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Andy Winter - Incomprehensible CD (album) cover

INCOMPREHENSIBLE

Andy Winter

 

Experimental/Post Metal

3.92 | 6 ratings

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UMUR
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Incomprehensible" is the debut full-length studio album by Norwegian progressive metal artist Andy Winter. The album was released through The End Records in January 2013. Andy Winter is a rather prolific musician on the Norwegian metal scene and in addition to this solo project he is the keyboardist of Winds, Age of Silence, Sculptured and Subterranean Masquerade. Andy Winter released the "Shades of Light Through Black and White" EP in 2005 but he hasnīt layed low in the intermediate years as work for "Incomprehensible" already began in late 2007, where Jan Axel von Blomberg (Mayhem, Arcturus, Winds...etc.) began laying down the drum tracks. The drum tracks were finished in early 2008. The rest of the instrumental and vocal tracks were recorded between 2008 and 2010 at various locations. The next couple of years were spend mixing the album. Of course all of this was done while also working on his other projects.

"Incomprehensible" features 8 tracks of rather original sounding progressive metal. Each track features a different lead vocalist, but itīs not the variation on the vocal spot that makes "Incomprehensible" an original sounding album. Itīs the fact that all instrumental tracks sound like they are emulated on keyboards. Thatīs everything from bass, guitars to drums. But they are in fact not played on keyboards but on "real" instruments. An interesting production choice or gimmick if you will (I donīt know if itīs intentional or not, but thatīs how I hear it). Itīs not exactly obvious that this is the solo album of a keyboardist (even though I initially mistook the sounds as being emulated on keyboards), because youīll have to listen long for more conventional keyboard/synth/piano sounds on the album (in fact there are none). The lead vocalists on the album include among others Agnete M. Kirkevaag of Madder Mortem, Dan Swanö of Edge of Sanity/Nightingale and Paul Kuhr of Novembers Doom/Subterranean Masquerade.

While the sound production certainly is a bit "different" from the norm, Andy Winter has actually managed to create a sound that works really well. The songwriting are also of high quality and the tracks feature enough progressive ideas to keep the music entertaining throughout. And thatīs without sacrificing atmosphere, which there are also plenty of on "Incomprehensible". The musicianship is outstanding and that goes for both Andy Winterīs performance and the guest vocal performances. 2 tracks feature clean female singing and the remaining 6 tracks feature clean male singing. In addition to that "The Transversal Conjecture" also feature some effectful growling. The music is dynamic and alternates between atmospheric sections and heavier sections. The vocals are predominantly the focus of the tracks, which generally feature little instrumental noodling around.

Sometimes as a reviewer youīre met with something that can only be described as unexpexted. Sometimes that means that something is unexpectedly bad or unexpectedly good, but it can also mean that the release youīre reviewing features an unexpected sound and thatīs certainly the case with "Incomprehensible". A solo album by a keyboardist with no keyboards on it!!! Thatīs a bit surprising wouldnīt you say? The music style is also pretty adventurous and original and thatīs almost always a positive in my book. I think "Incomprehensible" is recommended to open minded progressive metal fans with a preference for strong musicianship, great songwriting and atmosphere. The sound production is probably an aquired taste, but I think thatīs one of the things that makes "Incomprehensible" as unique as it is. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

UMUR | 4/5 |

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