Local Music Review: Luminoth

Luminoth
Other Worlds and Allegories

Back in 2011, Knoxville prog-metal band Luminoth released its second album, Cabal, a slightly goofy but charming collection of modern prog rock, full of wonky jazz-fusion-inspired instrumental sections, sideways excursions, studio effects, and long, spacey jams. Three years later, following a string of local opening gigs for heavyweight national touring acts like Halestorm, Sevendust, and In This Moment, the band has just released its third album, Other Worlds and Allegories, and it's a giant step forward, technically. The band's chops have improved since Cabal, and 10 Years' drummer Brian Vodinh, who produced the new disc, has given Luminoth's sound a significant, state-of-the-art upgrade—Other Worlds and Allegories is a thoroughly professional, sonically massive hard-rock juggernaut with legitimate echoes of modern prog bands like Opeth, Cynic, and Porcupine Tree mixed in with a distinct Southern-rock vibe.

The streamlined achievement of Other Worlds and Allegories comes with a trade-off, though. The band's new big-league ambitions have smoothed some of the weird edges of Cabal. It's not a huge sacrifice, but the nerdiness of the earlier album—a big part of its appeal to me—has been erased in favor of arena-friendly muscle. Fans will love the new album, and it promises good things for the band's career, but it's not as interesting as it could have been.