Rite of Passage are an American progressive metal/rock band, based in Metro Detroit. Angels And Demons is their debut album. It is a concept album divided in three phases. The first phase is Separation, second phase is Transition and third phase is called Reincorporation.
This album is quite an ‘exercise’ to listen to. I really had troubles with listening the complete album non-stop because there is so much happening in the music. You immediatly hear from the intro of the first track that this is a bombastic band. This is pure prog-metal that reminds me of Dream Theater, Ayreon, Queensryche and Symphony X. This is music you headbang to, even though it contains a lot of rhythm and theme changes. Some rhythm changes aren’t really ‘smooth’ in some of the tracks in my opinion, but they are not too disturbing. The bass guitar is very present in the mix, which I really like.
The album starts with Breaking Through The Walls. As mentioned earlier, the intro is bombastic and immediatly puts you in the front seat of a rollercoaster ride. Bill Quigley sings with a lot of emotion and knows how to give the track extra power. Dream Horizon reminds me of a combination of the metal-like riffs from Dream Theater and the melodic music of Ayreon. I also love the violin-sounds in this track. The chorus is quite catchy to sing along with. The third track Before Midnight starts with a very haunting cuckoo-clock. It has a very cool piano solo in the middle of the song, followed by a guitar solo. Change And Transition starts as a very peaceful song. It starts with a beautiful piano piece, followed by a bass guitar and vocals. Bill can also sing very tender. Later on the piano becomes more haunting and it turns into a heavy metal track. The fifth track Angels And Demons starts very psychedelic like, with percussion and middle-eastern-like music sounds and also ends with it. It’s a very magical piece of music. Dark Necessity is in contrast to Angels And Demons a very fast track that contains heavy guitar riffs and has the same ambiance as Breaking Through The Walls. It has a lot of theme and rhythm changes. Saying Goodbye has a very weird but awesome intro. Special guest singer Stefanie Dillard is also providing vocals on this track. The last track on the album called Flash Of Clarity is the longest track on the album. It starts as a very heavy track, but after six minutes there’s a calm orchestral piece. After 8,5 minutes the track turns heavy again. It has a very weird ending actually, the track suddenly has some short theme and rhythm changes and ends all of a sudden.
This album is a bit too metal-ish for me even though I like a lot of prog-metal myself, but I’m sure that prog-metal fans will love it! If you like music that contains a lot of power, diversity in musical themes and rhythms and can handle to play an air-guitar then this is the album for you!
**** Iris Hidding
Phase 1: Separation
- Through The Walls (7:14)
- Dream Horizon (6:37)
- Before Midnight (7:52)
Phase 2: Transition
- Change And Transition (8:57)
- Angels And Demons (7:22)
- Dark Necessity (7:35)
Phase 3: Reincorporation
- Saying Goodbye (5:06)
- Flash Of Clarity (9:53)
My review on Background Magazine:
You can listen to some of the tracks here: