Wednesday, 23 July 2008

CD Review: Operation Error – The Prayer of an Ancestor

Review By Steve Dean

Opening with a subtly ambient intro that quickly turns to what sounds like an excerpt from some disaster movie or other, the EP begins proper with the title track, ‘The Prayer of an Ancestor’, a number that pretty much sums up ‘progressive epic’; Operation Error’s chosen genre.

Recorded at Prism studios, the production is about as heavy as it gets, although some diligent use of musical light and shade ensures frequent contrast from the crunching riffs and thundering bass lines that form an integral part of Operation Error’s overall sound. The number’s melody line frequently ascending way up the scale, vocalist Steve Ayres demonstrates once again his admirable skills as a singer; the sincerity in his voice making every word of the lyrics count.

Slightly more manic vocally, the following track ‘An Unlikely Exit’, displays just how towering an aural majesty this band is capable of creating. As does ‘A Vision Corrupted’, the third (aside from the intro) and last number on the EP. Almost starkly atmospheric, I described this track as having a ‘bulldozer’ riff when I saw the band live a few weeks back and this term applies even more on this recorded version; a great powerhouse of a song.

I must add that Prism Studios seem to get the very best out of this band and has contributed greatly to their ‘progressive epic’ sound. In some ways Operation Error put me in mind of a polished and much more harmonious Black Sabbath. A fine EP deserving of a place in any fan of the heaviest metal’s collection.

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