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iNFiNiEN Beyond the Veil album cover
4.30 | 75 ratings | 3 reviews | 32% 5 stars

Essential: a masterpiece of
progressive rock music

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Studio Album, released in 2022

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Beyond the Veil (6:56)
2. Mannequin Parade (4:58)
3. Wheel to Nowhere (Good Luck) (6:27)
4. Our Breath (5:50)
5. Ascent (9:11)
6. The Call (7:18)
7. Gratitude (6:22)
8. Prayer (4:51)

Total Time 51:53

Line-up / Musicians

- Jordan Berger / bass, backing vocals
- Tom Cullen / drums & percussion
- Matt Hollenberg / guitars
- Chrissie Loftus / keyboards, lead & backing vocals

- Liz Carlson / violins (5,7)
- Andrea Weber / cello (5,7)
- Naeemah Z. Maddox / flute (5,7)

Releases information

Format: Vinyl, Digital
October 6, 2022

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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INFINIEN Beyond the Veil ratings distribution

(75 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(32%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(34%)
Good, but non-essential (24%)
Collectors/fans only (7%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

INFINIEN Beyond the Veil reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Some new music--and sounds--from these creative, even innovative, proggers.

1. "Beyond the Veil" (6:56) the familiar side of iNFiNiEN opens this one: piano, Chrissie's quirky lyrics and vocals, and the Tom and Jordan's energetic virtuosity lifting the song and melodies into another jazzier dimension. I like the clever (and quirky) inclusion of the Spanish/flamencan motifs--a bit of THE MARS VOLTA feel therein. (13/15)

2. "Mannequin Parade" (4:58) sound palette and styling a bit reminiscent of some previous sounds and textures--even something from one of their past albums. But it's so smooth, so rich and inviting, the melodies so engaging and enchanting; I feel, truly and really, as if I am being put under a spell, hypnotized. Great groove set down by rhythm masters Jordan Berger and Tom Cullen. A dreamy, top three song for me. (9.75/10)

3. "Wheel to Nowhere (Good Luck)" (6:27) Interesting construct--one whose stop-and-go, high-speed staccato bursts of notes, instrumental with vocals, could not be created or performed so well by many other bands than this. The jazzy psychedelia in the middle is very cool before Chrissy pulls us back into the jazz fabric she and Tom and Jordan are maintaining--but then, just as quickly, the band takes a left turn and forays into a more abrasive, almost metal (TMV) direction. (9.5/10)

4. "Our Breath" (5:50) what a vocal seductress--with an amazing lyric! So poetic it just sucks you into her spell. All the while, the band is performing a rather delicate and super-intricate weave of changing tempo music. Amazing construct! How does one visualize much less articulate this kind of music with all of its seemingly disconnected layers of activity and polyphony? More John McLaughlin-Herbie Hancock-like call-and-response machine gun conversations between guitar and piano while the rhythm section keeps it all glued with such virtuosic performances beneath (not to mention Jordan's virtuosic Jeff-Berlin-like bass play throughout). The most amazing, beautiful, jaw-dropping, yet easy to like and listen to song on the album. (10/10)

5. "Ascent" (9:11) very interesting, old-fashioned, European film noir -type soundtrack music that sounds so exotic and sophisticated as well as mysterious and obscure. I feel as if I'm watching some on-the-tail of a stakeout from some spy thriller set in the South of France or North Africa in the 1960s. Music constructed with the central participation of acoustic instruments--including flute and string quintet (two violin tracks, cello, acoustic guitar, and bass). As the song progresses, there's even a strong Jean-Luc Ponty/Mahavishnu theme/feeling being expressed. Tom Cullen and Jordan Berger are so solid, so integral, and Chrissie and Matt add so much in the way of piano, acoustic guitar and electric guitar textures and flourishes. It's awesome! (18/20)

6. "The Call" (7:18) A political critique. The song is ironically introduced with a slow, gentle musical foundation which then morphs into a pleasant Latin jazz dance form in the second minute. Probably the weakest song on the album in terms of complexity and surprises--though the music and vocal melody choices become quite interesting in the third minute and the fourth minute sees the instrumentalists exploring a variation on the famous X-Files theme. The surprises come in the lyrics. There is also present here a little similarity/familiarity to the music of CIRRUS BAY, though never as simple in musicianship or melodic structure as that of the late melody-master, Bill Gillham. I'm sure this song is very important to the band. Still, it is a song so far superior to so much of the re-hash drivel coming from other bands these days. (13.5/15)

