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Twisted Into Form - Then Comes Affliction To Awaken The Dreamer CD (album) cover


Twisted Into Form


Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.17 | 48 ratings

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5 stars The new architects of twisted forms

After months of expectation, I finally got this album and listened to it. I am pretty enthusiastic about it, and the only thing that keeps me from jumping through the ceiling is the fact that I was actually expecting something of such good quality (knowing the band's line-up), so I was prepared. Kaj Gornitzka is a musician who participated in crafting some of Spiral Architect's early work (including the track "Fountainhead", the closer on their - by now - classic album, A Sceptic's Universe) and I was wondering what he could be up to since apparently he's had no activity in the musical field since his departure form the band some eight or nine years ago. Except David Husvik (drummer for Extol), the other band members were unknown to me (and probably to most listeners). The bass player is very good and provides tasteful additions to the themes played on the guitar. His style is not as flashy as Lars K. Norberg's for instance, being somewhat more subdued in his approach, but an attentive listening to the bass lines will reveal an imaginative and carefully thought work on his part. I would say he has a style that's pretty similar to Sean Malone's (of Cynic and Gordian Knot fame, among others). The vocalist is a really nice surprise as well - powerful voice, but melodic and warm in tone (as opposed to the more strident and theatrical Oyvind Haegeland from SA), perfectly matching the complicated textures and sombre tone of the compositions. To say that the way the vocal lines (and the music in general, to a certain point) are constructed bring to mind a certain band named Yes would probably seem surprising, but I actually think there is much resemblance between the two: mostly high-pitched vocals, oscillating around tight harmonics, melodic and fluent bass lines, as well as the shifting rhythms and the elegant aggressiveness of the guitars, all elements recalling classic prog extravaganza. If anything in particular, the guitar work on this album resembles that of Spiral Architect. It's all over the place, blasting through the speakers, ornate with extravagant, everchanging riffs and effective solo moments. The guitars lead the songs through their timespan, providing a heavy backbone, with odd harmonies and polyrhythmic patterns for the rest of the band to follow and enrich. The drums, though they don't showcase a particularly innovative approach, are played impeccably, with outstanding technique and mouth watering moments for virtually any drummer whose ears may stumble upon this release. Together these people assembled an album which is a tech metal lover's dream come true. Heavy, majestic, unceasingly shifting from one time signature to a surprising other, flawlessly produced, this album takes you exactly where you want to go when listening to this kind of music, and it does this with full professionalism. No tracks are especially conspicuous compared to others, since they are all performed in similar fashion, except perhaps "The Thin Layers of Lust and Love", which is the only track to feature a build-up from the quieter opening sequence, through the verses punctuated by some beautifully-toned semi-acoustic guitar, to some very diverse solo sections including some jazzy workouts towards the end. As a general rule, however, the tracks are aggressive and there are very few moments when the assault lets down (usually in favour of a jazz-infused guitar solo over accompanying bass lines), so listening may be tiresome for some, but I think that staying focused is ultimately rewarding, as the constant harmonic and rhythmic changes are always exciting and make up for a captivating experience. Needless to say, this is highly recommended to those who love the music of Psychotic Waltz, middle-period Fates Warning, Cynic, Spiral Architect, Ephel Duath, Canvas Solaris, and in general to those open towards dense and provocative music in all possible ways. Rhythmically, this album doesn't reach the same heights of intricacy as Spiral Architect's album (the most obvious comparison), although it generally builds up around the same musical principles, but it is more melodic and probably more accessible, without being repetitive or predictable for one second of its 44 minute length. A fine album and possibly a future reference in contemporary progressive metal.

Uroboros | 5/5 |


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