Key of the Moment – ‘The Switch’ [Review]

Sometimes a little research goes a long way. I first discovered Key Of The Moment while researching TMMP’s Guide to Project RnL, a near-exhaustive look at one of the prog scene’s most promising up-and-coming acts. Featuring the guitaristic talents of RnL’s Alon Tamir alongside a cast of brilliant instrumentalists, The Switch presents the kind of turbulent melodic metal that takes me back to my days as an avid Nightwish fan. This is perhaps a lazy comparison – any woman who fronts a band of this ilk is likely to come up against Tarja Turunen / Floor Jansen references at every turn – but it is nonetheless inescapable. Key Of The Moment’s Iris Sternberg, however, does go to some lengths to dispel that particular curse by employing a far less flamboyant vocal style than her peers, as well as taking a far more direct lyrical approach.

Also present is a distinctly Symphony X-esque compositional style, which I love. This is noticeably present on title track The Switch – all bumping groove, ethereal keys and that distinctive vocal. Restraint really seems to be key to Key Of The Moment’s sound, with every note, chord, and rhythm set up to serve the song. Flashy technique-focussed moments are relatively few, leaving plenty of space for the band’s songwriting chops to shine through. Of course, prog fans will still be delighted with a veritable smorgasbord of riffage and the skilfully subtle use of complex layers deep below Sternberg’s foregrounded vocals, not to mention the presence of a good few shreddy moments; it’s just that when they do appear, the playful solo spots are quickly pushed aside before the non-musicians get bored. To me, this represents Key Of the Moment’s respect for a wide range of potential fans.

While many bands in their genre can be considered musical Marmite, Key Of The Moment manage to blend commercial appeal with nods to serious musos, all without sacrificing so much as an ounce of integrity. A truly great achievement.


Buy The Switch here.

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Posted on 27 January 2014

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