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Beyond Twilight - The Devil's Hall Of Fame CD (album) cover


Beyond Twilight

Progressive Metal

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4 stars

Well, well, well.. First review of this "The Devil's Hall of Fame". And it is going to be a good one. I bought this album really cheap, after hearing about it through friends. I decided to buy it because I'm a big fan of Jorne Lande, lead singer for bands like Ark and, currently, Masterplan. And I was not dissapointed at all!!

Jorne Lande really pushes the limits of the human voice. This is a guy who can sing anything, going from a soft, warm voice, to incredible screams. And the rest of the band are quite extraordinary too.

The songs in "The Devil's Hall of Fame" are mostly dark and atmospheric, intermingled with lighter passages. There are really some beautiful moments on this disc, like on "Shadowland" and, especially, "Crying". Although the songs are slow paced, they're far from being dull and motionless.

A really good heavy/prog metal album, definitely worth listening to.

Report this review (#62054)
Posted Wednesday, December 28, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is a very good album, really a fine example of prog metal. Jorn Lande vocals are amongst the best to date (together with his vocals in ARK´s Burn the Sun album), for me far superior to his last efforts in Masterplan, a power metal band. All musicians play a solid, heavy, dark and terrific sound. Finn Zierler, though the band leader, fortunately plays your keyboards avoiding the so common self indulgent and sometimes cheese approach of other prog metal keyboardists. My favourite songs are 1. Hellfire, 5. Crying, 6. The Devil's Hall of Fame, and 8. Perfect Dark, coincidentally (or not, since I like longer tracks - a prog head bias) most of them are above 7:00. 1. in spite of the spoken start, shines through the slow pace and heavy guitars, by the way the spirit of most tracks. 5. shows superb vocals and instrumental passages, perhaps my fav among the favs. 6. have a simple but powerful duo guitar riff and awesome vocals. 8. again slow pace, heavy guitars and a Ravel´s Bolero like drums in the end. Other tracks are good too, including a short and piano based instrumental (7. Closing the Circle). Really no bad or filler tracks. Surely this album deserves at least one listen by all prog metal fans. **** stars.
Report this review (#65244)
Posted Tuesday, January 17, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars As you're most likely aware some albums just grab you and won't let go the minute you hear them and become instant favorites and of course I own scores of such albums.

The trouble I find with this, is that not all truly great albums grab you right away and that many, many albums have been put on the shelf or even storage after not being appreciated after one or two plays. This happens when you have hundreds of CDs, as I have but I'm sure, I'm not the only one that does this. I've read in reviews where other members have gone back and checked an album they remember having after their curiosity had been peeked by a positive review by someone else.

Because of this, I try to go over my semi discarded CDs periodically and give another REASONABLE shot and low and behold I learn to love a few of 'em. I call these CDs my LTL (learn to love) CDs and The Devil's Hall of Fame is one of them, other such CDs I have reviewed to date are Train of Thought by Dream Theater and And then There was Silence by Blind Guardian

Beyond Twilight is a Danish prog rock/metal band with a most unusual style. For lack of an accepted term, I'm going to call their music Progressive, Symphonic Chaos. That's right, The Devil's Hall of Fame's music is kind of an organized musical chaos with irregular beats, some disharmonics and syncopated interruptions. It is both pleasant and unpleasant to listen to but when you realize that this is a concept album, wherein the subject has hacked into his own mind, the chaos becomes more understood and the ambivalence fades away.

When acceptance takes the place of ambivalence this album becomes a truly magnificent creation and through it all is one of the greatest vocal performances I've ever had the pleasure to experience. I say experience because The Devil's Hall of Fame is truly an experience. The singer is Jorn Lande, who has sung with Y. Malmsteen, ARK, Millenium, and Nikolo Kotzev. He is no doubt one of the most amazing, distinctive vocalists around. His voice is rich, spanning an extraordinary range, able to go from singing very calm and smoothly to a very gritty and aggressive, which fits The Devil's Hall of Fame to a tee.

