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Roswell Six

Progressive Metal

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Roswell Six Terra Incognita: Beyond The Horizon album cover
3.36 | 33 ratings | 4 reviews | 18% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 2009

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Ishalem (10:59)
2. The Call of The Sea (6:25)
3. I Am The Point (5:40)
4. Letters In A Bottle (5:02)
5. Halfway (4:05)
6. Anchored (4:39)
7. Here Be Monsters (5:28)
8. The Sinking of The Luminara (5:40)
9. The Winds of War (4:48)
10. Swept Away (4:18)
11. Beyond The Horizon (5:07)
12. Merciful Tides (5:07)
13. The Edge of The World (4:40)

Total Time 71:58

Line-up / Musicians

- James LaBrie / vocals
- Michael Sadler / vocals
- John Payne / vocals
- Lana Lane / vocals
- Erik Norlander / keyboards
- Gary Wehrkamp / guitars
- Chris Brown / guitars
- Kurt Barabas / bass
- Chris Quirarte / drums
- David Ragsdale / violin
- Mike Alvarez / cello
- Martin Orford / flute

Releases information

Progrock Records

Thanks to windhawk for the addition
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ROSWELL SIX Terra Incognita: Beyond The Horizon ratings distribution

(33 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(18%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(30%)
Good, but non-essential (45%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

ROSWELL SIX Terra Incognita: Beyond The Horizon reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars A somewhat underwhelming debut by this US project; serving up a long concept album somewhere in between symphonic prog and progressive metal in style.

It's not an album without appeal though, despite of or because of not hitting off straight away with a jaded reviewer. There's some obvious similarities to Ayreon here - albeit more of an Ayreon light in terms of musical and compositional complexities - but the story told is much more fathomable than Lucassen's excursions into the literally field.

Indeed, fathomable and likable are words one can describe much of the material on this album as. Not that interesting to most proggers I'd think, but rather music that should appeal to those mostly listening to and interested in the less complex aspects of music in general and rock in particular.

A concept story, some melodramatic twists to music and story and a sad love story thrown in for good measure makes me conclude that this is a production aimed at a crossover market first and foremost. An album for the girlfriends of male proggers as well as a general mainstream-oriented audience. And I think chances are good that it'll be a hit in those market segments. Hardcore proggers should approach with a bit of caution though.

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars My goodness, the supreme PA prog "softie" is doing a heavy symphonic review! OMG! What has the world come to? Topsy-turvy, I guess! So I need a little raunch occasionally, does not make me a metal head! To quote the PA bio "ROSWELL SIX is a US based project organized by Shawn Gordon from Progrock Records, combining the creative skills of writer Kevin J. Anderson and composer/keyboardist Erik Norlander to create a novel approach to the art of concept albums: To base a concept album on the book of an acclaimed author and to let same author actively contribute in the production of the music based on his novel. Rounding up the core members of the project is Anderson's wife Rebecca Moesta, contributing her writing skills as an acclaimed author; Norlander's wife Lana Lane and excellent bassist Kurt Barabas (Amaran's Plight)", yet most impressive was the barrage of fantastic vocalists chosen here to show their wares: DT's Labrie (ok, so I am not a fan but...), the intense Michael Sadler of Saga fame, Asia's John Payne and the lovely Lana Lane. Ravaging guitars are expressed by Chris Brown of Ghost Circus and Shadow Gallery's Gary Wehrkamp. Drummer Chris Quirarte of Prymary, violinist David Ragsdale (ex-Kansas) and Martin Orford (ex-IQ, Jadis) who adds some flute, round out the elite crew. Erik Norlander's whooping keyboards and symphonic synths infuse considerable fanfare and pomp to the sci-fi proceedings and the whole opus just rocks! Yes, its epic, bombastic, even heavily Wagnerian at times, interspersed with chunky ballads, the tender Ragsdale violin seducing on "Letters in a Bottle" while Sadler evokes an awesome, a powerful yet emotion-drenched vocal that will leave you stunned. Beautiful music with meaningful vocals gets even better on "Halfway" with the sultry Lana Lane on the mike, wallowing in sympathy "to the family members of military personnel serving overseas". When the going gets tough (mostly with Labrie's vocals) on tracks such as "I am the Point" or "Anchored", the guitars bite with venomous disregard. The highlight tracks here are without a doubt "Here Be Monsters", a colossal metallic slab a la Ayreon, full of lush symphonic bliss that has a little "Kashmir" feel (Erik , you little thief!) , harsh guitar crunching obliviously and impassioned vocals from Payne, Lane and Sadler triumvirate. (No wonder that I got hooked by this PA stream. Marketing slut, go figure!). Right behind this jewel is "The Sinking of the Luminara", a positively devastating instrumental adventure that showcases some elegant piano, twirling violin and the emergence of a rumbling Barabas bass solo that will shake your booties! Who is this guy? WOW! I mean nothing gets me more delirious than a subtly pounding bass frolicking within a mellotron vortex, my goodness! A sibilant synth solo only compounds my sonic orgasm. This is a thoroughly enjoyable masterpiece that I intend to indulge in, again and again. The highly cinematographic "The Winds of War" has Lana bellowing forcefully, a powerfully fluid voice that expresses convincingly (I find many male heavy metal singers insanely hilarious, a parody of sorts...Long story...). The contrast- laden "Swept Away" has fittingly raging rhythmic barrages, chopping away at the Lane melody with liquid guitar flurries, Sadler keeping his own with a melodic control that is truly inspiring. Their vocal duet is simply enticing and highly applause worthy, while Norlander tosses in some sweeping synthesized gale winds. "Beyond the Horizon" , the title track completes the revelation as Sadler once again grabs the microphone stand and delivers a performance that easily rivals his acclaimed Saga work. Every word is clearly understood and deeply felt (ain't that what a lead singer is supposed to provide the audience?), a well- placed acoustic guitar intervention infuses even more bravado to the simple "quenching the sorrow" emotions. "Merciful Tides" reprises the magnificent "Letters in a Bottle", giving Lana the final merciful word, replaying the enchantment and the utter pleasure derived in listening to this song and by extension this delightful album. Wehrkamp pulls off a mystically enticing solo to augment the passion. Norlander pulls on the instrumental velvet curtain with the über-symphonic "The Edge of The World", a fitting and polished farewell to an exciting musical journey, great story, amazing music, fabulous performances and gorgeous artwork. Nice indeed! An inch away from masterpiece anointment. I am very surpised by Sadler, wow! 4.5 uncharted lands
Review by The T
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This is a by-the-numbers progressive-metal album in the tradition of AYREON with strong elements of more traditional symphonic power metal a la RHAPSODY OF FIRE. This band's mastermind, Erik Norlander, clearly leaves his imprint on the music with his majestic, symphonic-and-spacey keyboards that remind us both of his band ROCKET SCIENTISTS and of his collaborations with Arjen Lucassen.