7. "Gratitude" (6:22) Chrissie shows what is so special about her: commanding, unique vocals with great background vocal arrangements. Such a great whole-band weave with some awesome lead guitar from Matt Hollenberg throughout the second half. Top notch music combined with incredible vocal arrangement makes for one amazing song! Each alone would be enough, but together! A top three song for sure. (9.5/10) 8. "Prayer" (4:51) incredible instrumental (with ghostly vocalese)--so smooth and engaging. There is a bit of the drama here of a Pink Floyd/David Gilmour song with the urgence and insistence some of Steven Wilson's stronger songs. Great ender to a great album. (9.25/10)

Total Time 51:53

A/five stars; a masterpiece of progressive rock music, taking those terms "progressive" and "rock" to their fullest meaning in terms of progressing rock music into a fresh and forward direction. Definitely an album in the running for 2022 Album of the Year.

Review by siLLy puPPy
5 stars Having been on the scene since at least 2009, the Philadelphia based iNFiNiEN has taken its sweet time in crafting its musical amalgamations that create the playground for progressive rock, jazz, soul, various styles of ethnic folk music as well as classical into an eclectic conglomeration all their own. This band has remained the constant quartet of Chrissie Loftus (vocals, piano & keyboards), Matt Hollenberg (guitars, saz, oud, electric sitar), Jordan Berger (electric & upright basses, sitar) and Tom Cullen (drums & percussion) and has only released three albums, the latest titled BEYOND THE VEIL.

With a challenging angular time signature prowess oft reserved for the world of avant-prog, iNFiNiEN prove to be masters of blending challenging prog complexities with the sensual warmth of vocal jazz and Middle Eastern scales and rhythms fronted by the divine feminine charm of Chrissie Loftus whose vocal style delivers a softening effect to an otherwise complex wealth of prog influences battling it out behind the scenes. BEYOND THE VEIL also features three guest musicians contributing violins, cello and flute. The album with eight tracks at just under 54 minutes provides an outstanding example of how to be original in the modern crowded world of progressive rock / jazz-fusion.

While many progressive rock giants from the golden age of the past have been dissected, copied and incorporated into modern prog with creative new bands reinventing classic sounds. The usual suspects of Yes, Genesis, King Crimson and even Gentle Giant seem to have influenced the entire prog world of the modern era but i haven't heard many nods to the great Italian band Area. The opening title track changes that and delivers a bouncy Balkan gypsy folk fueled groove that is right out of the Area playbook on their classic debut "Arbeit Macht Frei" but integrated with so many other influences that it's not readily apparent unless you've devoured Area's classic masterpiece a ridiculous number of times as i have!

With an impressive opening number the band excels at delivering distinct tracks that are quite diverse in terms of creativity, tones, timbres, instrumentation, time signatures and stylistic approach. Given the knotty time signature workouts that frequently punctuate the flow, i'm often reminded of Thinking Plague as Loftus has that Elaine di Falco playfulness and the vocal prowess to pull off some amazing octave leaps as well as improvisational vocal jazz scatting. In fact it's Loftus' vocals that really allow the music to bloom given a limited vocal style would keep the musical creativity in a certain box or worse sound awkward. Somehow the band balances avant-prog complexities with symphonic prog atmospheres, jazzy chord progressions, classical piano rolls and ethnic, mostly Middle Eastern and Indian rhythms and sound effects.

Despite the ominous album cover which looks like something a technical black metal band would release in the 2020s, BEYOND THE VEIL is actually quite light and breezy for the majority of its playing time. The track "Ascent" for example allows a classical piano run accompanied by symphonic instrumentation to simulate a true ascension into the higher realms with jazzy bass and drums, flutes and a contrapuntal guitar that offers a bit of danger that threatens to derail the journey. The music is masterful in that it's soulful and playfully complex simultaneously. The production is quite excellent as well with a stellar mixing job not to mention the competency of the musicianship which is beyond impressive.

With tracks titled "Gratitude" and "Prayer," iNFiNiEN delivers a healthy dose of positivity as a theme over the intricate musical workouts. Shamefully i have never experienced this band until this release but after experiencing this fine blend of musical styles, i am certainly interested in exploring further. Unique and exquisitely performed BEYOND THE VEIL is the epitome of a modern prog smorgasbord that keeps you enthralled for the entirety of its playing time, not an easy feat to achieve.

Latest members reviews

5 stars I am so grateful to this community to point me toward great artists and magnificent records. This album Beyond the Veil is stunning. Beyond the Veil - a great opener with great musicianship, playful interludes, and a great voice by Chrissie Loftus 9/10 Mannequin Parade - I especially love ... (read more)

Report this review (#2878412) | Posted by WJA-K | Thursday, January 26, 2023 | Review Permanlink

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