Promethium – Welcome to the Institution 2020 Remaster

Promethium – Welcome to the Institution 2020 Remaster

Promethium – Welcome to the Institution 2020 Remaster
Load 4 Records
Released December 2021

  1. Distant Illusion
  2. Visions
  3. Meaning of Trust
  4. Nothing
  5. Tribute to the Fallen
  6. 33.1
  7. Cycle of Vengeance
  8. Trapped
  9. The Curse
  10. Murder Inc

11. Visions (2020)
12. Nothing (2020)
13. Murder Inc (2020)

Bonus Track

14. Sons Revenge (Remaster)

Lancaster based metallers Promethium released their debut album “Welcome to the Institution” to much critical acclaim back in 2010. The original album was an excellent debut from a band that were to have an ezciting future ahead of them. 

Fast Forward 10 years to 2020 and the whole album has been remixed and remastered. Over the years Promethium have had quite a few line-up changes, so this release showcases the original 2010 line-up with 3 tracks re-recorded by the 2020 line-up. Plus you get “Sons Revenge” as a bonus track which was the first track ever recorded by the band.

Tracks 1 to 10 and Track 14 2010 Line-up:

Vocals – Gary McGahon
Guitars – Daniel Lovett-Horn
Guitars – Rossi
Bass – Wayne Wanger Ward
Drums – Fraser

Tracks 11 to 13 2020 Line-up:

Vocals – Steve Graham
Guitars – Daniel Lovett-Horn
Guitars – Rossi
Bass – Bentle Ben
Drums – Iron Aiden

Opening instrumental “Distant Illusion” really is the calm before the storm. Gentle guitars and steady bass and drums lure us in beautifully to an almost Schenker styled intro. Suddenly the thrusting guitars kick in and we are into second track “Visions”. “Visions” is a thumping good track, very heavy and hard hitting. I love the desperation in Gary McGahon’s voice as he screams “see the dead through another’s eyes, all alone with my visions“. “Meaning of Trust” follows, the intro to which contains some superb rolling drumming from Fraser. The track soon steadies into a formidable rocker. It’s all about hating someone who has shattered your life with betrayal. The song is brilliantly full of anger. My personal favourite is next; the awesome “Nothing”. Scintilating bass playing from Wayme Wanger Ward that really seeps in and out thoughout the song. I love the solo that comes in at the 2:26 mark. I also love the way the whole band seem to attack as a pack on the chorus. 

“Tribute to the Fallen” is very powerful. The horrors and devastation of battle. The stench of death, the blood drenched loyalty that will always be hopeless are all displayed here. The commanding scream vocal seem to order the poor soldier into a helpless spellbound reply. Next track the intriguingly titled “33.1” starts off very dark. The song is told from the perspective of a human experiment victim that is fighting with every inch to retain some level of control. The innocence will and does eventually lose.

The dual vocal attack of “Cycle of Vengeance” is something that Promethium have always done well. The song slows in tempo adding a brief spell of relief to an intense track. “Trapped” elevates “Welcome to the Institution” to classic album status. The guitar work of Rossi and Daniel Lovett-Horn masterly controls the number. Their playing flows wonderfully and becomews a rock masterclass. I’d love to see them play this live. “The Curse” is about the torturous hell of addiction. “I always tell myself this will be the last” It’s a powerful warning how living with an addiction harms in so many ways. There are no winners in this self imposed battle.

The (original) album closes with the stunning “Murder Inc”. Here we have an account of 19 year old Charles Starkweather and his 14 year old girlfriend Caril Ann Fugate, who terrorised Nebraska with a sensless, evil killing spree in 1957.  “Murder Inc” is a potent track that outstandingly thunders home the pain, anger and fear created by these hideous crimes. 

The 2020 Promethium line-up re-recorded the next 3 songs and the comparison is pretty favourable. The new versions sound more crisp, more fresh. The originals were pretty excellent, but the 2020 line-up add some experienced sparkle to the tracks. I especially love the use of the dual vocals on the verses of “Nothing”.

Final track the bonus “Sons Revenge” brings the 2010 line-up back and it is really interesting to hear how the band has developed since this first recording. The Promethium sound’ is still there, but it lacks the depth that they produce now. It is still a great track and worthy of being here. The track was reworked with new lyrics and became “Cycle of Vengeance”. It’s great to hear this version.

The great thing about having remixed and remastered “Welcome to the Institution”, is that Promethium can now offer this fresh release to a growing number of new fans. The playing and production is right up there and listeners will be impressed with just how good an album this is.

Going forward, 2022 reveals Promethium with a new line-up and hopefully exciting times ahead for this exceptional band.

Pete Devine Jan 2022

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