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3 stars Finnish progsters bringing shades of MARILLION, ILUVATAR and RUSH to life with excellent musicianship. After reading so many mediocre reviews regarding their debut album I had very low expectations going into this one, but it always pays to have an open mind. "Imageness" is a neoprog album with swirling keyboards and excellent guitar, bass and drum interplay. At times they get out of the Prog musical formula and tend towards a more straight forward rock 'n roll sound which still seems to work quite well. Songs are well written and are played with great energy and feeling. "Sequels" is an epic track (26 Mins) and is a fine listen offering a multitude of theme and mood changes throughout. Lead vocalist Tommy Eriksson sings in a similar style to that of Geddy Lee (RUSH) or Glenn McLaughlin (ILUVATAR) maintaining a fairly high pitch in his delivery. Many folks have criticized Eriksson's vocals but to be honest I kind of like them... seems to fit the music. Overall I think "Imageness" is a grand album full of progressive roots
Report this review (#622)
Posted Wednesday, March 17, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars The CD contains 5 songs with a total length of over 50 minutes and it is released by the French prog label Musea. This album contains complex structures, concise songs and a great epic, the 26 minute song "Feast Of Fools". In the past the band often was considered like a 'Genesis-clone', but with this album the band shows that this will be in the past, because the band has created it's own sound. Ageness mixes neo-prog's power (like Pallas or the early Pendragon) and complex structures, concise songs and epics (the 26 minutes 'Sequels: Feast of fools'). Concentrating itself on beautiful melodies, the band creates a new progressive music, made of Genesis-like keyboards, a singer between Robert Plant and Fish (no less), a guitar virtuoso. Overall, another prog masterpiece that doesn't put a foot wrong throughout the entire album, will blow you away with every play for years to come. Genesis in the seventies, Marillion in the eighties, Ageness in the nineties!
Report this review (#624)
Posted Monday, April 19, 2004 | Review Permalink
Eetu Pellonpaa
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars I saw this band on stage when warming up Anekdoten at Stoa, Helsinki in 2004. There were skillful playing involved, but also some humoristic solutions which did not amuse me. Anyhow decided to check their records from the local library, and I admit I did not like this album very much. Most possibly as I was unable to synchronize my own feelings with the band's music when listening. This record has its merits though certainly. It begins with gentle notes rising from the void, sounds being quite modern, resembling the tones of late 1980's or early 1990's. As "Line of Force" kicks out, it's instantly clear that the musicians are very talented, as some of the rhythms are really quite complex. Jari Ukkonen is also a very good bassist, and there's plenty of room arranged for his on this album. "Fear" is a more tender ballad, with the power growing when moving towards the end. "Chain Reaction" is then again a faster song, and I sensed some influences of 1980's and 1990's Rush and Yes on the notes. The following tracks are much longer, "Metamorphosis" starting with ten minutes duration. As composition these are much richer, but still not very directly hitting my own aesthetic yearnings. "Sequels (The Feast of Fools)" runs over twenty-six minutes, and is probably pure bliss for those fond of neo symphonic prog epics. The beginning of it is quite nice with spacey abstract sounds, and there is a really pretty acoustic guitar part included too. But the later evolvements weren't so interesting for my own experience, yet am I assured that for both fans of neo prog and Dream Theater oriented music this record is a worthy to album for checking out.
Report this review (#95238)
Posted Friday, October 20, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars I checked out this band in order to get to know as many neo prog bands as possible. I didn't know this one yet; neo prog from Finland, that's already worthy of checking out if it were only for curious reasons. And buying this would also mean another very long epic for my collection.

The thing that struck me most at first listen was the voice of the singer of this band, Tommy Eriksson, the only Fin (?) with a Swedish name in this band. This man is obviously a multi-instrumentalist looking at his job in the line up. He has a remarkable and recognizable voice. I'm sure it's not everybody's cup of tea but I have no problem with it. Listening at the first few songs it's very clear we are talking about neo prog. Great keyboards and guitarwork, I'm liking this band and album already after these first two tracks. The third is a more rocking one, different from the first two you might say and after this it's epic time.

First, Metamorphosis, is a shorter epic of about 10 minutes and probably the best song of the album. Especially the instrumental contribution is tremendous and lifts this song to a huge level. It has to be one of the better neo progressive compositions I know so far !

This means we are already on a 4 star level after the four shorter songs and the big epic is yet to come. It would have to be a very disappointing one if it were to ruin the high rating and that would really surprise me. Believe me: it didn't. The 26 minute song called Sequals is at least as good as the first half of the album and so we are talking about a great effort by this former unknown band for me. I know them now and will also check them out further where the discography is concerned. 4 stars for this release (3,8). Recommended for fans of IQ even though this band is a bit rougher (at least on this album).