There's not much new on this recording. This music has been done before and probably in more inspired ways (again, AYREON). While there are some good riffs and ideas here and there, there's nothing that will make this album stand out from several other oriental-melody- ridden, epic metal records. The performances by the singers are correct, yet not extraordinaire either. Even James LaBrie gives a lackluster performance, reminding us of his worst days when his throat was suffering (especially when he tries to reach for the highest notes). Lana Lane does her usual stuff, balanced and melodic, yet a little generic.

With plenty of albums with lyrics based on epic tales, not even the story is enough to lift ROSWELL SIX's debut from mediocrity (another cliché-fest of swords and warriors). The album gets 2.5 stars, and for the overall quality of the performances and the good moments I'll round it up this time, because its lack of originality can't negate the fact that at least this is very enjoyable well-crafted music.

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
3 stars Halfway

Roswell Six is an all-star Progressive Metal project similar in style and form to Explorers Club. The project leader here is the amazing Erik Norlander and the large cast is gathered from such admirable sources as Dream Theater, Saga, Asia, Lana Lane, Shadow Gallery, Kansas, and IQ (among others). This star-studded line-up is almost certain to attract fans of those bands, this reviewer included, but even if these big names certainly gives you more than a hint of what to expect here in terms of style, I have to point out that in terms of quality, Beyond The Horizon does not come close to any of the better efforts of these great bands. Don't get me wrong, there are certainly some very good moments and individual contributions to be found here, but overall the album is a bit of a hodgepodge of the contributors' diverse styles and sounds. It thus sounds a bit like a sampler or compilation album as the separate tracks are not always as connected to each other musically as one would have hoped. The several songs on which Lana Lane sings lead for example (Halfway to name one), sound very much as if they were taken straight off her own albums. Now, this is not surprising given Norlander's essential role in both projects. Neither is it negative as Lana Lane's music is very often brilliant and never bad. Similarly, Here Be Monsters sees John Payne deliver a song that, though on the heavy side, easily could have come off an Asia album. Again, Michael Sadler provides some fantastic ballads that would not have been out of place on a Saga album, etc. Indeed, all the vocalists are excellent and do an excellent job here. But still I must say that I prefer them in their respective home environments.

As far as the instrumental performances go, some lovely flutes by Martin Orford and violins by David Ragsdale stand out. This contributes to the occasional "oriental" feel of several songs. Overall a good album, but there are many better ones of its kind; even Norlander's own conceptual Music Machine beats this.

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