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They may sound awkward or disjointed at first, perhaps evoking an ill-fated meeting between Iron Maiden and early Chicago, but Sculptured have hit on something genuinely new within Metal which, given proper attention, does eventually unfold and make sense. Certain elements of their sound are familiar, most notably the shuffling, triplet-based drumbeats and layered guitar harmonies. However, the foreign dissonances in the guitars, together with mellow, jazz-inspired trumpet/trombone usage, make for a pretty disorienting mix. Add in the vocals -- a blend of clean baritone singing and hollow growls -- the progressive, unpredictable song structures and the occasional Ennio Morricone-esque whistling interlude, and you have something pretty much beyond definition. But for all its experimental tendencies, this is also very emotional music: melancholy, tragic, yet somehow relaxing in its own way.

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