Have you been wondering what Beyond Twilight mastermind Finn Zierler has been up to in 6 years of absolute silence? I am not going to lie to you… It’s been painful for me to wait all these years! Although, judging by what I’ve heard so far, I can tell you that it looks like it was well worth the wait!
I will, of course, give you a full review when the album comes out but I couldn’t wait until then to write about this promising project as the tune they released dropped my jaw…
So, here goes…
Finn Zierler is making a fantastic comeback with a great project, under his own name. As you guys already know, if I am calling something fantastic, the chances are it’s progressive metal… Yep. You got that one right… But wait until you hear the line-up!
Now, hold tight!!!
There is, of course, Finn at keyboards (Beyond Twilight), who became one of Lady’s heroes in 2001 with his great album The Devil’s Hall of Fame, with the great Jorn Lande on vocals. …and then Section X followed in 2005; a masterpiece composing-wise… Ah, the rich and symphonic, dark, atmospheric keys – oh, and let’s not forget about the conceptual brilliance. It’s been a heaven to me with the high-pitched vocals delivered by the brilliant Kelly Sundown (which I am going to write about in a minute as he is on board, too… It’s great to see this duo collaborating again)!
If you are not familiar with the awesomeness that is the Beyond Twilight albums, you’ve got some time until the Zierler album comes out – so start listening dammit! We’re talking about a man behind these albums, whose presence can shake every prog-head to the core. Yes, yes, this guy is one of those who pull off the most technical, complex pieces while being infectiously catchy and extremely impressive.
Apart from the genius keyboardist himself, we have four other top notch musicians aboard.
Per Nilsson – on the guitars and bass. We know him as the founding member of Scar Symmetry which unfortunately happens to have broken a fan base’s heart with Christian Älvestam departure… Anyway, this is whole another story… This great guitarist joined Swedish prog-rock band Kaipa after Roine Stolt left and has been with the band since Angling Feelings album. Lonestar already covered his great work on the band’s last album Vittjar on these pages… Here is the link for the interested! Borrowing lonestar’s words about the musician “The keyboards provide an ethereal atmosphere to the piece, linking the rhythm and guitar perfectly. As to the guitar work of Nilsson, it’s absolutely mind-blowing. As the elements come together, the rhythm stands as an exquisite canvas upon which the keys and guitar paint with impunity.”
As I mentioned, we’ve also got Kelly Sundown Carpenter on the vocals – Sigh… In an Ideal World™, I would want to see Kelly singing new songs every single day. Being a huge fan I made a profile for him which you can find here. To quote myself “Kelly Sundown is one of the best singers of our time. His vast range, immense talent in phrasing, excellent pitch control and great note selections have secured him a place as a living legend amongst the greatest vocalists in the history of metal.”
“What makes him even more special is his unsurpassed emotional control. His voice shifts into different guises to match the emotions and layers of thought he expresses. His mastery in inducing emotions turns the technical and complex progressive metal pieces into catchy, melodic, emotional and more importantly, accessible records and has been enabling him to crank out some of the most emotionally touching and deeply heartfelt progressive metal pieces and hard-to-resist, soul-satisfying albums of today.”
For his other work, you can check out Beyond Twilight, Darkology, Epysode, Outworld and the two new demos of Adagio.
On the vocals we also have Truls Haugen for which we know his majestic drum work for Circus Maximus and Norwegian metal act Insense… No, no, that’s not a typo… I said vocals. I actually was told by Michael Eriksen that he is great at singing too, but it’s the first time I’m hearing his vocal efforts and – pardon my Martian – dang, is he good! Just listen to the their first song Aggrezzor, which is released on their Facebook page here. He is definitely great at driving the music with his voice as much as he is with his hands.
Finally, you must be wondering by now whom we’ve got on the drums if Truls is a-singing… Well, I’d hang tight again as it is no other than Bobby Jarzombek, ladies and gentlemen. Yes, the great drummer who worked with amazing musicians such as Rob Halford, Fates Warning, Arch/Matheos, Sebastian Bach, Iced Earth… Yes!!! Gimme!!!
Now, we didn’t hear anything about them putting together this breath-taking team until 26th November 2012… Ok, won’t lie here, I might have heard something about it but you know what I mean.
I don’t need to tell you that there will be a stellar synergy out of this talent pool as they already shared some of their tunes with us… But if you are curious about the team dynamics, the brainchild Finn Zierler tells us the story:
“I’ve had the idea in mind for some time now. All the guys in the matrix are amongst my personal favourites and have been it for years. As with any ‘supergroup’, bringing together the best talent doesn’t mean things will work out – however in this case it did. It’s an absolute pleasure to work with each one of these great musicians – on every level.”
On their official Facebook Page – where you can find the taster as well! – they describe their music as brutal, nightmarishly technical, crushingly dark progressive metal… It can’t get better than that! This is the absolute perfect formula for yours truly! I can’t even begin to describe the anticipation!
Zierler says that “the performances on the album are simply inhuman, just a smashing and fantastic job by everyone involved.” I’m not surprised one bit – are you?!
As I said the track “Aggrezzor” was first released on Facebook as a taster. Interesting right? Not the most conventional approach! Well, actually they didn’t do this for the hell of it. There’s a good reason behind it, hidden between the lines… Oh, did I just say hidden? Haha, well that’s actually not true. More like in your face….
Zierler – “The lyrics for Aggrezzor are about the social media amongst other things which is exactly why I have chosen to release it on Facebook. I’m well aware that it can be misunderstood by some and others might be offended but I hope people will get the message, the irony and humour between the lines. At least it might give people something to think about.”
You’ll find that I’m all for this stance.
I can’t remember the name of the syndrome and a cursory search did not reveal a readily available article about the trials involved but there is this thing, the theory says that when you wear a uniform, you become less inhibited. When people are convinced that they are anonymous behind a keyboard they become less inhibited as well.
Social media is a very useful tool, I use it every day and I can’t imagine doing what I do without it. But you must agree that it bred a horrible, horrible generation as well. Spend some time on the interwebz and you are bound to be ganged up on and beaten to a pulp by someone who might have no idea what you are about using off the counter arguments such as “lol noob.”
Progressive as a whole has always been focused on ideas with layers like the music itself. These guys are analysing a very serious problem that bred a generation who say things like “swag” and “yolo” – I am not sure it is possible to successfully convey the extent of the danger here.
The ease of access is, among other things, inflating the perception of self-importance and creating a huge cost – cost of using social networks.
It is a big part of our lives. Like cancer or war, illiteracy, hunger… Might not be the most important issue for you but i) these guys have a good medium to communicate their ideas – music, and, ii) this is obviously something worth analysing for them.
Basically, they are making a point. A tongue in cheek point centered around social media and Internet ignorance. They are making it beautifully. What? So all songs need to be about “high art” themes?
Anyways, yes friends, we’re talking about a bunch who have kept the standard astoundingly high and I expect nothing short of godly from them…
I can’t wait to be overwhelmed by the synergy these great musicians will create!