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FOREVER TWELVE

Symphonic Prog • United States


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Forever Twelve biography
This American quintet has given me an hour filled with fine progressive music. The eight compositions (between 5 and 14 minutes) have got 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 especially appeal to fans of MARILLION, CLEPSYDRA or FLAMBOROUGH HEAD. They still need to grow a bit in composing, because you can hear some compositions don't sound supple enough. But it's a very promising band, maybe their next album will be CD of the month.

: : : Erik Neuteboom, The NETHERLANDS : : :
Fan & official Prog Archives collaborator

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Buy FOREVER TWELVE Music


HomeHome
CD Baby 2017
$11.00
$13.88 (used)
Taking ForeverTaking Forever
CD Baby 2010
$13.82
$16.34 (used)
Remembrance BranchRemembrance Branch
CDBY 2006
$19.25
Spark of LightSpark of Light
Self-Produced 2006
$20.11
$36.95 (used)
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FOREVER TWELVE discography


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FOREVER TWELVE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.32 | 16 ratings
Remembrance Branch
2002
3.18 | 12 ratings
Spark of Light
2004
3.80 | 20 ratings
Taking Forever
2010
3.84 | 13 ratings
Home
2017

FOREVER TWELVE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

FOREVER TWELVE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

FOREVER TWELVE Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

FOREVER TWELVE Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

5.00 | 1 ratings
Daisy Chain
2012

FOREVER TWELVE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Home by FOREVER TWELVE album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.84 | 13 ratings

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Home
Forever Twelve Symphonic Prog

Review by FragileKings
Prog Reviewer

4 stars It was 2012 before I really discovered progressive rock. Prior to that, I always liked bands that made the effort to create longer compositions or try unusual rhythms and technical playing. Bands that mixed jazz, or folk, or classical into their sound thrilled me. But I had no idea that there was a subgenre of popular music called 'progressive rock'. By 2012 however, I had embraced prog fully and went on a journey to discover as much as I could handle of this deep and broad music category. That led me to Syzygy, a band whose album impressed me so much that for the first couple of weeks I felt this was what symphonic prog, if not prog rock itself, should sound like. Of course, as my explorations continued, my exalted view of Syzygy's music became less lofty with many other new discoveries.

Skip ahead to the present, and a promo copy of Forever Twelve's 'Home' (2017, Melodic Revolution Records) lands in my mailbox. Upon first listen I was hit with mixed feelings. It was the Syzygy response for a moment certainly but for the second time, and with the law of diminishing returns, I was less excited this time. Adding a big 'HOWEVER!' here, I will go on to say that this band really cooks and knows what they are doing with the skill of seasoned veterans bearing youth's ambition.

Forever Twelve open their album with the 16:06-running 'The Seven Seas'. It begins with a showcase of guitar and keyboard solos ' synthesizer and organ blazing away ' before slowing down into the song-proper's intro vocal bit. Like many classic prog mini-epics (or is over 16 minutes an epic?), the music is a journey itself, weaving slow and melodic parts with faster instrumental showcases, and a grand build up to the climax. Right from track one, Forever Twelve have proven their roots are firmly implanted in traditional symphonic prog.

The following four tracks range between five and nine minutes and maintain this combination of remarkable and spot-on technical playing ability and the capacity for striking up strong melodic passages. John Baker's vocals are at first a bit of a sore thumb; his timbre a tad unusual for prog. But it soon becomes apparent that his voice gives Forever Twelve a quality to their sound that makes them recognizable from their peers.

Personal favourites of mine are 'Daisy Chain' and 'Karmageddon' for their incredible use of dexterity and speed and flexibility with time signatures. Very exciting music bursts out all over the place. Recently 'Home' has also begun to stand out for me. 'Acoustic Rose' is an interesting track with a beautiful if not brief a cappella conclusion. It's too bad the track is only 2:57!

