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Beyond Twilight - Section X CD (album) cover


Beyond Twilight

Progressive Metal

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4 stars Awesome album - I'm impressed. Opens with a track sounding like a soundbite from the movie Resident Evil - then we have 'The Path of Darkness' - a powerful song with superb vocals and excellent playing throughout. Next up is 'Shadow Self', another track with movie aspirations - surely a vampire/werewolf epic would benefit from it. 'Sleeping Beauty' reminds me of Kamelot (no bad thing) and showcases superb vocals and nice guitar sections. The next song is 'The Dark Side' and has Rob Zombie influences - the vocals are a standout (again) and the overall musicianship is pretty high. 'Portrait F in Dark Waters' is a piano showcase accentuated with some guitar in places - it segues into 'Ecstacy Arise' which keeps up the Kamelot feel. Beyond Twilight are a prog metal band who fit quite nicely into the niche created by Symphony X, Redemption, Ark and Kamelot amongst others. The final track is the title track, 'Section X'. At just over 9 minutes it is the longest on the album. I have to say that it is not the magnum opus you might hope for - its good, but I wanted it to be .... better. Nevermind, the hard work was done prior to this track anyway.
Report this review (#62042)
Posted Wednesday, December 28, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars The second studio effort of this excellent prog metal band at first could be a disappointment due to the absence of Jorn Lande. However, fortunately Finn Zierler found a good substitute in Kelly Sundown Carpenter. The guy shows a very solid vocal work and the album is somewhat in the spirit of the debut. On the other hand, perhaps due to the impact of the debut, this second album, at least for me, lacks punch. Don't misunderstand me: this is surely a good prog metal album by itself, but compared to the previous effort I think it lose some impact. Again no track is bad or filler, but my favs are 4. Sleeping Beauty, with soft and heavy vocals, showing the versatility of the vocalist; 5. The Dark Side remembers me passages of the first album and at 2:50 there are a great interplay between guitars and keyboards. Other good tracks are 7. and 8., and 3. Shadows Self shows how can double drums bass be played creatively, something that a lot of power metal bands avoids, as they are used to play repetitive/boring drums, proper to a drums machine. Track 6 is a short instrumental showing the classical influence in Finn Zierler. Good acquisition to any prog metal fan. ***½ stars.
Report this review (#65264)
Posted Tuesday, January 17, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars have to admit it I started out listening to this CD with some negative thoughts but after a few plays I found myself completely hooked ! If you are expecting the same old Dream Theater Symphony X clones forget it. This CD is very original and theres not a bad song on it in fact they all sound different to each other. The songs are very well crafted and the musicianship is first rate prog metal !

