CD Review of Unity for Insanity by Prism Theory

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Unity for Insanity
starstarhalf starno starno star Label: Latticesphere Records
Released: 2005
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Prism Theory is a frustratingly average band, and I say frustrating because I think deep down they have untapped talent that they are afraid to unleash for fear of rejection from the masses, whom they are clearly trying to please with their sophomore effort, Unity for Insanity. The band has been compared to the likes of Korn and Sevendust, but it’s only in the form of de-tuned guitars and a single screaming vocalist. Unity For Insanity is the kind of record that can safely be played at a gym because it’s just catchy enough and get a mosh pit going because it’s just chunky enough, but hard rock fans yearning for more (solos, layered riffs, harmonics, etc.) would be better off sticking to the bands Prism Theory has been compared to.

The album is an overlong fifteen songs, one of which is yet another cover of Genesis’ “Land of Confusion” (Disturbed also covered the song on their most recent offering, Ten Thousand Fists). The bulk of the tracks are straightforward barely-scratching-three-minutes odes to rejection and the pain inside. This theme runs its course quickly, making the middle section of the album a chore to endure. The lyrics by drummer and “screamer” Drew Pen’Cook, vocalist and key man Chris Imlay, and guitarist/background vocalist Barry Davis are about as generic as you can get within the genre, but will nevertheless resonate with those among us sporting a lip ring and a chip on their shoulder.

Despite the overall lack of creativity evident on the record, Prism Theory does show some experimental tendencies that deviate from what largely makes up Unity for Insanity. “Storm Shower” features a solid, well-built introduction that shows patience on Prism Theory’s end. It is the only track on the album that crosses the five minute mark, and it’s the most fulfilling and sonically interesting. “Don’t Mind” teases us with some solo capabilities, and it would be wise for Prism Theory to build on this if they want to stay in the arena. “You Don’t Know Me” has the most experimental elements of any song on the record, but unfortunately at track fourteen it comes after many may lose interest. The band’s cover of “Land Of Confusion” is praiseworthy and is just as interesting as Disturbed’s take.

Prism Theory seems trapped in the mold that bald-headed studio execs think the hard rock/metal community wants constantly fed to us. The fact of the matter is that the scene is getting more complex, and the fans want more. Look at the success of bands like Shadows Fall, Unearth, God Forbid, and many others. Prism Theory has potential, but they need to think outside of the straight-jackets that they are wearing on the album’s back cover.

~Bill Clark