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Forward Shapes

Crossover Prog

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Forward Shapes Legacy album cover
3.55 | 15 ratings | 2 reviews | 0% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2012

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. I Live On (5:26)
2. Never Forget (7:56)
3. Mirrors Of You (6:23)
4. Degrees Of Freedom (7:25)
5. Elusive (5:00)
6. Holding On (4:48)
7. Proclivity (7:39)
8. Legacy (11:15)

Total time 55:52

Line-up / Musicians

- Andrei Kryssov / guitars, producer
- Brian Andrews / keyboards

- Alison Vance / lead & backing vocals
- Mark Buchner / bass
- Ryan Hunter / bass, Irish whistle, backing vocals, mixing
- Marco Minnemann / drums

Releases information

CD self-released (2012, US)

Thanks to windhawk for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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FORWARD SHAPES Legacy ratings distribution

(15 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(0%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(57%)
Good, but non-essential (43%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

FORWARD SHAPES Legacy reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars FORWARD SHAPES is a studio only project formed back in 2005 by Brian Andrews (keyboards) and Andrei Kryssov (guitars). Their aim was a simple one: To record a full length album of progressive rock. The manner in which they chose to do so was a tad less conventional however. The songs themselves were mapped out by 2008, and then the formative duo invited musicians from around the world to contribute their parts, assembling the different instruments used in a specific and not too common order. The website of this project chronicles these developments in minute detail to anyone interested. The end result became the CD "Legacy", self released in the early spring of 2012. Containing 8 tracks and clocking in at just under one hour, and as far as debut albums are concerned it's a reasonable well conceived production too.

In terms of style the compositions tend to stick within the progressive rock realm, with occasional detours bordering the softer side of progressive metal. Piano and keyboards are key elements, and the instrumental foundation is built around the interaction between piano and guitars in particular. Acoustic guitar and wandering piano in tightly interwoven lead motifs, darker toned, dampened guitar riffs as a contrasting subtle undercurrent to the tangents as well as more dramatic and flamboyant guitar riff and piano interactions more thoroughly exploring and focusing on the differences in tonal range and resonance. Most pieces also feature the vocal talents of Alison Vance, whose powerful, emotional delivery adds a distinct dramatic flair to the proceedings as well as combining splendidly with the piano. Keyboards are applied somewhat more sparingly, and arguably most effective in calmer instrumental passages combined with melodic guitar soloing to produce moods and atmospheres not too far away from late 70's Pink Floyd in expression. But as far as comparisons go, I suspect the stated influence of a band like Nightwish is a better one. If you can imagine a stripped down version of that band, with less dramatic guitar motifs and the symphonic backing replaced by piano, then you're starting to hone in on the sound of Forward Shapes.

Personally I found them to be more interesting than the norm on three distinct occasions: Mirrors of You, due to a nifty and effective powerful recurring vocal section that elevates this piece. Holding On, a slower paced ballad where the interactions between vocals, acoustic guitar and piano are stunningly beautiful. And finally in the brilliant, twisting and turning dramatic intricacy of instrumental piece Elusive, an aptly named and fairly sophisticated number that explore the dramatic dynamics of the piano and guitar interactions in sequences that are truly stunning at best.

The end result is pleasant enough, just how much so depending on musical taste more than anything else I imagine. If you have a taste for melodic, fairly intricate hard rock that avoids pompous arrangements but doesn't avoid a certain dramatic flair, Forward Shapes debut production "Legacy" is a disc you probably should spend a few minutes investigating further.

Review by Tarcisio Moura
3 stars 3.5 stars, really. I was asked to review this interesting studio band Forward Shapes. Their debut CD Legacy is a very good mix of melodic heavy metal riffing, female vocals and fine symphonic keys. Unlike most of their peers, they do not use much synthesizers preferring to work basically with piano, even at the fastest and heavier parts, which gives them a quite unique signature. While it is clear that the band lacks the tightness of a live experience over the years, the music here is still quite strong and pleasant, showing great promise. There is not one bad track on the whole disc and although Alison Vance vocal parts are not exactly too distinctive (in fact, she sounds like a lot of average Heavy Metal female singers), her voice is nice enough to hold your attention for the whole length of Legacy.

I liked the instrumental parts a lot, even if they bring nothing new: very good guitar lines and solos, some real fine piano and a very professional work by the other musicians. Again, in my humble opinion, the lack of playing together live prevents this album to have the power and dynamics that I fell would give the songs an extra punch to make them more convincing and alive, In other words, the songs are good, the performances are good and the vocals are good, but there are few moments where they are truly outstanding and exciting (like on the instrumental Elusive and the powerful duel solos of guitar and piano on Proclivity) . Certainly they had potential to reach the excellency level (listen to the second part of the album).

Production is top notch.

Conclusion: Legacy is a nice CD, and if you like melodic power metal with a few symphonic touches, you should definitely check this out. Im looking forward to listen to Forward Shapes next CD.

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