ASSIGNMENT – Reflections

ASSIGNMENT - Reflections
  • 8.2/10
    ASSIGNMENT - Reflections - 8.2/10


Massacre Records
Release date: August 21, 2020

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Assignment’s fifth album Reflections is an eclectic collection of Progressive/Power Metal stylings, choosing to veer topically from song to song rather than expound on any one theme. Roughly the first half of the album is politically charged, drawing much of its power and forward thrust from lyrics laced with anger and frustration. The sentiments are conveyed perfectly by vocalist Diego Valdez, whose Dio-esque tone and range are suited well to the heartfelt subject matter. Following the Eastern Europe-inflected instrumental “Trilogia Balkanica”, the band launches into “Mercyful Angel”, a song about the twentieth anniversary of the NATO bombings of Yugoslavia, a mission that was mistranslated in some quarters as being called “Merciful Angel” . The song hits hard emotionally and sonically: Michael Kolar, the newest member of the Assignment team, makes his strong presence felt.

The next couple tracks continue on political themes, “Obsession” is anger-fueled thrasher, taking straight aim at “the American way on its own”, “The Corporate Men” is a trenchant look at the inner lives of those who trade their identities for a modicum of hollow security.

The title track shifts the landscape slightly, moving to more individual yet still political material. Assignment guitarist and main man Goran Panić shifts of the tone for this deeply personal song, beginning with a haunting female chorus, leading into alternating male vocals meant to represent a man being divided from himself or his homeland, or both. Goran trades solos with Gert Sprick on keyboards, the interlude then followed by a uniting of the disparate vocals, touches making “Reflections” a gripping and unique piece of Prog perfection.

Politics take a back seat on the next few songs. “Submission” is a first-person rocker building on the sentiments expressed in “Reflections”; “Timeline” is a dark introspective journey showcasing Valdez’s versatility and his ability to convey epic themes. He’s joined on “Endlessly” by guest Inés Vera-Ortiz, who takes on the role of the daughter to his father in a song about consequences and familial rifts.

The last two cuts of the album, “Unknown Hero” and “Silent Nation”, pickup the story from Assignment’s third, more conceptual album Inside The Machine, continuing that more abstractly political story. These tracks are the most Progressive sounding of the songs to be found on Reflections, each making great use of multiple voices and ever-changing time signatures a la Ayreon.

Reflections is definitely a mixed bag of emotions and styles, but one certain to please with its exceptional musicianship and strong vocal performances. Many Progressive/Power Metal releases leave one with the aural experience of having taking an epic journey; Reflections pulls listeners along for several shorter–but no less enjoyable–trips.


  • Daniel Waters

    Daniel was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio. Iron Maiden’s Piece Of Mind wasn’t the first Metal album he owned, but it was the one that lifted the lid off his soul when he received the record as a gift on his 15th birthday. He's been a Metal fan ever since. He's probably best known as the author of various Young Adult novels such as the Generation Dead series and the ghost story Break My Heart 1,000 Times, now also a major motion picture entitled I Still See You, starring Bella Thorne. Writing and music, especially Heavy Metal music, has always been inextricably linked in his mind and career. His first paid gig doing any type of writing was for Cemetery Dance, where he wrote a horror-themed music column called Dead Beats, and when he was writing the first Generation Dead novel he had a ritual where he started his writing day with a Metal playlist that kicked off with “Crushing Belial” by Shadows Fall.

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