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Twisted Into Form - Then Comes Affliction To Awaken The Dreamer CD (album) cover


Twisted Into Form

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

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5 stars The new architects of twisted forms

After months of expectation, I finally got this album and listened to it. I am pretty enthusiastic about it, and the only thing that keeps me from jumping through the ceiling is the fact that I was actually expecting something of such good quality (knowing the band's line-up), so I was prepared. Kaj Gornitzka is a musician who participated in crafting some of Spiral Architect's early work (including the track "Fountainhead", the closer on their - by now - classic album, A Sceptic's Universe) and I was wondering what he could be up to since apparently he's had no activity in the musical field since his departure form the band some eight or nine years ago. Except David Husvik (drummer for Extol), the other band members were unknown to me (and probably to most listeners). The bass player is very good and provides tasteful additions to the themes played on the guitar. His style is not as flashy as Lars K. Norberg's for instance, being somewhat more subdued in his approach, but an attentive listening to the bass lines will reveal an imaginative and carefully thought work on his part. I would say he has a style that's pretty similar to Sean Malone's (of Cynic and Gordian Knot fame, among others). The vocalist is a really nice surprise as well - powerful voice, but melodic and warm in tone (as opposed to the more strident and theatrical Oyvind Haegeland from SA), perfectly matching the complicated textures and sombre tone of the compositions. To say that the way the vocal lines (and the music in general, to a certain point) are constructed bring to mind a certain band named Yes would probably seem surprising, but I actually think there is much resemblance between the two: mostly high-pitched vocals, oscillating around tight harmonics, melodic and fluent bass lines, as well as the shifting rhythms and the elegant aggressiveness of the guitars, all elements recalling classic prog extravaganza. If anything in particular, the guitar work on this album resembles that of Spiral Architect. It's all over the place, blasting through the speakers, ornate with extravagant, everchanging riffs and effective solo moments. The guitars lead the songs through their timespan, providing a heavy backbone, with odd harmonies and polyrhythmic patterns for the rest of the band to follow and enrich. The drums, though they don't showcase a particularly innovative approach, are played impeccably, with outstanding technique and mouth watering moments for virtually any drummer whose ears may stumble upon this release. Together these people assembled an album which is a tech metal lover's dream come true. Heavy, majestic, unceasingly shifting from one time signature to a surprising other, flawlessly produced, this album takes you exactly where you want to go when listening to this kind of music, and it does this with full professionalism. No tracks are especially conspicuous compared to others, since they are all performed in similar fashion, except perhaps "The Thin Layers of Lust and Love", which is the only track to feature a build-up from the quieter opening sequence, through the verses punctuated by some beautifully-toned semi-acoustic guitar, to some very diverse solo sections including some jazzy workouts towards the end. As a general rule, however, the tracks are aggressive and there are very few moments when the assault lets down (usually in favour of a jazz-infused guitar solo over accompanying bass lines), so listening may be tiresome for some, but I think that staying focused is ultimately rewarding, as the constant harmonic and rhythmic changes are always exciting and make up for a captivating experience. Needless to say, this is highly recommended to those who love the music of Psychotic Waltz, middle-period Fates Warning, Cynic, Spiral Architect, Ephel Duath, Canvas Solaris, and in general to those open towards dense and provocative music in all possible ways. Rhythmically, this album doesn't reach the same heights of intricacy as Spiral Architect's album (the most obvious comparison), although it generally builds up around the same musical principles, but it is more melodic and probably more accessible, without being repetitive or predictable for one second of its 44 minute length. A fine album and possibly a future reference in contemporary progressive metal.

Report this review (#108428)
Posted Monday, January 22, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Twisted Into Form is a new tech/ jazz fusion metal band. Not fusion in the sense that there are free improvisation, rather there are pretty strict and well played interplay between the musicians. Twisted Into Form sounds a lot like Spiral Architect, allthough their production is a bit more modern and balanced. But I guess that is plausible as the guitarist used to play with Spiral Architect.

The music is very powerful and there are new things to discover every time you listen to the album. The singer sounds very much like Oyvind Haegeland from Spiral Architect. I know I keep saying that Twisted Into Form reminds me of Spiral Architect but it is impossible not to notice the many parallels. This could have been Spiral Architects sophmore album. This does not make them a ripp-off though as they do have their own characteristics.