The album closes with 'Fate is in Our Hands' and introduces some more traditional guitar rock music which is then given a Forever Twelve treatment. The vocals are different here, and as Tom Graham is credited with guitars, bass, keyboards, vocals, I am going to assume he takes the mic for this track.

After my initial, 'Oh, another deftly talented prog rock band that remind me of Syzygy' reaction, I began listening more for the purpose of simply enjoying the music, and the album has grown on me. At least three of the tracks now get added regularly to mixed playlists and have become familiar and something to look forward to when I play the whole album. The only criticism that I have is that the production is a slight bit dull and thick. Just listening to the album is fine, but when it plays after other recent releases with really bright and clear production, 'Home' seems to favour bass over treble.

Forever Twelve don't bring anything new to the table, but they do play with great skill and talent. My personal opinion is 3.75 stars (partly due to the production), but their skill is surely to be acknowledged, so I'll round up this time. Recommended for people who love technical and crafty symphonic prog with a strong slant toward the technical side.

 Spark of Light by FOREVER TWELVE album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.18 | 12 ratings

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Spark of Light
Forever Twelve Symphonic Prog

Review by maryes

3 stars Second album from FOREVER TWELVE "Spark of Light" is that type of album which have everything to be a great album...excellent musicians, a very good production, a lot of good musical ideas but... unhappily don't work how I expected. In fact, in spite all above mentioned qualities.. in my vision exist lack of a vital factor to make a real masterpiece: blends these qualities without lost continuity or sense ! With two notable exceptions: track 1 "Rama" and track 4 "Brown Cloud" , the other tracks don't seems close a perfect "cycle", in form which one track is like a combination of 3, 4 or five different tracks, at the end of track I can't remenber what "path" followed to arrive to cloncusio of theme. Due to this I will follow the majority of P A collaborators: My rate is 3 stars !!!
 Remembrance Branch by FOREVER TWELVE album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.32 | 16 ratings

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Remembrance Branch
Forever Twelve Symphonic Prog

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.

 Remembrance Branch by FOREVER TWELVE album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.32 | 16 ratings

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Remembrance Branch
Forever Twelve Symphonic Prog

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

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.

 Spark of Light by FOREVER TWELVE album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.18 | 12 ratings

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Spark of Light
Forever Twelve Symphonic Prog

Review by bhikkhu
Special Collaborator Symphonic Prog Team

3 stars Forever Twelve is a very strong classic-style prog group. It's a shame that "Spark of Light" is their most recent release. Once again they have pulled together to create well-crafted modern symphonic prog for the old school fan. As was the case with the debut, it is still difficult to pin down primary influences. However, while I felt Genesis in the debut, this one has more of a Yes vibe (with a touch of E.L.P.). It is much more upbeat, and the instrumentation feels more Squire, Wakeman, and Howe inspired.

Once again they have delivered a very strong effort, yet something seems to missing from this one. It is not quite as dynamic, and I feel a certain lack of urgency that was present on "Remembrance Branch." There was hardly a dull moment before, but "Spark of Light" drags in a few places (especially at the end). Don't get me wrong this is still a very good album. I happened to get both CDs at the same time, so I can't help but compare them.

All in all, I can highly recommend this album. If you have to choose between the two, figure out whether you want something darker, or lighter. If it doesn't matter, get the debut first. But you probably won't be disappointed with "Spark of light" either. I say 3.25 stars, so it will be rounded down to 3.

H.T. Riekels

 Remembrance Branch by FOREVER TWELVE album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.32 | 16 ratings

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Remembrance Branch
Forever Twelve Symphonic Prog

Review by bhikkhu
Special Collaborator Symphonic Prog Team

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

 Remembrance Branch by FOREVER TWELVE album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.32 | 16 ratings

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Remembrance Branch
Forever Twelve Symphonic Prog

Review by erik neuteboom
Prog Reviewer

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.


Thanks to The Symphonic Team for the artist addition.

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