In some ways The Devil's Hall of Fame reminds me of Yes, sans Jon Anderson and I honestly wonder if Yes could have even been even greater with a Jorn Lande. That's not a knock on Anderson but it would truly be interesting to hear Lande's vocals with Yes.

Anyone who considers themselves a Progressive Rock/Metal connoisseur really needs to check Beyond Twilight out.

Report this review (#73716)
Posted Friday, March 31, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Ok, so I wanted to give this album 4 stars But I can't. This is not an "excellent addition" to your progressive collection, this is a masterpiece of progressive metal in its purest form. This is a hard and heavy metal album, you won't find here any power influences or similar stuff like Pagan's Mind, just slow (well, mostly), heavy and dark METAL music. Right, so where to start. I guess I'll go with the main thing, the thing that makes this cd a masterpiece, an album that leaves all the competition far, far behind. That thing is Jorn Lande's vocals. Yeah, I know he's good and stuff, but what he did here is by far the best vocal work I have heard in life. I'm afraid even Daniel Gildenlow couldn't make it that good. Jorn at his top, no matter what he will record, he won't beat this baby, it's impossible, it's just perfect, thrilling and amazing. I believe there are some samples on Beyond Twilight homepage, I've got three on my disc for quick access, you know, when I'm in need of hearing these vocal lines and I haven't got time for the whole song. Hellfire, Crying and Shadowland - get those, and then you'll understand what I'm trying to tell you. Enough of the vocals, the music - ohhh, I really don't know what to say. It's surely not as versatile as "For the Love of Art and the Making", you won't find any rock opera orchestrations, no so-called "epic" moments with choirs, but I think I already mentioned that this is pure progressive metal. Basically the songs are slow, the atmosphere is rather dark, so you won't find this an optimistic album, but who cares. Yeah so an awesome album, mostly because of the vocals - without them it would be only 4 stars, but I can't describe a cd with the best Jorn Lande's vocals different than "essential"
Report this review (#82452)
Posted Sunday, July 2, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars I was introduced in the wrong way. I heard the last one first, and then made my way back. This one I rank as an metal album, there is not much prog about it, as there is in the last one (for the love of art and the making). It is a very solid album but difficult to compare with other artists, but the vocals are one in a million so there is comparison with MASTERPLAN and the project with RUSSEL ALLEN. What I try to say with this that it is a very strong album with phenomenal vocals. If you just take the word prog loosely it a wonderful album. 4.5 stars easaly.
Report this review (#98308)
Posted Saturday, November 11, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Probably Beyond Twilight's best effort until now. Logically, this album feels like it could be their latest and most mature, instead it's a brilliand debut. Mature, powerful, very original.

Stand out points:

- This album gives a new meaning to low tempo metal. A lot of this masterpiece's beats don't exceed 120-130 in tempo, and still manage to burst in power. Perfect example: the brilliant opening track, Hellfire. The title describes the song perfectly, and Shadowland, track 3.

- An epic, monstruous voice : Jorn Lande, seen in such bands as Ark (Norway) and Masterplan. He's done a superb job here, his best performance I'd say. His best track on the album : Godless and Wicked. Amazing. Look out for "I am half alive here...". Chills... He is replaced on the latter records by Kelly Carpenter and Bjorn Jansson, who IMO can't fill the void this monster left.

- Excellent mood progression through the album : no dull passages, maybe a few weaker moments, but never falling into cliché or repetition. From Hellfire, to Perfect Dark, through the Shadowland and The Devil's Hall of Fame, this album is a ride through Hell.

- Progressive Metal at its best: never too technical, no excessive soloing or endless instrumental passages with no particular meaning.

Superb album.