Report this review (#190141)
Posted Saturday, November 22, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars On their 1998 album released by MUSEA, Ageness continues their tradition with great opening songs in "Line of Force". It's flying high with a big groove. The second song "Fear" has as well been born under lucky stars, despite the chorusline lyrics. I can imagine future generations playing these songs at their nights for classics. The consept works well. Travelling from light in to shadows and back. "Chain Reaction" is probably the most furious Ageness I've ever heard. Despite the hard edge there are some delicate and fragile moments there. The flight on the dark side continues.... "Metamorphosis" begins in 'gentlegiantic' atmosphere, only to burst in to metal mayhem and so on. There are plenty of catchy breaks and surprises, but they're all justified. The end climax calms down and gives space to over 26 minute "Sequels", which is true ecstasy from beginning to end. This remarkable epic works like a good three hour film. The sense of time disappears and in the end it feels like it was almost too short. The musical mosaic Ageness produces in it's entirety is impossible to describe in words. When I was younger, I used to cathegorise things for being "the best possible" or "absolutely awesome". Both these goes with "Imageness".
Report this review (#219810)
Posted Thursday, June 4, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars Almost metal passages during "Chain Reaction", emotionless opening track ("Line Of Force") with pitiful "Yes" oriented vocals led me to a rather harsh feeling: I have globally not too much positive things to say about this album.

The typical clone with little creativity in comparison with the GIANT model. It sounds really pitiful at times (to say the least). The first acceptable track is the good "Metamorphosis" which holds some very good keyboards and bass work, offers several theme changes (thanks to its length: just over ten minutes) and decent vocals. Even if, again, the shadow of the Mighty One is there (I guess that you know the one I mean).

The fading out reminds me of "Supper's Ready". Would you believe??? This might well be one of their best song so far (from "Ageness" I mean).

Now, the epic... "Sequels" clocks at over twenty six minutes. You might know that I'm not per se thrilled with epics. It is not because a song last for over fifteen minutes (which is my concept of an epic, although "The Musical Box" or "Child In Time" could enter into this concept thanks to some extraordinary performances, skills, maestria, talent etc.).

After an awful start, the song evolves into a "Trespass" territory and I have to admit that this passage is quite nice to listen to. But I'm talking about a nostalgic point of view only. Not as a fan of a creative band which "Ageness" is not too much. These sounds are nicely bouncing me back to my teens though (a very, very long time ago, unfortunately).

Everything you can expect from a neo-prog band is here: the Hackett acoustic parts, the Banks keyboards etc. Still, I must say that this "Sequels" offers some very good moments and that the global balance is on the good side.

This epic won't turn this album into a masterpiece of course (let's be serious) but according to my own standards, it raises "Imageness" to the three stars level. A good album (thanks to the last two numbers).

Report this review (#244919)
Posted Friday, October 16, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars I guess this album at least partly explains the similarity between G-E-N-E-S-I-S and A-G-E-N-E-S-S.

Imageness is the fourt album by Ageness and they has clearly found their voice. Which is a mix of Genesis, Marillion and some Dream Theater. And that's it, really.

The vocalist is not the greatest one in the business and slightly awkward. The rest of the band does a competent job. The songs are all good with a variation of great melody lines and not so great melodies. This is therefore an enjoyable album which really butters my ears, but does not really bother my brain that much. There is no great songs here too and that is why this is a good, but not a great album in my books. But fans of the three above mentioned bands cannot go wrong with this album.

3 stars

Report this review (#448412)
Posted Monday, May 16, 2011 | Review Permalink
3 stars Third album Imageness issued in 1998 at same Musea records, this is less intresting then previous one, really, and is better viewed and rated then Rituals, quite starnge to me. Featuring only 5 pieces, one of them clocking around 26 min, Imageness brings nothing new in the sound of Ageness and in neo prog in general. Being more edgy in some parts like on Chain reaction, posibly the weakest trak of the album. The best track to me is Metamorphosis, 10 min of good neo prog, balanced arrangements, good guitar and keyboards. The ending epic Sequels (The Feast of Fools) is maybe to long for me, if were 5 min shorter would be better, because after 10-15 min I begone to lose intrest in the piece overall. The most intresting passages are the first 6-7 min, after that even has some good parts and catchy arrangements is to little boring and usual. Again influences from IQ, Iluvatar with vocals going somewhere between Gabriel and Nicholls, Ageness manage to pull another good album but far from being something of a real intrest, I found it less captivating then Rituals for ex. 3 stars is best I can give, good but forgetable neo prog.
Report this review (#760023)
Posted Tuesday, May 29, 2012 | Review Permalink

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