Report this review (#65284)
Posted Tuesday, January 17, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars With this brilliant second album, Beyond Twilight proved they were one of the leading band in the progressive metal scene today. Led by Finn Zierler on the keyboards, the band managed a superb follow-up to their great debut. About the album. A great mix of simple metal riffs and extravagant passages. Lots of very catchy melodies, rarely falling into deja vu. Keyboards, mainly piano are certainly most present on this album, as Zierler makes of his instrument the core of each song. Vocals are amazingly fit to this type of music. Very strong by moments and soft when it has to be. Guitars are mainly rythmic, and reflect a clear "keyboardist written" frame. Drums are perfect, great sound, just the right amount of complexity, a fair mix between Mike Portnoy and Neil Peart. Not as progressive as their next, the album still deserves 4,5 stars for being very creative and almost flawless. Considering that the actual score is 4,33 I'm giving it 5 stars. It is a masterpiece.
Report this review (#80508)
Posted Tuesday, June 6, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars It´s a bit difficult to get into this music for a usual, normal listener. But when you get into this the result is fantastic. "Section X" is a bizzare mixture of very complicated, technical structures and a beautiful grading melodies. But it´s not only the technical music at its best, Finn Zierler proves that he is really a serious composer and a proffesional musical artist. His products reminds me a works of classical composers. Compositions are sophisticated and the whole music is perfect with very astonishing structures. Every single member of Beyond Twilight represents a high skilled musician to perform this perfect progressive metal work of art. With all respect to Jorn Lande (he is a genious singer) Kelly Carpenter for me is the person who sit to this kind of unique music much better. Beyond Twilight proved with this album that they belongs to the present progressive elite. I must shortly remind that the following effort "For The Love..." is even much better that this "Section X" and Finn Zierler has proved again that he is a real genious!!!
Report this review (#103920)
Posted Thursday, December 21, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars I am a big fan on Jorn Lande and was disappointed of his absence but was really surprised with Kelly Sundown Carpenter, that he shows almost the same quality, even sometimes better. His vocal style is very similar to Jorn Lande and it helps the band to follow the "The Devils Hall Of Fame"'s big success. The songs are similar mostly, pure progressive metal, heavy guitars and complex melodies but there are some songs that is different from others, like Sleeping Beauty. Kelly Sundown Carpenter's vocal style in this is very similar to Pain Of Salvation in some ways but it is not surely not a replica, only a new taste into Beyond Twillight's sound. Best song IMHO are, Ecstasy Arise, The Path Of Darkness, Section X. I am giving 4 stars because this album is really good and the musicians are really talented. I am not giving 5 stars because this album sometimes lacks catching melodies, there are almost no high-quality guitar solos which I would normally seek in this genre.
Report this review (#107305)
Posted Friday, January 12, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars Outstanding release from this band called Beyond Tweilight. They are something between Symphony X, Kamelot, Rapshody, but in a good way not a copy. They try to compose fresh and well played prog music, and most of the time they succeded. They sound very tight and solid in my opinion, with great keys combined with powerfull guitars. Sleeping beauty sounds like Kamelot , but is Ok. This is no clone band of what you are use to listen so my rating is 4 stars, and prog metal fans get it, worth every track.
Report this review (#114850)
Posted Sunday, March 11, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars This album is only almost as good as The Devil's Hall of Fame. The music is more complex, but it is slightly behind in melodies and the concept (although good), is nowhere near as good as that of The Devil's Hall of Fame. Many of the tracks sound quite similar, too, with one exception - "Sleeping Beauty", which has a sort of devilish cabaret feel to it.

Other than this, these albums are very similar.

Highlights: Ecstasy Arise (amazingly epic) and Sleeping Beauty.

Highly recommended to any fan of progressive metal.

Report this review (#134182)
Posted Wednesday, August 22, 2007 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
4 stars This is BEYOND TWILIGHT's second album released in 2005. The big change from the debut is the new singer Kelly Sundown Carpenter an American vocalist from the band OUTWORLD. I actually purchased this just because he was singing on it because i'm a big fan of his. I'm one of the few I think who prefer this album to the debut. I like the vocals better and I find this one more interesting and challenging.Tommy Hansen helped mix it and the sound is fantastic.

"Be Careful It's My Head Too!" is a short intro track with processed spoken words that end with "You are in Section X". "The Path Of Darkness" opens with outbursts of sound until it stays heavy with vocals. It settles back then kicks back in before 3 minutes as themes are repeated.The vocals are so good. "Shadow Of Self" opens with heaviness with these background synths. Nice.The tempo picks up quickly and vocals join in. I like the scream 4 minutes in then the synths take over as the drums pound. Ripping guitar after 5 minutes. "Sleeping Beauty" is heavy to start then it settles to an unusually lighter sound including the vocals. It turns nasty after 2 minutes then back to the lighter vocal / piano led sound as contrasts continue. An interesting soundscape before 5 minutes as it gets theatrical.

"The Dark Side" is intense with spoken words then it picks up with vocals. Nice rhythm section with synths 3 minutes in as Kelly continues to spit out the words. Intense stuff. "Portait F In Dark Waters" opens with piano and synths then the tempo picks up before settling again with piano out front. A cool instrumental. "Ecstacy Arise" is heavy and we don't get vocals until before 1 1/2 minutes. A thunderous rhythm section here. Love the instrumental section 5 1/2 minutes in. Vocals are back after 6 1/2 minutes. "Section X" has this bombastic and punchy sound early on with vocals. A guitar solo 3 1/2 minutes in then the tempo picks up a minute later. It settles back before 6 minutes with vocals.