The musicianship is really astonishing and this has to be one of the best prog/ Tech metal albums ever made. They stay clear of any Dream Theater inspiration and that is nice for a change in a genre where almost everyone sounds like a clone. People into Cynic, Watchtower, Spastic Ink and Atheist should give "Then Comes Affliction To Awaken The Dreamer" a chance, as many of the things played here are in that vein. So buckle up and get ready for some tech metal madness. A highly recommendable album.

( I´m not sure about this, but the name Twisted Into Form probably comes from the Forbidden album Twisted Into Form ???)

Report this review (#153875)
Posted Monday, December 3, 2007 | Review Permalink
2 stars Tech-metal, much like Post-Rock, is plagued by uniformity. There may be a few cliques, but the fact remains that there are a ton of bands that sound the same.

So, here we have Twisted into Form, the new band from ex-Spiral Architect guitarist Kaj Gornitzka. The aforementioned managed to get out of the gate ahead of the pack and make an album that is still relatively fresh and unmatched. Then Comes Affliction to Awaken the Dream resembles what Spiral Archiect may have sounded like had they not broken up after their first record. The tones are similar, the riffs are similar, and even the vocals are similar. This isn't inherently bad: the problem is the timing. By 2006, this sound was pretty old.

Leeway is given to unoriginal bands as long as their atmosphere and/or compositional quality are top- notch. Unfortunately, the band put no noticeable effort into producing this record. It seems like they wrote some songs, played them, and put them out. The record feels empty. Then, looking at compositional value, the technical aspect is obviously strong, and the band even thought it best to include some memorable riffs, choruses and the like (sidestepping another general tech-metal fault). The problem with these pieces is that are shallow. I don't feel stimulated emotionally or intellectually when I listen to this. Simply put, it is empty and mechanical.

While the band benefits from not being cacophonic and relentless like PsyOpus, they still don't bring much to the table. It's very hard to compete with some of the more experimental tech-powers out there, but it is being done. I don't see this band having much of a future, but so far the reception on this site is pretty positive, so you never know.

Report this review (#164969)
Posted Tuesday, March 25, 2008 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
4 stars Thankyou UMUR for recommending this band to me. TWISTED INTO FORM are from Norway and were formed by former SPIRAL ARCHITECT guitarist Kaj Gornitzka and his long time friend and bassist Erik Aadland.They brought in the original session vocalsist for SPIRAL ARCHITECT Leif Knashaug, while former EXTOL drummer David Husvik rounds out the lineup.This is very technical as you might imagine but there's lots of melody here as well. It's an amazing album actually. The band spent about 5 years on this project before the final product was released. I'm not surprised that they went with Ken Golden and his Sensory label. The final mix was done by Neil Kernon who had done the same with SPIRAL ARCHITECT in the past.

"Enter Nothingness" opens with a nice aggressive sound as the guitar comes in playing over top followed by vocals. It's heavier a minute in. Nice. More guitar solos 2 minutes in. Great opening tune. "Instinct Solitaire" features more aggression with vocals. It settles after 1 1/2 minutes but kicks back in quickly. Some impressive guitar ends it. "Torrents" is another technical display with vocals. I like the bass.It's more melodic before 1 1/2 minutes. Nice. It kicks back in again as contrasts continue. Love the way it ends. I really like this one. "The Thin Layers Of Lust And Love" is the longest track at just over 7 minutes. It's laid back with acoustic guitar to open. Lots of atmosphere as vocals come in almost sounding off in the distant. Drums, bass then guitar come in before 2 minutes as it kicks into gear. The tempo continues to shift slightly throughout as it turns kind of jazzy. I really like the guitar after 6 minutes. Great section !

