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Overhead - And We're Not Here After All CD (album) cover

AND WE'RE NOT HERE AFTER ALL

Overhead

 

Crossover Prog

3.10 | 46 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Pekka
5 stars Overhead's second album Metaepitome came without warning and knocked me out when I discovered it in late 2006. It put three thoughts in my head: How can a band this good operate in my hometown without me being aware? I want to see them live as soon as possible! What kind of a killer album are they going to follow this with? The two questions seemed to get some sort of an answer when I finally managed to catch their live show. Apparently not many people in my hometown were aware of this great band since the venue was pretty empty. And to answer the second question they played mostly new unreleased material along with a song or two from their two first albums. Sloppyish performances of half finished songs with stream of consciousness lyrics. Boring middle-of-the-road rock I judged with my dreams of a killer follower crushed. The story continues with them playing a couple of the same new songs on a handful of gigs I saw along the way, and me warming up a little to their potential. Quite good stuff, I said to myself, but still the low points of any gig they did. Then one night they premiered a new song called A Method...to the Madness. Or Brush...Kebab as the working titles were on the setlist. I liked it. After the show I cornered the guitarist Jaakko and expressed my concern that my expectations towards the new album were quite low despite the good song they just played. He turned away, wrote something on a piece of paper and handed it to me saying the unmastered album is at this site, go and have a listen. So I did.

I listened first to the unmastered album and then the mastered version for months until the release date in September when it had slowly made its way to the top of my Best of the Year lists. I remember the first time I put it on while leaving to work, and from the lullaby-like keyboard opening of A Method through the frantic bass grooves driving ...to the Madness onwards and all the way to the final fading sounds of A Captain on the Shore I was tapping my feet along in pleasantly surprised agreement. Over time that agreement evolved into excitement and ultimately pure love after it dawned to me that they had against my expectations really surpassed themselves. I still love Metaepitome worth the five stars I awarded it, but this album feels even more focused, cohesive, colourful and emotionally deep.

The album deals with the story of a person who with no apparent reason feels no joy of life, and that feeling escalates into a complete sense of isolation and lack of faith in life at all. At the worst point he realizes he still has himself to depend on and finds if not a will, at least a consent to go on until he finally gets a hold of life again. Despite the short instrumental The Sun acts as a bridge between the two sides of the album, the real turning point story-wise and musically is Lost Inside and especially the part where the storm dies down and the delicate section featuring a stunning combination of flute and acoustic guitar appears from the rubble. After deciding that life is worth trying they emphasize it with their most straightforward and rocking song ever. On first listens Entropy felt a bit out of place with its synth-heavy soft metal sounds, but over time it has truly found its place, not least because of its brilliant instrumental section containing a particularly radiant guitar solo by Jaakko Kettunen. At times I think it's my favourite part of the album, but then I remember Lost Inside, Time Can Stay and a Method to the Madness which are all totally top notch pieces of work. A Captain on the Shore in its power balladish form is a very good ending to the album and an enjoyable song in every respect, but still seems to fall a little bit short when comparing to the rest of the album. There's their chance of making the next album even better.

After closely listening to their debut Zumanthum a couple of days ago and now a few spins of this one, the thing that strikes me most along with their much improved songwriting, sound and overall performance as a unit is the colossal steps Alex Keskitalo has taken as a vocalist. There are some brilliant performances on his part especially in Time Can Stay and Lost Inside. There are still tiny bits in the first of the aforementioned tracks and Entropy that could benefit from some extra power, but I have no doubt that he will keep building his voice still as he has done to this day. There is a part of me thinking that this is as brilliant an album as they ever can make, but there's always a chance for it. They did surpass themselves this time, so why not the next. I've spinned the album twice while writing this, I think I'll give it one more listen while leaving to work in a minute.

Pekka | 5/5 |

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