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Penna - 2017 - "SubLevels"

(24:27, Penna)


US project PENNA is the creative vehicle of composer and musician David Penna, otherwise known as a member of bands such as Kronin, Planet Hate, Spastic Ink, Ad Astra and Ronnie Spector. "SubLevels" is his second EP, and was self-released in 2017. This is an EP that in some respects is similar to Blind Ego's album "Liquid", which I reviewed earlier today. The songs tends to alternate between gentler and harder passages, creating a natural flow and tension in the songs that makes them easy to like and easy to enjoy. Penna has a bit more of a progressive rock oriented take on his material however, at least I get that impression throughout. Furthermore, the songs are more dampened also in the harder passages, rarely if ever approaching metal in intensity, and the lead vocals doesn't add much flair either. As such, the vocals here are more passable, but suits the more dampened premises of the material really well. An additional treat is the liberal use of subtle and sometimes not so subtle psychedelic tinged instrument details, which adds a slight otherworldly touch to this EP. A fine production on many levels, but also one that is obviously self-released. This is an EP that has a bit more of a rough general sound, be it by accident or design, and while not detrimental as such this will be an aspect that may limit the target audience ever so slightly. Still, if good quality, progressive hard rock of a dark and dampened variety that has been given a slight psychedelic coating is something you might fancy, this is an EP that merits a listen.

Olav "Progmessor" Bjornsen: February 27th, 2018

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