Report this review (#113479)
Posted Sunday, February 25, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The question is,can only one man with his voice raise a band onto the top?And the answer is yes.Jorn Lande has made his miracle again.Of course the music of the band is very good,of course the other members are talented but there are points in this disc where Lande simply takes over 100% .Surely not a gem,but a very good and powerful disc for lovers of theatrical progressive metal.If KING DIAMOND is the best actor in the heavy metal scene,then Jorn Lande is the leader of the vocalists in the prog metal scene.3.5 stars...
Report this review (#145976)
Posted Friday, October 19, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "The Devils Hall Of Fame" is the debut full-length studio album by Danish progressive/power metal act Beyond Twilight. The album was released through Massacre Records in July 2001. Beyond Twilight was born out of the ashes of keyboard player and main composer Finn Zierler´s former band Twilight. Twilight released a couple of album in the 90s before changing their name to Beyond Twilight. The albums were titled "Eye for An Eye (1994)" and "The Edge (1999)" and the band played power metal with some progressive elements.

The music on "The Devils Hall Of Fame" is keyboard driven progressive metal/power metal (not the fast double bass drum Euro power metal kind though). Although the most dominant instruments are keyboards this is not softer styled progressive metal. The music still features lots of heavy guitars and pretty raw vocals by lead singer Jorn Lande (Mastermind, ARK... among others). The music is a bit generic to my ears though, and even though there are loads of great keyboard parts and a few but great guitar solos, and strong vocals throughout, the compositions are basically traditional heavy metal/power metal with only a few progressive elements. Traditional heavy metal/power metal soaked in keyboards is a style of music that needs to be something really special to win me over and "The Devils Hall Of Fame" is a bit too standard for that to happen.

The musicianship are excellent and keyboard player Finn Zierler really needs to be mentioned for his outstanding skills and inventive playing. In addition to that he is a clever composer too even though I could have wished for a few more adventurous song structures. The sound production is professional and for the most part well sounding, but if I have to mention a minor issue, it would be that the guitars are placed too low in the mix.

"The Devils Hall Of Fame" is overall a pretty strong progressive/power metal album and deserves a 3.5 star (70%) rating. It´s recommended to fans of song oriented keyboard driven progressive/power metal with memorable melodies. My minor issues with the album is probably not something that´ll disturb the listening experience for fans of the style.

Report this review (#201131)
Posted Friday, January 30, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars In my humble opinion there isn't much that stands out on the debut album of Beyond Twlight. The music is progressive metal, never really taking any long strides outside of the confines of the genre. They're basically splashing around in safe, familiar water. One thing that is quite striking about it though is the extremely slow tempo of the songs. While most bands of the same genre push the limits of fast sweeping and double bass drum blasting, these guys have really gone to some length to go (in a slow-motion voice, please) sloooooow.

The songs are dark, omnious things, with some great instrumental moments. But there is really just one thing that stands out clearly with this release. The vocal work of Jorn Lande. Yes, yes, I know that people always go on about the vocal ability of this man, but on this album he makes such a remarkable display of virtuoso singing ability that it's impossible not to give it a section of its own.

Being a singer myself who has studied music and vocal techniques of all sorts, I always listen to the vocalists of bands with a more critical ear than for the other instrumentalists. It's unbelievably rare to find a good singer who stretches his/her limits both physically and creatively, yet this is exactly what Jorn does on this album. There are so many absurd vocal parts and arrangements throughout the album as Jorn howls, growls and roars his way through the songs, never losing credibility or intensity. This feat alone is impressive, but that he manages to pull it off in such a manner that it sounds fantastic as well is just beyond words. I can't think of any singer in modern metal that can match the vision, power and skill Jorn provides on this record.

This is an ok album with a few standout tracks and catchy melodies, but mostly it should be considered a source of inspiration and awe for singers everywhere.


Report this review (#245561)
Posted Wednesday, October 21, 2009 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
3 stars This is Denmark's BEYOND TWILIGHT's debut released in 2002. So far they've released three studio albums and each has had a different lead vocalist.This one features Jorne Lande who has sung with Norway's ARK among others. I'm not a fan of his Coverdale-like vocals unfortunately but I admit the man can sure sing. I have to agree with UMUR that the music here is pretty generic and safe. It might be because it's a concept album as the focus seems to be on the lyrics more than the music. It's not very dynamic at all instrumentally.

