Monday, October 1, 2012

Lionel Pryor - Siam

Lionel Pryor are an instrumental trio (guitar, bass, drums) hailing from Hasbrouck Heights
New Jersey. Though  their music has been linked to genres such as Metal, Progressive and even Hardcore. Their sound and overall range make them a relatively hard band to describe or generalize. The simple fact that they are void of a  singer makes it even harder to comfortably generalize their sound.

Though I've never been a fan of purely instrumental bands I was very open to hearing what Lionel Pryor's "Siam" had to offer. Having seen them perform live earlier this year. I felt confident that, at the very least,
I would not hate what was about to invade my ears.

"Siam" opens with the ambitious 8:29 track "Nebraska". Musically living up to its title in that it sounds just as I would imagine living there would feel. Cold and isolated, yet beautiful and picturesque. Though Lionel Pryor work without a vocalist in the general sense. There are many moments when the instrumentals seem to cry out and speak in a lost, ancient language. As "Nebraska" came to an end. I sat surprised and somewhat bewildered.
"I just listened, unflinchingly to a song that doubled that of my normal attention span." (Impressive considering my history of ADHD)

"Apex Being" follows, playing on a  similar course.  This time a with a darker, more punishing affect and somewhat winding delivery. "Castor Troy", a villain if there ever was continues down that path while, perhaps building on that strength. Just when you've got the bands sound pegged "White Panther" throws us a Prog. Ambient curve. However, if there was ever a song that was written to be the soundtrack to the epic battle between
Heaven and Hell. It would be reserved for the ninth and second to last offering
"America in the 1980's" Closing the set is the epic and beautiful "Blight Dragon".

"Siam" reminds me that we are in a constant battle; Whether it be with ourselves, others, or the universe itself. We are in constant flux and we need to be if we are find balance in our lives.
Lionel Pryor is a trio really has to ask themselves "Do we really need a singer?"
After listening intently to "Siam", I really can't be convinced they do. I came into this convinced that a strictly instrumental act could neither keep my attention or fill the void that a vocalist fills. "Siam" and Lionel Prior proved me wrong twice. Whatever their choice;
I hope they take their time deciding it. James Damion

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