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Wuthering Heights - To Travel For Evermore CD (album) cover

TO TRAVEL FOR EVERMORE

Wuthering Heights

 

Progressive Metal

4.39 | 14 ratings

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semismart
Prog Reviewer
5 stars Sorry, it's not a book review nor a movie review. It's a music review about a Danish band named Wuthering Heights's second album and a damned good one at that.

Wuthering Heights caught me by surprise. I buy a lot of albums by word of mouth, good reviews, gut feeling and generally wishful thinking. I try to get a sample of something I'm interested in first but when you're dealing with underground and esoteric music you can't always get a sample. Besides, I have gotten samples that I didn't like only to find out years later that I loved that band, so I buy a lot of music on instinct. True I get plenty of music I don't really care for or that I'm indifferent to but I also get quite a lot that I'm crazy about and for me that's what it's about.

Wuthering Heights is one of those bands I bought cold. I had read good reviews but I wasn't impressed by the name nor the album cover, so I wasn't expecting much. Turns out To Travel For Evermore was one of those pleasant surprises and one of the better Progressive Metal releases I've gotten in a while. To Travel For Evermore is the middle album of a concept album trilogy, the initial album being Within (1999) and the finale being Far From the Maddening Crowd released just this year. It is ostensibly a story about a time traveler traveling to various times of humanity but to be honest it is the music not the story that interests me.

Song/Track List 1 Behind Tearstained Ice - Ravn 2:15 ***** 2 The Nevershining Stones - Ravn 6:25 ***** 3 Dancer in the Light Ravn - 5:31 **** 4 Lost Realms Ravn - 8:28 **** 5 Battle of the Seasons - Brink, Ravn, Saandvig 8:48 ****1/2 6 A Sinner's Confession: Dawn/The Child in the Sea/The Man in the Moon/Dusk - Ravn, Saandvig 9:37 ***** 7 See Tomorrow Shine - Ravn 5:13 ****1/2 8 Through Within to Beyond - Ravn 6:52 ****1/2 9 River Oblivion - Ravn 3:54 *****

The Players Eric Ravn - Guitars, Bass, and Keyboards Rune S. Brink - Keyboards Henrik Flyman - Guitars Morten Sorensen - Drums Kristian "Krille" Andren - Lead Vocals Special Guest: Lorenzo Deho: Bass

I would classify To Travel For Evermore as Progressive Metal but in truth it sometimes has an Epic, even grandiose feel to it, in fact portions of the songs are played in a power metal flow. As Epic Power albums often do, To Travel For Evermore opens with an instrumental intro track, "Behind Tearstained Ice". The piece has a Medieval style melody to it, with a flute and violin like keyboard lead and choir backing. In fact the whole album uses choir backing (whether an actual choir or backing band members). Next is "The Nevershining Stones" a melodic, progressive epic with great twin-leads, hard driven riffsl, a nifty chorus, a great melodic piano centerpart and Krille's awesome vocals. Lead singer Kristian "Krille" Andren (ex Tad Morose) shows that his name is in the same league as the other big names in the genre. The next track, "Dancer in the Light", meanders a bit before hitting its refrain, taking it's time to develop the potential.

We then have three long tracks in a row. Despite it's folk sounding beginning, the more progressive, bluesy "Lost Realms" follows, a slow to mid-tempo piece clocks in at eight and a half minutes and offers brooding verses, pastoral instrumental passages, a fabulous bridge, and a serenely harmonic chorus reminiscent of Shadow Gallery. As advertised, this lengthy track is followed by another, a nine minute instrumental "Battle of the Seasons". An energetic progressive composition, that doesn't just rely on flash and fast playing, but controls the effort to paint a musical landscape with broad strokes and varied colors.

The third and longest of the three is also the masterpiece, a multi-part epic, and epic is the right word, "A Sinner's Confession" which begins with the piece de resistance, "Dawn" and blasts its way through nine-plus minutes varied speedy metal, ending with "Dusk." This darkly cynical piece traces a life from it's inauspicious beginning to it's doom, metaphorically for a the larger premise, the rise and fall of humanity. All the varying textures heard elsewhere on the album are elements here, from the driving metal to the folky interludes.

A straight Powermetal number "See Tomorrow Shine", may not be the most experimental song, but it adds to the diversity of the album while presenting a level of charm that adds greatly to the feeling of the album. The penultimate song, "Through Within to Beyond", is a brooding, galloping, highly varied, stop and start, mid-tempo number. A nice track, but probably overshadowed by the many great songs on the album. "River Oblivion" closes things down, similar to the intro, as kind of a dreamy, piece that fades the disc out with some acoustic guitar, orchestral effects. An apt ending to an album, an inverse intro if you will.

CONCLUSION

This is one of those albums that you could be totally ignoring and it just won't let you. You wind up looking up more and more and saying to yourself, wow, that's really good. Do you know someone, anyone that always manages to say the right thing? Or a writer who manages to tell a story in a perfect unquestioned way? Or a decorator who manages to pick out the perfect accessories? That's what this band reminds me of. Their highly melodic music manages to follow each meody with a complementing melody, each note with a complimenting note!

If you like your progressive metal mixed up with several styles of music, with certain, symphonic / majestic style, injected with folk elements along the way, you won't be disappointed with Wuthering Heights. While people are complaining about uninteresting bands that release similar music with each disc, and are looking for something different, Wuthering Heights is a good place to find some unique, powerful, progressive metal.

SIMILAR BANDS

Dream Theater, Royal Hunt, Adagio, Shadow Gallery, Kamelot, Wonderland, Arena

semismart | 5/5 |

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