The highlight for me are the opening words where this guy is on the computer trying to get into some program and he's coversing with the computer. Anyway you'd have to hear it to appreciate it. The music then takes over and vocals arrive 2 minutes in on this opening track called "Hellfire". Some male choir-like vocals 6 minutes in followed by a guitar solo. "Godless And Wicked" opens with synths as drums and vocals join in quickly. Synths are back leading the way before 3 minutes then the vocals return.

"Shadowland" is dark and heavy but slower paced with vocals. Surprisingly it turns into a ballad-like section 3 minutes in and these contrasts continue. "The Devil's Waltz" is kind of eerie then the piano and bass take over. Guitar joins in as drums pound. I like it. "Crying" reminds me of a WHITESNAKE tune. Not a fan although I like the heavy rhythm 4 1/2 minutes in. "The Devil's Hall Of Fame" has a great intro then it settles some when the vocals arrive. Still heavy though. The vocals 5 1/2 minutes in sound like they're out of an opera. "Closing The Circle" opens with spoken words then synths wash in with piano. Very mellow. "Perfect Dark" is again laid back with vocals. It's fuller before 2 minutes as drums come in. Male choir-like vocals 3 minutes in.

3 stars is all I can muster for this one. Cool cover art though.

Report this review (#298095)
Posted Wednesday, September 8, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars Rising from the ashes of power metal band 'Twilight', Danish prog metallers Beyond Twilight's first release 'The Devil's Hall of Fame' is a very twisted journey into the depths of the human mind, and certainly not a record for the weak- hearted.

Having a concept album for a debut can be a big risk for any band, but Beyond Twilight pull it off here, with incredible compositions and production that sound as though they are coming from a band with years and years of experience together. It's exciting to listen to this and imagine what else this group can come up with.

Keyboardist Finn Zierler's layer-upon-layer of dark and gloomy melodies fits perfectly with Anders Kragh's haunting and exciting guitar riffs, all perfectly played in minor keys to bring the best depressions out of anyone. And this chilling and epic tale is told wonderfully by a man who has one of the most "metal voices" out there, Jorn Lande. Highlights of this incredible first- time outing include the dark 'Godless and Wicked', the psychotic and twisted 'The Devil's Waltz' and 'Crying', a song as beautiful as it is chilling.

An interesting and very exciting debut, this certainly isn't the album you'd choose to help lift your spirits, but for some incredibly dark and gothic prog metal, this is a fantastic debut from a band who shows limitless potential.

Report this review (#1777771)
Posted Saturday, September 2, 2017 | Review Permalink
3 stars Beyond Twilight has been described as "dark cinematic metal" and that's fairly accurate. Or you can say "dark Broadway metal" for being highly theatrical and musically dense, requiring attention to details. The emphasis is on vocals and synths and creating a dark and futuristic atmosphere. A lesson for extreme metalheads on how to create disturbing and heavy music without growling and blastbeats. But has its faults, however. For prog, it's short, barely 40 minutes if you cut out the filler, and the longer songs, while being diverse in vocal and keyboard delivery, can sound rhythmically monotonous. And there surely must be a limit on how many times you're allowed to rhyme fire with desire. Seriously guys, when you come from an obvious classical background, there must be a colleague out there who can help out with the lyrics. In summation, Beyond Twilight may be of interest for prog metal completists, always out for an obscure band from the Nordics (in that case, I would also suggest fellow Northerners Dreamscape and Atmosfear as examples of fine but completely unknown bands), and fans of vocalist-for-hire Jorn Lande, who really delivers a romp here, roaring, crooning, howling and meowing throughout the all-too-short 40 minutes.
Report this review (#1821948)
Posted Saturday, November 11, 2017 | Review Permalink
4 stars When his previous band, power metal act Twilight folded, Danish keyboard player Finn Zierler embarked in a new project, aptly named Beyond Twilight to mark a sort of continuity between the two bands. In fact, Beyond Twilight begin where Twilight ended: Zierler's new creature takes the power metal epicness of his former band and morphs it into a dark, progressive beast that may draw parallels with acts like Kamelot and Evergrey for the brooding, theatrical nature of the music on display. If you are however expecting a minor record that follows the footsteps of the aforementioned more well-known acts ? think again: The Devil's Hall of Fame is a stunning masterpiece that vastly surpasses most releases in the dark progressive/power metal genre. Here is why.