This didn't blow me away by any means but it's one of those albums that grows slowly which I like.

Report this review (#333834)
Posted Thursday, November 25, 2010 | Review Permalink

I shall say first off that BEYOND TWILIGHT have a great album here with the release of SECTION X. SECTION X is a brilliant conceptual album based on some pretty heavy and interesting Sci-fi themes and concepts. In fact; I believe a prologue is needed in this review, so one can get a nice feel for SECTION X's brilliant yet bizarre storyline. Believe me, it adds to the mood for one to actually really want to listen to the album. After all, it's the storyline that got me hooked... in the first place. ;)

The story of SECTION X is about a scientist who discovers Brain Mapping, which is a process that tells us how much of the human brain we use % wise. The scientist (who is in fact nameless) learns that human beings use just 10% of the brain itself. Furthermore, the scientist reveals a cunning and cleaver way to unlock and transfer a persons thoughts, dreams, feelings and visions to any of the unused portions of the brain. By being able to construct this 'window to the brain' the scientist proceeds to create a clone of himself. Going further down the spiral of this radical experiment, the Scientist transfers the contents of Albert Einstein's brain into the clone of himself and the only way this can be done is through virtual reality in the scientist Lab. Now where is gets iffy is that the clone's brain operates exactly like The Scientist Brain, so the thirst and desire for knowledge becomes an excessive and evil fulfillment. The Clone embarks on stealing parts of people's minds who are great musicians, politicians (I've never heard of a great politician) and anyone who has incredible supernatural abilities. Needless to say, the Clone had gone Section H and has acquired a taste for evil, which the clone sees as the most beautiful and purest thing in the world...ah oh! Meanwhile, now that the scientist discovered his clone has gone into a mad stupor by killing and ravishing any human being of worth in his path of reality, The Scientist of course wants to make the clone extinct. The scientist devises a plan to disguise himself as a beautiful woman to eliminate the clone from using and terrorizing human souls. In the end, the Scientist succeeds in killing the clone but when he does kill his doppelgänger his soul begins to crumble in the most unbearable, terrible pain imaginable. Thus, The Scientist soul begins to drown into an ocean of pain creating the most painful death any human has ever been able to experience. Wow! And this is all conveyed through the music!!

