Urizen, Sonata Artica

Happy to identify themselves as a Fort Worth band, Urizen have been around for the better part of a decade, honing their songwriting and instrumental chops while skillfully avoiding any easy classification. Autocratopolis, the band's 2005 debut, has been described as avant-metal and features a bewildering concept of man's inhumanity to man.

"It's the story of a guy who is the odd man out in a society of replicants," says Daniel Drinnen, who co-founded the band with his brother Thomas. "It's about living in a world of monotony and that the more you try and break free of it, the more miserably you're going to fail." While definitely on the heavier side, songs such as "A Shift in the Weather" and "Streetlight" are diverse, polished and well-played examples of progressive metal infused with a nearly cabaret influence. Oddly captivating, the unique music of Urizen straddles the line between pretension and power, coming across as some mutant cross between the Decemberists and Venom, all held together by three guys struggling to make ends meet with their day jobs. Universe, the band's upcoming EP, will be released later in the fall, and Drinnen claims the new songs will move the band further away from any easy association with standard metal. "We love creating heavy metal music much more so than listening to it," he says.


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