Published on June 10, 2019
Well… it resonates! Lang Zhao and Yas Nomura have been trying to bring this project to life for a long time (some songs are written since 2013) and now “The Resonance Project” is a beautiful reality. The Los Angeles based duo have created a smooth and chilling progressive instrumental sound with multiple different influences and great ideas. Some similarities can be found to other artists such as the chopped apart rhythm of the drums that reminds of Matt Garstka from Animals as Leaders while the softer atmospheric sections and some tapping licks (intro to Neo Thangka) are somewhat similar to those of Sarah Longfield. However this is just to give you a glimpse of what style you may expect as there is a lot more going on here.
The music has its fusion jazzy weirdness but it is channeled into a mentally challenging yet soulful and peaceful sound with many interpretations, crescendos or fluctuations in intensity similar to what you would find in classical music. The intro track in particular sounds like an overture to an epic symphony and while what follows isn’t exactly that, it does live up to the standard. In fact this is so intellectual that it even reminds me of the 8 year old Japanese piano prodigy prototype, and that may come across as pretentious to some people. However I find this music to be purpose oriented without any nonsensical ego displays. From a creative standpoint, the music is extremely diverse and it goes from heavy djent to progressive, to atmospheric, to jazz, to classical and most of all it incorporates all of these aspects without any forced shifts in pace. I have to appreciate the smoothness of their transitions and the overall chilled out relaxing pace of the music. The tag says it’s progressive metal but by now you can tell that extensive parts can barely be called metal, and I think that this variety makes it all the more interesting.
While this looks like a 2 man project, the number of different people contributing to it can be felt in the diversity of the music. The army of guests doing guitar solos, acoustic guitars, bass, piano and even vocals brings so many different perspectives to the table. As highlights I really enjoyed the guest guitar solos on Neo Thangka and the acoustic guitars in The Anthem. There are a LOT of credits listed on their bandcamp page detailing all guest performances. I was also pleasantly surprised to see that Adam Bentley (guitarist in Arch Echo) has been mixing the album.
If you know yourself as a lover of progressive music and especially instrumentals this is the right place for you. A single song does actually incorporate most of the different facets in The Resonance Project. The Anthem is an amazing 13 minute long instrumental journey, starting with the smooth piano parts, going into djent stuff, acoustic guitars, fusion style technical bass and orchestrations that sound like real classical music. This song right here is prog nerd paradise, and in general that is what the entire album does best. It’s definitely niche music and the traditional thrash/black/power metal enthusiast would probably consider it a criminal offense to even display this album on a metal website. However I felt that the talent displayed in this music deserves it’s shout out, and if you’re on the prog/djent side of things you will definitely approve.
Author: George Dan