THE WRING “Spectra”
By Dr. Abner Mality
Pure prog metal is what you get from this Canadian outfit, masterminded by one Don DeWulf and featuring some pretty top notch players. The names of RUSH and KING CRIMSON are tossed around, but much of what THE WRING plays is firmly in the tradition of DREAM THEATER, CIRCUS MAXIMUS and similar proggy hard rock bands.
It goes down pretty smooth. Although the tracks feature some tricky riffs and advanced playing, the songs are actually pretty compact and not over-indulgent. You won’t find any six-part mega-epics with differently named “movements” here...the longest song “Fallen” barely makes it over the six minute mark. Despite that, you will hear some odd time signatures and twisty rhythms on the likes of “The Prince”, “From Mars” and “SINS”. Some funk and jazz slips in, but this is a hard rocking record, with no real ballads. The vocals of Chandler Mogel are smooth and not a million miles off from James Labrie, although not as high pitched. Keys play a prominent part but don’t smother that guitars. It’s fun listening to the bass playing on this record, as it is really fluid and constantly moving.
I see THE WRING is mostly considered a studio project, which is unfortunate, as a lot of these songs would work really well live. It doesn’t really break any of the template set up by DREAM THEATER and RUSH, but I don’t think it’s trying to. An enjoyable prog metal effort.