Beyond Twilight - For the Love of Art and the Making
Ever heard one of those bands that sounded like they were showing off? It got you all ticked off and you swore to yourself and all your friends that you wouldn't waste your time and money on that arrogant band. Then not five minutes later you are complaining about this other band that is nothing but crap and that you have more talent in your little toe? So basically, you don't like the garbage bands, but you don't want a band showing off either. You like that happy medium. Well, for once...I think it might be best to forget your stupid boundaries. Toss them aside and pop in this disc full of massive amounts of arrogance. Truth is though...regardless of how much showing off this band does on this album, this is freakin' amazing stuff and you are really doing your ears a disservice by sticking to some dumb rule you made for yourself.
If you had the privilege of hearing this band's first album, The Devil's Hall of Fame, or their second album, Section X, you know that one...they are one of the most talented and most incredible up and coming metal bands there are. And two, you know that the band used two different singers on those albums...Jørn Lande and Kelly Sundown Carpenter. I feel such in love with Carpenter's fantastic vocals that I was really disappointed when I saw a new vocalist listed here. One thing is for sure though, whether it's Lande, Carpenter, or new vocalist Björn Jansson, Beyond Twilight must have cornered the market on killer metal vocalists. Some bands can hang around for 20 years and go through tons of vocalists and not get one half as good and any of these three. So those worrying about a drop on in the vocal department...umm....trust me....not a problem here. Jansson is actually pretty similar to the previous vocalists and has that versatility to high the highest of highs and still burst forth in angry and dirty aggression.
To really describe this album is something that could take years. The album is 37 minutes and thirty seconds and yet it is broken up into 43 sections that can sound normal whether they are playing in a row or played on shuffle. Don't believe me? Just try it. Numerous themes are repeated throughout the album, but yet this is one of the most diverse and complicated albums I've ever listened to. If this disc was the near 60 or 70 minutes that many progressive metal albums are, I don't know if people would be able to ever completely digest it. Usually I hate "full lengths" that are this short, but this may be a good thing in this instance. While the album may have a choppy feel at times, the band somehow manages to keep a pretty cohesive feel throughout. They really hit you from all angles, and even a few angles that you didn't even know existed. This is very dark, haunting progressive metal through and through. It is very melodic and symphonic and yet can get brutally heavy at times. And yet mixed with the metal is some of the best keyboard work you'll find on a metal album. Imagine a mix of Symphony X, Dream Theater, Dimmu Borgir, Pain of Salvation, and Ulver. Yeah, you heard right. And I'm not talking about the black metal Ulver. I'm talking the psycho-experimental stuff found on Blood Inside. Now when you heard the Dimmu Borgir comparison, don't think this band has shrieking black vocals. But sometimes the heavier side of this band sounds like it came right off Death Cult Armageddon. Then if combining numerous styles wasn't enough, the band does all kinds of off the wall stuff. Hear is their own description of one song "...note the composition of 'The Black Box in Reverse (Sleeping Beauty).' The melody line is composed and played "composed" backwards. The bass line is composed and played backwards as if it was recorded backwards. Played on keyboard, for instance, the right hand is playing the composed backwards melody line where the left hand is playing the bass line composition reversed as if it was recorded backwards. There is a significant difference between playing composed and recorded backwards. Here, you have a mixture of both in one composition. This is a technical and mathematical challenge, but if you analyze it closer it is also deeply complex in the fundamental nature of composing and the very soul of music. Making a melody and musical piece that makes sense out of reverse in this way is like creating a 4 dimensional universe of a musical composition." Ummm...ok. There's a little bit of that arrogance there in their own words. And if that wasn't enough, they do other stuff like having certain compositions containing other compositions that are made of rhythmic laughter. Just some weird stuff. The entire album is supposed to be a puzzle. It contains 43 sections and 3 hidden sections (of which I have no idea what they are). And supposedly, the lyrics and the music both play important roles in figuring out the puzzle. So, if you like challenges musically and lyrically and have plenty of time on your hands....then by golly this will keep you busy. And if you don't have all that time on your hands, just a regular listen through this masterpiece is still a load of fun. No matter the reason you listen to this disc, the band will impress on all fronts. And despite all I've said, I'm sure I didn't even touch on 1% of what you'll find here.
Equally impressive is the packaging and production. Although, like on the last album, I could've done without the near nudie pictures the band has on a couple pages of the booklet. Not even sure where that ties in at all with the lyrics of the album. Kinda like all those bands that have upside-down crosses or pentagrams on their album cover and then sing about girls and politics.
This is a much different monster than Beyond Twilight's previous album, but fans of the band will be giddy at the results. Yes, the band is showing off big time here. But who really cares? Better to show off and create a killer work of art with great songs and great performances, then to put out a worthless piece of crap that no one wants to listen to or putting out an album that just sounds like every other band out there. Beyond Twilight is fast becoming the Opeth or the Emperor of their genre. A band that simply dominates their style and wins countless fans that normally wouldn't give their style the time of day....just because they are mind-blowing in the art they create.
Review By: Matt Morrow
Label: Nightmare Records/Massacre Records
Total Songs: 1 song (43 sections and 3 hidden sections)
Total Time: 37:30
Tracklisting: 1. In the Eyes of My Soul (First Movement), 2. Creep Evil, 3. Sleeping Beauty The Journey, 4. Purity, 5. Sleeping Beauty Connected, 6. Tongue Angel, 7. I Moved, 8. Blackened in My Eyes, 9. Temptations, 10. Fiery Woman, 11. Sweet Irony, 12. Conversation of the Dead, 13. The Perfect Heart, 14. The Perfect Heart Part II Think, 15. The Key Imagine, 16. The Perfect Heart Part III (Modulated Instrumental), 17. The Black Widow, 18. The Key Part II Naked Truth, 19. The Kiss of the Wind, 20. Dark Wild Rage, 21. Temptations Part II Return (Modulated), 22. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, 23. Cold As Blue, 24. The Awakening, 25. Cold as Blue Like a Candle You Start to Drip, 26. Bilingues Cavendi. One Should Beware of the Double-Tongued, 27. The Awakening Part II The Smile, 28. The Awakening Part III Opening the Curtains to a Beautiful Sunny Morning Watching the Singing Birds, 29. In the Eyes of My Soul (First Movement Modulated with Irony), 30. Past the Magic, 31. Past the Magic Part II (Rhythmic Laughter), 32. Nightwandering on Needles, 33. In the Eyes of My Soul (Second Movement Modulated with Irony), 34. In the Eyes of My Soul (Second Movement), 35. 6 Seconds Past 6, 36. Organ Scientistic Formula (1), 37. Nightwandering on Needles Part II The Answer, 38. 6 Black Roses - Ship of Rowing Slaves, 39. Autumn Fog Message, 40. Sleeping Beauty Returns - The Black Box of Reverse (Forward), 41. The Black Box of Reverse, 42. In The Eyes of My Soul (Third Movement), 43. In The Eyes of My Soul For the Love of Art and the Making (Finale).
Best Songs: Tracks 3, 8, 20, & 36.
Band Lineup: Bjorn Jansson - Vocals, Finn Zierler - Keyboards, Anders Exo Kragh - Lead Guitars, Anders Devillian Lindgren - Bass, Jacob Hansen - Rhythm Guitars, Tomas Freden - Drums.
Band Website: http://www.beyondtwilight.com