17 Apr 2016

Prajna: "Lost in the Void"

South-American crowd pleaser, strong in attitude but thin in essence
Reviewing lesser known bands from all over the world can reveal huge talent yet unknown to the masses, but first and foremost there's a lot of surprise to be had. With Prajna from Colombia it's hard to tell what to expect just from the name and cover, but in essence it is a band whose efforts wallow in several 80s heavy metal currents, lending speed and power from bands like Helloween, Fates Warning, Anthrax and more.

At first the cover looks like something thrown together at the last minute. The train of thought leads to worries of whether or not the music will be of the same hurried nature. In general it goes for the entire demo EP that the music itself, though presented with all the gusto and fervour you could wish for on the band's behalf, is somewhat lacking in quality. For all the enthusiasm, the craftsmanship of the arrangements themselves aren't up to par. It is blatantly obvious what main songwriter Andrés Felipe Murillo is trying to accomplish with Prajna. But ultimately the speeding power chord progressions and solos collapse under the weight of genre expectations and fails to do its own thing well enough to avoid comparison to legendary bands and albums.

"Ultimately, though, Prajna's first release lacks the ardor and zeal that freshman bands usually present..."

As a first effort Lost in the Void is an okay offering, but when there are hundreds if not thousands of bands to compete with for attention, okay doesn't cut it. The most attractive aspect of Prajna are the simple but enjoyable leads underlined by Javier Navarrete's rhythm guitars as well as a few alright choruses like in Electrocuted. Ultimately, though, Prajna's first release lacks the ardor and zeal that freshman bands usually present early in their careers. Instead Lost in the Void is numbed by tame production and is a strictly by the numbers experience.

The EP is a bit too rounded around the edges to cause any lasting impact, and as such lacks the power in power metal. The whole journey is very undaring and cautious, playing it safe with songs that are lyrically ambitious but musically dull. Prajna's style is distinct and recognisable, but the EP lacks the compositions to truly stand out on the long run. A case of in through one ear and out the other, it doesn't quite cut through the void like it should. All in all there is definite potential, and in this case it's a lot of small things that add up to it being a bit boring. If all those smaller parts could be improved, next year's great power metal act might be just around the corner.


Released in 2011 independently

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Prajna on BANDCAMP

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