Consortium Project V – Species

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Published on: August 21, 2011

Ian Parry is a well-known figure within the progressive rock and metal sphere, due to his involvement with Elegy, Ayreon and Vengeance. Under the Consortium Project moniker he produced a series of albums, mainly based around science fiction themes. His musical approach is comparable to Arjen Lucassen and his Ayreon and Star One projects. Both use the musical talents of many renowned musicians from other progressive rock and metal bands. Species is the fifth and final installment in the Consortium Project series and according to Ian Parry this album is meant is the grand finale. Let’s see what is has to offer.

On Species he enlisted the help of (ex) members from Pain Of Salvation, Kamelot, Vanden Plas, Infinity Overture and The Ana Lozanowa Project. Stylistically speaking this album keeps the middle ground between progressive and power metal, spiced up with some gothic metal flourishes. Ian Perry’s Consortium Project is certainly up to par with bands like Symphony X and the aforementioned Ayreon/Star One, Kamelot and Vanden Plas.

Another key factor is the tight songwriting, which manifests itself in some very memorable songs like, “Life On Earth”, “Origins Of Mankind”, “To The Earth And Back” and “Silence Calling”. The overall musical performance is as solid and professional as one can expect from people like Stephan Lill, Kristoffer Gildenlow and Casey Grillo. Ian Parry is a very capable vocalist in his own right, but at times he seems to be really struggling to keep up with the rest of the musicians. A powerhouse vocalist like Russell Allen (Symphony X), Floor Janssen (ReVamp) or Matt Barlow (ex Iced Earth) would have been a smarter choice in my book.

Ian Parry did a terrific job as a producer on Species. The sound is clear, yet powerful. This underscores the heavy and dark imagery of this album.

Species is a memorable and worthy farewell record as far as the Consortium Project goes. The songs has a lot to offer and the overall musical performance is solid as a rock, although Parry really pushes his vocal limits at times. Despite this, this album is a fine choice for any lover of progressive and power metal.

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