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Crossover Prog • United States

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Forward Shapes biography
US based project FORWARD SHAPES was formed back in 2005 by Brian Andrews (keyboards) and Andrei Kryssov (guitars). Together the twosome developed the material that would eventually end up as their debut album, finishing the creative part of the process in 2007, and recording the piano and guitar parts respectively during 2008.

To complete the recordings they opted to use project musicians from various parts of the world. They recorded their individual parts, which later was assembled by Kryssov, with Ryan Hunter handling the mix. At the very end of 2011 a full albums worth of material was ready for mastering, and in the pring of 2012, after almost 7 full years of development, Forward Shapes released their debut album Legacy.

What the future holds in store for this project remains to be seen. But at this point in time the project leaders don't hold any desire to perform live or to be a part of a regular band as such, so if there are to be additional chapters to this story they will most likely be on CD exclusively.

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FORWARD SHAPES discography

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FORWARD SHAPES top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.90 | 12 ratings

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Showing last 10 reviews only
 Legacy by FORWARD SHAPES album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.90 | 12 ratings

Forward Shapes Crossover Prog

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.

Thanks to windhawk for the artist addition.

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