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Forever Twelve - Home CD (album) cover


Forever Twelve


Symphonic Prog

3.87 | 15 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars It was 2012 before I really discovered progressive rock. Prior to that, I always liked bands that made the effort to create longer compositions or try unusual rhythms and technical playing. Bands that mixed jazz, or folk, or classical into their sound thrilled me. But I had no idea that there was a subgenre of popular music called 'progressive rock'. By 2012 however, I had embraced prog fully and went on a journey to discover as much as I could handle of this deep and broad music category. That led me to Syzygy, a band whose album impressed me so much that for the first couple of weeks I felt this was what symphonic prog, if not prog rock itself, should sound like. Of course, as my explorations continued, my exalted view of Syzygy's music became less lofty with many other new discoveries.

Skip ahead to the present, and a promo copy of Forever Twelve's 'Home' (2017, Melodic Revolution Records) lands in my mailbox. Upon first listen I was hit with mixed feelings. It was the Syzygy response for a moment certainly but for the second time, and with the law of diminishing returns, I was less excited this time. Adding a big 'HOWEVER!' here, I will go on to say that this band really cooks and knows what they are doing with the skill of seasoned veterans bearing youth's ambition.

Forever Twelve open their album with the 16:06-running 'The Seven Seas'. It begins with a showcase of guitar and keyboard solos ' synthesizer and organ blazing away ' before slowing down into the song-proper's intro vocal bit. Like many classic prog mini-epics (or is over 16 minutes an epic?), the music is a journey itself, weaving slow and melodic parts with faster instrumental showcases, and a grand build up to the climax. Right from track one, Forever Twelve have proven their roots are firmly implanted in traditional symphonic prog.

The following four tracks range between five and nine minutes and maintain this combination of remarkable and spot-on technical playing ability and the capacity for striking up strong melodic passages. John Baker's vocals are at first a bit of a sore thumb; his timbre a tad unusual for prog. But it soon becomes apparent that his voice gives Forever Twelve a quality to their sound that makes them recognizable from their peers.

Personal favourites of mine are 'Daisy Chain' and 'Karmageddon' for their incredible use of dexterity and speed and flexibility with time signatures. Very exciting music bursts out all over the place. Recently 'Home' has also begun to stand out for me. 'Acoustic Rose' is an interesting track with a beautiful if not brief a cappella conclusion. It's too bad the track is only 2:57!

The album closes with 'Fate is in Our Hands' and introduces some more traditional guitar rock music which is then given a Forever Twelve treatment. The vocals are different here, and as Tom Graham is credited with guitars, bass, keyboards, vocals, I am going to assume he takes the mic for this track.

After my initial, 'Oh, another deftly talented prog rock band that remind me of Syzygy' reaction, I began listening more for the purpose of simply enjoying the music, and the album has grown on me. At least three of the tracks now get added regularly to mixed playlists and have become familiar and something to look forward to when I play the whole album. The only criticism that I have is that the production is a slight bit dull and thick. Just listening to the album is fine, but when it plays after other recent releases with really bright and clear production, 'Home' seems to favour bass over treble.

Forever Twelve don't bring anything new to the table, but they do play with great skill and talent. My personal opinion is 3.75 stars (partly due to the production), but their skill is surely to be acknowledged, so I'll round up this time. Recommended for people who love technical and crafty symphonic prog with a strong slant toward the technical side.

FragileKings | 4/5 |


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