Prism Theory 

Unity for Insanity (Latticesphere Records)

If nü metal kicked the bucket, word never reached Akron's Prism Theory. The quartet matches its chunky riffs with enough clean vocals and gorilla grunts to make a serious run at active rock radio. The band has shared stages with WMMS faves Three Days Grace and prog titans Planet X, and on its second disc, Unity for Insanity, Prism Theory mixes the styles of those headliners. While competent in crafting lowest-common-denominator hard rock, the band lacks the technique and creativity to fully realize its progressive ambitions.

Its attempts at technical bliss backfire, hamstrung by the fact that almost all the 15 tracks languish at mid-tempo. "Storm Shower" is composed of Meshuggah-type jazz, sans the velocity. Occasionally, singer Chris Imlay will interpolate a serviceable chorus before excessive wankery negates any momentum (see "Secret Identity"). For a band with schizoid vocals and keyboards, and a dearth of effects pedals, Prism Theory sounds surprisingly tame. The only color passing through this prism is gray.

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