Prisma – You Name It

Though they may be on the opposite side of the Atlantic, Swiss act Prisma are disciples of one of the most significant American rock bands of the past twenty years. For anyone who has heard a minute of Prisma, you’ll know the band in question is Tool, and if you’ve heard Tool, chances are you have a pretty strong opinion about them, for better or worse. Although this band’s second album “You Name It” is well produced, performed, and even written, there’s not a moment here where Prisma breaks free from that influence. Out of context, this is a talented act with some great sludgy art rock to offer, it’s just a shame that they don’t explore their own territory.

I understand that it’s not fair to dismiss an act as a basic ‘copy’ of another; after all, every musician is a unique mix of influences and passions. The fact remains, however, that everything from the drums to the sludgy guitars, dark atmosphere and vocal range all screams Tool. As progressive rock goes however, it’s not uncommon for bands to emulate their heroes. To their credit, Prisma manage to cut a relative par with Tool, circa their “Aenema” period. The drums comes across as a melting pot of metal aggression and near-hypnotic tribal rhythms. The guitar work is impressive, but not necessarily from a conventional measure. The riffs are based more on thick texture than any kind of technical precision. Although nothing here feels distinct or original, Prisma execute this sound very well.

Throughout “You Name It”s hour-length, Prisma do not change up their sound much, if at all. The compositions are typically rooted around the Alex Jones-type grunge riffs, and as a result of this, it’s fairly difficult to tell these tracks apart from one another, although the song “Broker” would likely take my vote as a highlight, if there is one. In short, I can give Prisma a quick recommendation to any hardcore fan of Tool; if I haven’t emphasized it enough, that band’s sound is what you should expect here. The skill and finesse of their musicianship is certainly here, the personality isn’t.

Tracklist:

1. Epigone (4:45)
2. 8 (3:36)
3. Alpha fiasko (6:46)
4. 123 part 1 (3:40)
5. Untitled (0:06)
6. broker (4:20)
7. Loyal (4:24)
8. God’s heir (5:58)
9. Seceder (8:12)
10. Armada insanity (5:12)
11. Trigger architect (7:24)

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