"Tear" is a dark and intense instrumental. Huge bass lines in this one. "Manumit" features some processed and growly vocals while the metal is flying everywhere. We get clean vocals 1 1/2 minutes in and the rest of the way. "The Flutter Kings" is heavy with vocals. A calm a minute in. It starts to build before 2 minutes and we get some excellent guitar after 3 minutes as the heaviness continues. "Erased" is another favourite. I really like the guitar here and the bass. Vocals a minute in. This song sounds amazing ! "House Of Nadir" opens with a full sound right off the hop. It settles with vocals before 3 minutes. A fuller sound returns a minute later. Another incredible sounding track. "Coda" is such a display of virtuosity. The bass is great. Vocals come in but it's the instrumental work that is mind blowing. A calm after 1 1/2 minutes but the vocals and guitar change that rather quickly. Another calm 3 1/2 minutes in followed by heaviness as the contrasts continue.

Easily 4 stars.

Report this review (#221242)
Posted Sunday, June 14, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars WARNING!A MUSICAL MONUMENT OF TECNHICAL METAL! This album is the so awaited new demonstration of some unbelieveble technical capacities by this Norvegians,the band in which we find the sensational guitar player from SPIRAL ARCHITECT-KAJ GORNITZKA-also involved in the fabulous album of the ultra technical monsters already mentioned !Why I said the new demonstration?Because the technical prog lovers had the hope thet this album will be the follower of the SPIRAL ARCHITECT musical bomb!Well,it is and it is not!It is,because we definitelly find here some of the crypted technical demonstration that we found at SE,and it is not,because this album is a little more calme ...more song orientated and more accessible than A SCEPTIC 'S UNIIVERSE!Don't believe thet this album has many weak points compared to SPIRAL,no way,but it hasn't the frenzy and fury that A SCEPTIC has!The fact that we make always comparisons with SPIRAL ARCHITECT comes from the way how the album is mixed-and it's normal to have the same sound almost,because responable with the mixing it's Mr Neil Kernon himself-the magician behind the consols!And the album has a monster sound!The diversity is present and the aggressive approach makes this album to be considered extreme!But an intelligent extremism and ,musically speaking ,when we think that it was necessary 5 years for the guys in the band to launch it,we realise at what point the complexe songs were worked!Impressive from hhe first to the last note-an album without any weak point,comparable with any other ultra technique prog metal missile !Amazing virtuosity from some heavenly gifted musicians,fans of WATCHTOWER,CYNIC,PESTILENCE,ATHEIST and of course SPIRAL ARCHITECT will consider this album an ear candy!AND 100 % IT IS!!! 5 STARS and nothing more to say about it !
Report this review (#257325)
Posted Tuesday, December 22, 2009 | Review Permalink
Conor Fynes
5 stars 'Then Comes Affliction To Awaken The Dreamer' - Twisted Into Form (9/10)

Founded upon the premise of an uncompromising fusion of jazz and technical metal, Twisted Into Form finds themselves with quite a few like-minded acts. There is something about these two styles of music that seem to attract one another, which has led to quite a few epiphanous records. With the promise that they would set no boundaries to their music making, this Norwegian band has achieved one of those albums which balances its elements beautifully, making for one of the best- and most sadly underrated- albums that technical metal has ever seen.

Incorporating clean vocals into such a technical brand of music can be a risky venture, and often, a band who attempts this may end up with lifeless melodies, and a vocalist who more than likely feels left out of the action. A major element of Twisted Into Form's music are the clean vocals of Leif Knashaug, and the fact that they incorporate singing so effectively into technical metal is possibly their greatest merit. Instrumentally, the music is a rather dark take on jazz metal fusion, with thoughtful riffs, complex drumming, and bass grooves. With an often beautiful vocal performance on top, the music gets those two elements that it would have lacked otherwise; melody and emotional tension.

That's not to say that Twisted Into Form would not be an interesting band to listen to without vocals, however. These compositions are filled with memorable hooks and changes that may take a couple of listens to grow on a listener, but ultimately reward a listener for their patience. Not to mention that Twisted Into Form manages to play this music with emotion. While Knashaug's vocals make up the framework for the band's emotional intensity, Gornitzka, Aadlund, and Husvik go beyond the call of being merely 'cerebral' with their instruments, and pour devotion into what they do. With particular regards to Gornitzka's Cynic-styled guitar playing, there are plenty of beautiful details in this deceptively cold work that would only reveal themselves to me when I paid close attention, and I think that's what I look for most in this kind of music.

Report this review (#579551)
Posted Thursday, December 1, 2011 | Review Permalink

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