First of all, Beyond Twilight's line-up on this release can count on one of the most formidable singers in metal: His Majesty Jørn Lande. Here at the beginning of his lustrous career, the Norwegian vocalist combines the grit and power of Ronnie James Dio with the soulful delivery of David Coverdale. His performance on The Devil's Hall of Fame is absolutely spectacular, injecting power and feeling into beautiful vocal melodies that are catchy and instantly memorable, but never banal or boring. The rest of the lineup is also very solid. Bassist Anders Lindgren and drummer Tomas Fredén, who had already played on Twilight's debut album, provide a reliable backbone that strikes the right balance between simple groove and intricate playing. Anders Kragh is a skilled and versatile guitarist who adapts his playing to suit the different needs of the music, from muscular no-frills riffs, to subtle melodic leads, to tricky technical passages and blazing solos ("Hellfire"). Beyond Twilight's mastermind Finn Zierler is also a very proficient player. I particularly enjoy the wide range of keyboard sounds and samples he employs on the album, and the use he makes of the instrument ? always very imaginative and inventive.

Strong musicianship counts for little without strong compositions. Fortunately, this album has both. Its eight tracks are exceptional examples of how to write keyboard-driven prog metal that is not just all technical twiddly bits and intricate songwriting, but also has feeling and depth. The intricacies of prog are certainly there, as most songs follow feature frequent tempo changes, plenty of instrumental detours, unusual melodic solutions (the suddenly uplifting second part of the chorus in "Shadowland"), and unexpected turns (the extravagant Latin choirs in the title-track and "Perfect Dark"). But each song is also cleverly anchored in excellent melodic ideas that hook you in and make the music immediately enjoyable and memorable. Credit here goes to both Zierler who composed and arranged all music, and Lande, who wrote the vocal melodies. I also dig the overall mood of the album, dark and ominous. It is a perfect match for the dystopian sci-fi concept that runs through the record, about a man who travels through the depths of his own mind and slowly loses grip with reality.

There are no dull moments on this album. Each song is a small gem, from the bleak and hyper-heavy "Godless and Wicked", to the hard rock accessibility of "Shadowland", to the two short, evocative instrumentals "The Devil's Waltz" and "Closing the Circle". My favourite songs are the title-track and the closing piece "Perfect Dark". The former is a sprawling epic that covers a lot of ground, traversing different moods and musical styles from its doomy first part to the proggy extravaganza that explodes halfway through the second half, in a way that reminds me of Arjen A. Lucassen's best (and heaviest) work with Ayreon and Star One. As per its title, "Perfect Dark" is a perfectly dramatic conclusion to this awesome album. Foreboding, slow and sinister, it is powered by a massive crescendo where Jørn Lande is at its absolute best.

In summary, if you are a fan of progressive metal ? especially its dark, melancholic variety ? you simply must listen to this album. I struggle to find things to criticize (perhaps the sound production is a bit thin), or to pinpoint better records in the genre than this. Instantly enjoyable and with great repeated listen value, The Devil's Hall of Fame is up there with the best music of Ayreon, Evergrey, and Kamelot. Beyond Twilight will go on to record two further albums, although Mr Lande will step down from his role as vocalist after this one. It's a pity, as his vocals clearly play a big role in making this record such a masterpiece. But the quality of the music is really high too, so I very much look forward to listening to Beyond Twilight's other two records as well.

Report this review (#2756012)
Posted Monday, May 23, 2022 | Review Permalink

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