UK prog meister Pete Morten is probably best known to the metal underground as one of the components of THRESHOLD. On the side, Morten's been slow cooking his own prog metal stew, MY SOLILOQUY for more than a decade. After a couple of EPs over the years and wrangling through roster changes, Morten takes command of his own venture by laying down MY SOLILOQUY in near-solo capacity.
As mastermind and executor of everything minus the drums and percussion (fielded by Damon Roots), Pete Morten certainly cues tags of prodigy. He even concocted "The Interpreter"'s nifty industrialized artwork. On the downside, however, for Morten's oozing talent and abundance of ideas, "The Interpreter" is often in need of streamlining translation and perhaps a depth charge from external resources is needed to siphon a bigger kick than what's valiantly presented here.
Damon Roots is the X-factor to Pete Morten's outstretched canvassing and senses-tweaking cumshaw. It will take another album or two for Morten to either loosen the chains that constrict "The Interpreter" or to tighten his own leash if his desire is to continue working as his own boss under MY SOLILOQUY. Tightening the higher ranges of his vocals should be one item to throw onto his future prospectus.
As with most prog metal projects, even those in long development, "The Interpreter" breathes and bleeds from a heaving sustenance of ideas. Too much gorging, however, chances regurgitation and that does occur frequently on this album despite a lot of good intentions. After a bit of time spent with "The Interpreter", you know by instinct "Fractured" can't simply rest on its laurels as a standalone thrash piece, as hefty a prospect that would be. Morten unfortunately risks the entire endeavor by overdubbing his isolated parts into a muddled succession of prog chops that scream wannabe of YES' "Songs From Topographic Oceans" but they have little personality in comparison to the primary drive of the track. Suffice it to say, one gets the impression Morten should've let the song writhe inside one tempo.
The dance groove lurking beneath the step-heavy "Corrosive De-Emphasis" is one of "The Interpreter"'s Fancy Dan maneuvers, undermined (in smart fashion, actually) by an eighties power rock bang on the choruses and a roundabout fusion bridge and funk ride the remainder of the way. To some effects, it's almost as if JAMIROQUAI dabbled in hard rock for a thrill, strange as the proposition might be. Despite the rolling progressions, "Corrosive De-Emphasis" does present a pleasing pill of cohesion.
The finest nectar to be sipped out of "Dream in Extremis" comes in the synth-decorated solo section and this is following a succession of half-stepping prog lines and Baroquian key dabs. At the core, a solid piece, yet it could've been grand with more players to help Morten extend his intended eloquence. The following number, "Inner Circles", could've come off as a beast, yet the singular synth hammers through the verses aggravate instead of luxuriate with their raving mad tones. Afterwards, we don't necessarily know where Morten is looking to veer, towards the later year BEATLES or towards FATES WARNING. It's apparent Morten's brainy mathematics threw such equations inside his gifted mind he could only sieve so much of it out on his own accord. By the time "Inner Circles" hits stride with splendid detailing, you're left to wonder how much better it could've been. At least "Star" concludes the album as a tastefully simple heavy ballad, its only embellishment courtesy of soothing, astral keyboards.
Like Jeff Waters' block of time releasing ANNIHILATOR albums as essentially a one-man show, Pete Morten should give serious consideration to opening his doors to a full ensemble once again. Morten has a live troupe at his disposal. Perhaps he should invite them (or whomever can keep up with him and help reign in his sprawling notions) into the studio for future MY SOLILOQUY albums. Jeff Waters has all the acumen in the world, yet time has taught him a valuable lesson that ANNIHILATOR leaves a bigger impact with a full roster.