Combinations of Anekdoten, Rush, Pink Floyd, Katatonia and Tangerine Dream floating in around the musical duo, Subject to Thoughts are one of those bands that take the essence of Prog Metal and Atmospheric music combined into one and making it an adventurous voyage into unbelievable worlds you haven’t seen before. The band considers Brandon Strader and Mark Mendleta and they have been around for fourteen years and they wanted to create a sound and provoking compositions into the voyages of time.
And they have done with their concept album, The Culmination. Released in 2010, the story behind the concept piece is about finding closure in life and there’s a lot of melodic, calmness, and well-structured on the arranging and composition they have brought on here. Although it has 11 tracks on the album, it works almost like a film score to either a drama, horror or a science-fiction movie in which it goes through various motions in heavy, ambient, alternative, lukewarm beauty, and frightening touches to go through each of the pieces that both Strader and Mendleta take the listener inside the mind and in the person’s heart.
Mark plays the instruments while Brian sings and plays both rhythm and lead guitar. What Mark does on the drums and keyboards, he takes it a level of hypnotic surroundings of multidimensional locations that is beyond the beyond. And then on the drums, it’s very laid-back and relaxed and he isn’t going wild and crazy, but laying down the patterns step by step as if he’s Nick Mason during the Dark Side of the Moon sessions.
Brian’s vocals are gentle, soft, and strong and can come at you to give goosebumps wherever he goes into a different door, he will go into that world and sing his heart out. And his guitar playing at times is a resemblance of Robert Fripp, Tool’s Adam Jones, and Brian May rolled up into one. His virtuosity is completely mesmerizing as he along with Mark, go into the deeper realms on the various measures that is hair-raising and chilling.
Both the ideas and visuals of film come in handy as I’ve mentioned before showing a futuristic world gone horribly wrong as it evokes Ridley Scott’s 1982 cult classic, Blade Runner at times as if to answer the question if Deckard is really a replicant or not. The Culmination is a mysterious yet breathtaking and a mind-blowing album they have brought to the table. With a beautiful cover showing the sun going down in the forest it is a journey that is both strange and striking. And both Mark and Brandon will always expect the unexpected like no other.