The third release from Magnitude Nine is a progressive metal CD that has potential crossover appeal into the other parts of the metal genre, especially melodic metal fans. Lead vocalist Corey Brown was a former member of Psycho Drama and is a top-notch vocalist who blends well with the vision of guitarist Rob Johnson. Brown shines throughout the CD and has a distinct voice, pleasant vocal delivery.
“New Dimension” starts the disc with a prolodic metal romp that features some contrasting subdued and flashy guitar work from Johnson, who is complimented nicely on the keyboards of Joseph Anastacio Glean. “Facing The Unknown” has a slight early 90’s Fates Warning feel and could potentially make for a good Hard Radio single. Personally, my favorite track on the disc is “Walk Through The Fire”, a beautifully crafted song that appealing on various levels of vocal delivery and instrumentation. “Dead In Their Tracks” is a heavier, flashier track that would be more typical of European band than an American group. That said, Glean and Johnson steal the show on this song with some stunning solos. The mellower “Changes” also has an early 90’s Fates Warning vibe. “Torn” has a thick guitar groove that runs throughout the song and soon becomes quite infectuous. Drummer John Homan stands out with his off beats on “Thirty Days Of Night”. Closing track “Sands Of Time” is a lovely, laid back piece that soon opens up with a slick guitar solo before easing back once again.
While it is typically an easy route to take saying a prog metal band reminds you of Dream Theater, there is no such comparison on “Decoding The Soul” as I find their style to stand out on its own. What I find so immediately appealing about “Decoding The Soul” is Magnitude Nine’s ability to write interesting, challenging progressive styled metal without becoming so technical that it turns off part of their potential audience. The fluidity of the tracks is very warm and appealing enough to further my interest in examining their back catalog.