Progressive metal bands in Israel are a rare breed. That is why when I heard the Sublime was holding a double feature of female fronted progressive metal bands, I left the Shir-cave and drove to the wasteland which is Southern Tel Aviv.
The evening featured two bands – Key of the Moment and PieQ. The former I’ve known for sometime – it is a project led by Eden Rabin (of Orphaned Land and Right on Time), and the latter is a relatively new band to the scene.
Introducing Key of the Moment
Key of the Moment has been around for a few years but I don’t think I’ve ever had the chance to see them live until last week. This quintet of skilled musicians is as impressive live as it is in the studio; fronted by a powerful female singer (who apparently only joined the band about a month ago – it wasn’t noticeable), the band presents captivating melodies with a tight and cunning performance.
Most notable were bass player Jonathan Maimon (who you might have seen on Project RNL videos) who holds the band together with his amazing precision, and of course, the leader of the bunch, the shirtless yet talented keyboardist Eden Rabin. If you like thick power chords, dramatic chord progressions and a poignant female voice – this is the band for you.
Actually PieQ went on stage first, but I wanted to elaborate more on this band’s performance. I have heard PieQ’s music on their Bandcamp page before and I was quite impressed, but unfortunately I missed their previous concerts.
This band is comprised of young people around the age of 20. Now, I’ve seen prog-metal played in the past by youngsters and usually, although their technique is astounding, the actual compositions are redundant and distasteful – not such is the case here. PieQ matches their technical skills with rich melodies, exciting riffs and surprising musical twists.
Another quintet of singular instruments (one drummer, one bass player, one guitarist, one keyboardist and one lead singer), the band managed to deliver their musical vision on stage without compromising on a single thing. The rich distortion sound from Guy Meiri’s Stratocaster, accompanied by Guy Bernfeld’s crunching six-string bass and the explosive drumming style of Shalev Srur created an intense wall of sheer power that allows nothing else to get through.
Nothing, except for Sapir J. Fox’s paramount voice, that is. While some have claimed that Sapir’s voice makes PieQ sound like Lee Triffon from Eatliz, to me Sapir sounds like a young Gwen Stefani. That is, before the embarrassing Sholem Aleichem cover and hip hop career.
Actually, the overall PieQ sound, particularly on their EP, reminds me of a pre-Tragic Kingdom No Doubt. Yuval Brusilovsky’s keyboards, which I’m sorry to say weren’t that audible during the most of the concert, are quite reminiscent of Eric Steafani’s choice of sounds. This resemblance is further emphasized on the song Inverted Smile, where at some point the band actually starts to play a Ska segment, before cutting back to its core musical style.
I have always thought that No Doubt, as great a band as it was (not including anything after Tragic Kingdom, of course), could have taken its music farther. It could have been a progressive rock band, or at least it could have introduced more complexity to its songs instead of, well, less.
So basically, PieQ does answer the question – what would No Doubt sound like if it became a progressive metal band? Of course this is not to say that PieQ is a No Doubt clone or unoriginal in any way; in fact, it is one of the most original bands I’ve seen in Israel.
If you’re in Israel, be sure to check out one of their concerts. And if you’re not – buy their EP!