Fresh, accessible and promising!
Open Fire is a curious case: it sounds both American and British at the same time. Following the trend of the recent years in progressive rock, The Room display an album that has enough of those oldish elements that we love and mix it with a very fresh and, why hide it and be shameful about it, pop character.
With a strong keyboard presence, a Marillion-esque nostalgic aura, an injection of 80's AOR and neo-prog and a guitar distortion to the level at which is required to keep the balance between melodic and rocking, The Room have found, it seems, the right recipe to fire openly an accessible sound that keeps growing on you with every listen. Mellow and pop, emotional and polished well enough is what you might call it at first. Crossover progressive music is on the rise, one thing is for sure. The warm vocals of Martin Wilson are an undeniable asset for the album, and so is the attention to execution of the songs. Don't expect irregular time signatures and thoroughly complex passages because you are not getting it here.
Think of Saga in a more British way and Pink Floyd melodies in an up-tempo manner - you are almost there. Especially during the first half of the album, the piano is dominant, resembling of the grandeur of Queen style at times, dragging the album to a more mellow path. The turning point is ''A Multitude of Angels'' where things pick up and the neo-prog tradition knocks on the door with Marillion, Pallas and Pendragon all coming to mind along with the legacy from Grey Lady Down that Wilson and Anderson bring; the first real peak... which gives way to the next best thing called ''In the Shadows'', the longest and most creative song of the album.
If you are into melodic progressive rock, then this would be right up your alley. Those looking for more adventurous patterns should look elsewhere. Another solid find from Melodic Revolution Records and Backstage Montreal.