M.I.GOD. – Floor 29

In spite of a fairly strange band name, M.I.GOD. are a remarkably accessible blend of hard rock and progressive metal. On past releases, this band adopted a more proggy edge to their music. The synthy leads and complex time signatures have not been abandoned entirely, but it is clear that M.I.GOD. is going for a more conventional rock approach on “Floor 29″, their latest effort. To an extent, this has paid off for the Nurnberg rockers; in shedding some of their edge, their greatest strength- their songwriting- shines through all the more. I would not hesitate to call this M.I.GOD’s strongest effort yet. Fans of powerful melodic rock will love what M.I.GOD. has in store for them!

Although M.I.GOD. seem to have been pigeonholed into the rough ‘prog’ umbrella, they may be best described as a modern rock act, plain and simple. Somewhat like Porcupine Tree’s mid-career, I think they may have earned this label through their production, which is rich and atmospheric. Musically however, you may not find M.I.GOD to be much different from the everyman’s conception of melodic rock; ‘AOR’ it’s sometimes called. Perhaps as a working example of reviewer’s bias, I have never been such a fan of this style; many bands in it too often feel bland, a ‘vanilla’ impression of rock music. If matched up against that par, then I can say with confidence that M.I.GOD. are a good step above the norm. Although they never quite go ‘metal’ on “Floor 29″ (they have done so on previous records, however), there is a tinge of heaviness to the riffs of Georgios Papaliakos. The rhythm section is complex and fierce. Perhaps the strongest element of M.I.GOD. performancewise is the voice of frontman Max Chemnitz, who reminds me greatly of Queensryche’s Geoff Tate. Although it’s in large part due to the strong vocal melodies that drive these upbeat songs along, Chemnitz’s performance is rich with emotion and impact.

Of course, for those proggers out there, there are indeed fish in the aquarium. Arguably the most ‘proggy’ aspect of M.I.GOD.’s sound is the synth work of drummer Michael Sopolidis. Although most of these songs rest around a ‘conventional’ four or five minute mark, the synth sounds like it could be something out of a classic neo-prog record, and does bring that proggy edge that I may have been missing otherwise. Especially considering that this is a (so far) independently released album, M.I.GOD.’s production sounds fantastic. Although the songwriting is generally memorable and matured, M.I.GOD. may have sounded bland sonicwise, were it not for the attention to detail they give here.

It’s a fairly upbeat album all in all, perhaps moreso than I’m used to hearing in my music. For their style, M.I.GOD. are very impressive. I may have liked to hear them spread their wings a little bit however, because it’s clear that they have the promise and potential to do whatever they want. The songwriting is impressive and memorable, nonetheless. I suppose the only gripe here is that I never get the sense in M.I.GOD. that they are doing something that has not already been done. Regardless, I have a feeling M.I.GOD. will be a band to keep an eye out for, especially with a new, potentially more ambitious album on the horizon. Cheers!

<a href=”http://migod.bandcamp.com/album/floor-29″ mce_href=”http://migod.bandcamp.com/album/floor-29″>Floor 29 by M.I.GOD.</a>

Tracklist:

1. Floor 29
2. Born to Burn
3. Terminate
4. Seven Days
5. All
6. Silence
7. Salton
8. Go Away
9. Ordinary World
10. Whatever

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