Sound like an intriguing story spun into a musical theater of drama and progressive metal!? I should hope so.  Moving on, and to get into the album itself musically, SECTION X is an album that is fueled and centered around the leadership of FINN ZIERLER's keyboards. The keys are lush, vast and extremely creative. I must say, I do enjoy when a band, such as BEYOND TWILIGHT, has a sound that is propelled by synths and keyboards. Its an uncommon thing in Prog-Metal where this occurs cause its usually the Guitars or guitarist that takes center stage. It's the Keys by ZIERLER that dictates the pace of SECTION X, but fans of the acoustic and electric guitar will still be elated with the Guitar mastery of ANDERS EXO KRAGH and rhythm guitarist JACOB HANSEN. Yup. You guessed it! BEYOND TWILIGHT is a double axe wielding guitar band that can shred your face off with some pretty nifty noodling and arpeggios that are so wonderfully high and exalted in the final track of the album, SECTION X. Their is even a choir to back up KELLY 'SUNDOWN' CARPENTER's vocals and stunning chorus line...'This is the wiiiiiilllllllll...forevermooooooooore!!' truly, the SECTION X final track has it all and is the best track on the album. It conveys so much emotion through the incredible musicianship of BEYOND TWILIGHTS capabilities and styles.   But, there is still more to the album than one superb 9:00min epic. The opening track 'BE CAREFUL IT'S MY HEAD TOO' is a wonderful little SCI-FI dialog that explains the cloning procedure is under way, then not long after the 2nd track 'THE PATH OF DARKNESS' gets going and really wakes up the listener with KELLY CARPENTER's moody, screeching and haunting vocals that is accompanied by beautiful keyboards solos and a terrific chorus to the song that takes place for the first time in about 1:35min with in the song. All in all, I have to say that this dark, Sci-Fi album by BEYOND TWILIGHT has some extremely great vocal chorus's placed throughout the album of SECTION X. It's a shorter album being a little under 50min with 8 tracks in all, but the album still gets its point across to the listener with in that time frame just like the ANNO DOMINI album by RIVERSIDE. Sometimes tighter is better. Anyway, the Chorus highlights are in the tracks THE PATH OF DARKNESS, ECSTASY ARISE and of course in the grand finalé SECTION X. KELLY CARPENTER's vocals are simply sublime and he sounds much better when he reaches for the softer, melodic side to his voice.  Another notable mention in the album is the 6th track PORTRAIT F IN DARK WATERS, which is an absolute stunning piano/keyboard solo instrumental from ZIERLER. Here, in this instrumental, you will be showcased with the mastery of ZIERLER's keyboard playing and composition writing. I was truly taken back by how much sheer skill ZIERLER has as a musician and writer. A very big highlight is PORTRAIT F, but it's sadly a short track clocking a little over 2min 30seconds....needless to say I wish it was longer! Ok, so I guess that this is where I will make my disappointment clear on this album.  ZIERLER should have made his instrumental longer and I also felt that SHADOW SELF and THE DARK SIDE were mediocre tracks that didn't blow me away...probably because the chorus was weak in both ;) That is all I can say where I was a bit unhappy, but the album as a whole is rock solid by tying together a very complex story and concept with in a musical theater of sound. 

In Conclusion, SECTION X merits a 4/5 for musicianship and originality from my point of view. I think a lot of SCI-FI junkies will really appreciate the subject matter and fans of NEO PROG will absolutely love the keyboardist/song writer and composer in  FINN ZIERLER. A real treat! Anyhow, this album comes highly recommended from yours truly, and i urge those who decide to give this SCI-FI beast a go to turn the lights off and play it very loud. :) 

In the name of prog....enjoy with all your heart. 

Report this review (#985693)
Posted Tuesday, June 25, 2013 | Review Permalink
4 stars Beyond Twilight released a trio of records in the early 2000's, each with a different vocalist (it is a demanding job to be a Beyond Twilight voice, as you will see) that made fans out of the few people that have actually heard of them, before going into a lengthy hiatus. Section X sees the band moving more into the gothic metal category similar to such acts as Vanden Plas or Adagio, but it would be a mistake to liken it to them, because these are not merely songs about vampires, but about... vampires from the future! Or something. Anyway, Section X will not hold many surprises, but does have an identity of its own, by being quite instrumentally busy, highly theatrical and oozing classical influences of band mainstays Finn Ziegler and Anders Kragh.
Report this review (#1823280)
Posted Wednesday, November 15, 2017 | Review Permalink
4 stars Released four years after their debut, 'Section X' gives us a second dark and twisted glimpse into the mindscape of Danish prog metal group, Beyond Twilight. With another concept album based around themes of cloning, manipulation and perversion, it's a pretty bleak story, but it makes for some great music!

Beyond Twilight have a fairly unique and distinctive sound, with lots of dark passages that really conjure up images of perverted horror. Their sound is very gothic and gloomy, with powerful, multi-layered vocals and interplay between numerous guitars and keyboards. It's a very atmospheric release, which is surprisingly short for a concept album (at 45 minutes), but will still require a number of listens to really familiarize yourself with the music.

But that's nothing new to us prog fans, right?

Although there are very slight moments where the music tends to drag and feels self-indulgent, overall the album flows diligently. Highlights include 'The Path to Darkness', 'Section X', 'Shadow Self', and what is probably one of the bands finest pieces, 'Ecstasy Arise'. These songs alone make this album a notable addition to any prog metal fans collection, and help define Beyond Twilight as a truly underrated band that are worthy of your time.

Report this review (#1867030)
Posted Monday, January 15, 2018 | Review Permalink

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