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Overhead - Live After All CD (album) cover

LIVE AFTER ALL

Overhead

 

Crossover Prog

4.11 | 16 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Overlooked Overhead

Finnish progsters Overhead formed in the late 1990s releasing their first album in 2002. They were one of the first bands to make an entire album available for free download, a move which served to introduce many more people to their refined brand of progressive rock.

"Live after all" is their first live DVD release, the disc capturing them playing live in Katowice, Poland in February 2009. The set list is largely drawn from the band's second and third albums, the encore song being a cover of King Crimson's "21st Century schizoid man". Production of the DVD was carried out by Metal Mind Productions, who have through the release of many fine DVDs developed an approach to such recordings which sets the current standard in such releases. Each DVD is filmed with astonishing attention to detail, the results being of the highest calibre in terms of both sight and sound. Overhead benefit enormously from the experience Metal Mind have gathered over the last few years, this set offering the perfect introduction to their music. In addition to the concert itself, we have the by now obligatory bonus videos, interview, discography and biography, of which more later.

The main concert video runs to just over 90 minutes, incorporating 9 well developed songs. We open with the title track from the fine "Metaepitome" album, a 19+ minute epic which builds through diverse moods and occasional spoken word. Alex Keskitalo's flute adds a folk dimension but the overall feel of the piece is very much that of a classic prog suite. At times there is an urgency to the music, elsewhere it becomes relaxed, almost mellow. The superb "Dawn" blends these qualities best, the instrumental passages here being especially appealing.

For the encore, the band let their hair down, and have some fun with King Crimson's "21st Century schizoid man". The rendition is faithful to the original at first, save for some theatrical growls by Alex Keskitalo, but features an alternative lead guitar solo by Jaakko Kettunen and a synth solo by Tarmo Simonen.

On stage, Keskitalo has an enigmatic style of interacting with the audience. In the interview which is included as a DVD extra, he proves that he has a sense of humour and a vivid imagination as he takes us through the history of the band and their albums. As he talks about the last album going "deep", and the next one going "wide", you have to wonder if he is having a Spinal Tap moment, or simply taking the P out of the interviewer!

Also included is an Old Grey Whistle Test like video for "Butterfly's cry" plus a number of live videos from various gigs. While these clips are of passing interest, particularly as some feature a beardless Keskitalo (who says if his beard goes again it means he has gone mad!), they mainly serve to emphasise the sound quality of the main event.

In all, a fine first DVD by Overhead which offers an excellent introduction to this overlooked band.

The sleeve image of Alex Keskitalo playing flute may be considered a little misleading, as it bears more than a passing resemblance to the iconic images of Ian Anderson in similar pose with Jethro Tull.

Easy Livin | 4/5 |

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