tunes that are overflowing with twists and turns. Constantly shedding its skin while wallowing in its own unpredictability, this album is most definitely a challenging one and quite difficult to absorb at first.
The opening song, "Passive Observer", is hands down the highlight of the album and is actually quite catchy and memorable, but things gradually become more complex and far-out as the album progresses, which is kind of cool as it feels as if one is embarking on a journey that keeps getting darker. The vocals courtesy of Giorgos Prokopiou are dynamic in that they cover just about everything from screams and growls to clean vocals. The majority of songs have an underlying melancholy to them, which is perfectly illustrated by the track "Weakness". The transitions between the calm and melodic parts and the aggressive outbursts are quite smooth, so everything has a natural flow to it somehow.
Poem have obviously spent a long time writing, arranging, and recording "Skein Syndrome", which has paid off. While many progressive acts very often try to impress your by means of their skills and technical capabilities, Poem have actually succeeded in constructing one of those albums that one can return to again and again only to discover new things.
"Skein Syndrome" is not a masterpiece or an all-out essential album to any headbanging reader out there, but it is definitely worth looking into, especially if progressive metal gets your tiny dick hard.