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Forever Twelve

Symphonic Prog

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Forever Twelve Remembrance Branch album cover
3.32 | 16 ratings | 4 reviews | 12% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2002

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Is For You (5:33)
2. Innocence (7:03)
3. Edge of Reality (5:24)
4. Here Again (9:05)
5. Victor's Eye (13:31)
6. Burning Ink (7:35)
7. Slogan's of Compliance (7:05)
8. The Quest (7:03)

Total Time: 57:59

Line-up / Musicians

- Cat Ellen / vocals, flute, percussion
- Tom Graham / guitars
- Steve Barberic / keyboards, bass pedals
- Kenny Hundt / bass, 12-string guitars
- Fernando Martinez / drums, percussion

Releases information

Radio Massacre International (RMI)

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CDBY 2006
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FOREVER TWELVE Remembrance Branch ratings distribution

(16 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(12%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(38%)
Good, but non-essential (50%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

FOREVER TWELVE Remembrance Branch reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by erik neuteboom
3 stars This American quintet has given me an hour filled with fine progressive music. In general the eight compositions (between 5 and 14 minutes) contain a warm sound, good ideas and plenty of variation. Particularly the combined playing of the keyboards and the guitar sounds strong and solid, but also the changes from dreamy parts into fluent rhythms are well done. The female singer has a nice voice but sometimes she should have sounded a bit more powerful. Though the general level of this CD is very much acceptable, the second part sounds like it has been worked out with more refinement. Beautiful pieces with classical piano, fine keyboard parts, fierce guitar and a lot of variation in the longest track "Victor's Eye" (over 13 minutes), a fluent and pounding rhythm with beautiful synthesizer patterns and heavy basspedals in "Burning Ink," divine keyboards (from sparkling piano to majestic choir-Mellotron) in the Marillion-like "Slogans Of Compliance" and Gregorian vocals (intro) and strong combined keyboard/guitar-playing in closing track "The Quest." This band has made a real fine debut-album with warm, 24-carat progrock which should appeal especially to fans of Marillion, Clepsydra or Flamborough Head. They still need to mature in composing but this is a promising band.
Review by bhikkhu
4 stars Forever Twelve is a modern group, doing prog in the classic style. Their debut album shows this in every track. Somehow they mange to keep it from feeling dated. You can tell that there is heavy influence from the big acts of the '70s, but it's hard to pin down specific ones. I tend to sense a more of a Genesis influence on "Remembrance Branch." There is also no denying a bit of Renaissance in Cat Ellen's voice.

These are quality musicians and songwriters. The passages are well played, and complexity abounds. Cat's voice can be a bit thin at times, but it is very pretty. She also has a slight nasal quality that gives her distinctiveness. While there is no overt virtuosity, this group's chops cannot be denied.

This is a moody and dynamic album, with some bright and catchy spots. It features one lengthy epic, and there are breaks between the tracks, but there is a common thread throughout. There are repeated themes, but it never gets dull. They also have a tendency to surprise you when you least expect it. All of this is very well done, yet there is no new ground broken here.

For anyone who wants to hear classic-style prog, done in the modern age, this is for you. It's a very enjoyable album. I rate it 3.5, so I will round up to 4.

H.T. Riekels

Review by kenethlevine
3 stars My first reaction was, wow, are these guys really American? Unlike the in-your-face example of contemporaries like Spock's Beard and old timers like Kansas, Forever Twelve plays with an understated style that is decidedly British, but it is also very much their own.

One of my favourite features of the best songs is the jazzy/funky guitar style full of subtleties, and the way the rhythm section supports it bouncily. As a result, Forever Twelve is prog that actually rocks without the slightest metallic tint. Cat Ellen sings somewhere between Jane Relf (Renaissance/Illusion) and Jenny Hahn (Babe Ruth), while not sounding particularly like either.

While the songs are long, they generally have purpose and a sense of direction, although this breaks down a bit on the longest piece, Victor's Eye, and the last couple of cuts don't measure up to what came before, particularly from a compositional standpoint, but "Edge of Reality" parlays a gorgeous melody into a worthy arrangement of synths and the aforementioned guitars. The real gem is the 9 minute "Here Again", which stands up to many a prog/neo prog classic, while not really being comparable to any. It masterfully shed several skins during its tenure only to re-emerge stronger than ever. This song alone makes the album a buy. "Burning Ink" is more uptempo and its highlight is the mysterious spacey sounding theme that surfaces about halfway through.

How delightful that a modern band can produce a modern album with so much that is brimming with originality and energy, even if the work as a whole is not entirely consistent.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Another US prog band coming from the mainstream city of angels,Los Angeles.They were formed in 1993 under the forces of keyboardist Steve Barberic and bassist Kevin Hundt.By 2000 the main core of the band had finished with the addition of Fernando Martinez on drums,Cat Stevens on vocals and flute and Tom Graham on guitars.The first album of the band ''Remembrance Branch'' was released in 2002 on Radio Massacre International.

Forever Twelve offer dreamy but also rather complex Symphonic Prog in their debut with a very rich content and adventurous compositions.US legends like CATHEDRAL,LIFT,ETHOS,HANDS but also bands like EARTH AND FIRE and GENESIS pop out in mind whilst listening.The overall style falls somewhere between intricate and challenging instrumental passages and ethereal mellow vocal-led sections with an atmospheric vibe.The tracks are rather long with a number of shifting moods,compositionally the band stands very well despite some unfocused moments.Keyboard work is varied and professional with plenty of organ parts,mellotron waves and moog synth solos,but also some cheap synth sounds,while guitarist Tom Graham prooves to be a gifted musician,very balanced player with his style ranging from melodic soloing to slightly jazzy hooks in the vein of FOCUS.Unfortunately Cat Stevens' voice leaves a bittersweet taste,as she can't seem to explode the level of the music to higher grounds.

''Remembrance Branch'' is a well-crafted album for all fans of Symphonic and Classic Progressive Rock with strong vintage influences and the final taste,while not being by any means extra-ordinary,is decent enough to follow the band's progress through the years.Recommended.

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