First, some background: Mr. Dory is a real person, and a veteran of several extreme metal bands from Edmonton, Alberta (Canada) such as Death Toll Rising and Villanizer. Unsought Salvation is the second overall release and first full-length album by the progressive metal project that bears his name.
Unsought Salvation lacks pretension, a welcome departure from many of the Tylor Dory Trio’s prog metal cohorts. It also lacks an excessive amount of heaviness. We shouldn’t fault them for that, since too many “prog metal” bands emphasize the “metal” over the progressiveness. Melody rules over all else and this makes most of the album’s 10 tracks memorable and even catchy. Tylor Dory Trio also use just the right amount of atmospherics and instrumental noodling to earn the “prog” label without creating an overbearing listening experience.
Those in search of originality will find Unsought Salvation somewhat lacking. Tylor Dory Trio appear to genuflect a bit too much towards prog metal stalwarts like Dream Theater, Devin Townsend, Between The Buried and Me, Haken, and Opeth. Though nothing is entirely original anymore, one can make valid questions about degree and kind. Unsought Salvation seems to revel in progressive metal clichés so much as to be overdetermined by them. Anyone familiar with the aforementioned artists will be able to predict where songs like “East of Eden,” “Dying Light,” or “Glass Menagerie” will go. The biggest exception to this tendency can be found in “Cenotaph,” the album’s closer, and which builds to a massive Rush-esque climax before ending on a more sublime note.
When it comes to the elements of the music, the excellent guitar and bass playing, together with their more conscientious use of keyboards, are somewhat offset by the drumming and the vocals. The drumming is not by any means bad, merely lacking in the dynamics and virtuosity expected in the genre. True, not everybody needs to play like Mike Portnoy, Mario Duplantier, or Sean Reinert, but some syncopation or odd-numbered time signatures would have given this album a bit more bounce. “Cenotaph” again appears as the exception here, with the drummer taking a more active role in driving certain segments of the song. And there’s no polite way to say this: Tylor Dory should not sing for this band. His clean vocals, when not drowned in effects (which is bad) or heavily harmonized (like the few vocal parts that are actually good), sound a bit too much like Trey Parker of South Park. Though Dory’s harsh vocals sound more convincing than those of Tommy Rogers of BTBAM, that does not say much.
The Bottom Line