REFLEXICON- A creative and relentless audio machine.
Just as any machine uses crude resources to manufacture a finely-fabricated product, REFLEXICON blends its raw data based on life experiences, its tenacity to further develop physical motor skills, its broad musical knowledge, and its synergy of human components to produce sound over time that stretches the senses of the listener to new heights. The REFLEXICON machine uses precision instrumental and musical prowess to fabricate hard-driving progressive rock and ambient angular soundscapes; with the machine’s byproducts being rhythmic assault and inversion, asymmetrical guitar riffs, and soaring vocal melodies.
Paul “P.K. Ripper” Kratky, guitarist of Chicago progressive metal legends Slauter Xstroyes, assembled this musical machine along with guitarist Jerry Buczko and bassist Bill Dixon, and performed under the moniker IRONFINGER for the first few years. Their intent was to burn down an audience - armed only with creative audio as an accelerant. Paul and Jerry’s front line of blistering guitar runs are precise yet unpredictable, full of jagged interval jumps and perfectly-synchronized picking. Meanwhile, Bill’s pummeling bass lines are efficiently coupled with drummer John Ashe’s percussive stomp, and provide the drivetrain that pushes the machine forward from its stable base. With the addition of vocalist Fred Morg, who stretches a tapestry up and over the entire machine, a melodic thread is woven into the product seamlessly. Their lyrics, bringing much-needed observations and suggestion to a world losing touch with its human element, are made more immediately vital when the REFLEXICON audio engine tenaciously pushes it forward.
The REFLEXICON sound is derived from its members' varied backgrounds. Each members is a seasoned veteran of the hard rock music scene, having merged together from different corners of Chicago's rock scene. Whether it be the many factions of Rock, Punk/Pop, Metal, or Jazz Fusion; no creative influence is deemed unwanted or unnecessary in their process.
A machine assembled as a REFLEX to life’s many achievements and pitfalls;
using a LEXICON of tools and devices to assemble the product;
and the insistence to FLEX their strengths in their quest for an audio ICON.
It has been built for you.
Embrace The Product.
When I saw this new band on a recent release list labeled “Progressive Metal,” I was quick to chase after their self-titled debut album. But early on, I realized that there had been a mistake in categorizing their music. Only there are surprises that come for good…
Reflexicon does nothing like, say, surprising or extraordinary, but it mixes elements of many genres not so far apart in a few ways, staying there in those faint lines that separate grunge, hard rock and stoner. And yes, we have some progressive touches.
But the label of "progressive metal" is nonetheless strange. It is a fact that these Chicago Americans make dynamic, unorthodox songs. But if so, we will have to give the label "progressive" to names as diverse as Legion Urban, Aerosmith, Nando Reis and Iron Maiden.
The only time around this would be the "Nightmare" ending track, which is just over nine minutes and a reasonable number of variations to justify such a length. I mean, the song in question has come to this size logically; It never seemed to me that the band was forcing themselves to do something long.
The strength of the quintet is especially in its instrumental wing. These are abrasive riffs on the six strings of Jerry Buczko and Paul Kratky, a pulsing drums on John Ashe's drumsticks and a prominent bass on Bill Dixon's fingers.
The vocal that does not leave the teammates in hand is the scratchy voice of Fred Morg. He makes it look like Sammy Hagar became the lead singer of Sons of Apollo or Nickelback - two examples of groups that sound different but whose fans might find something to like here.
This visceral cuisine and the voice above all suspicion that make up the sound of Reflexicon are basically the reason why I would recommend this band to anyone interested in some modern rock novelty.
Rating = 4/5