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Fantastic Release. - 93%

apoc_metal, October 20th, 2006

Beyond Twilight is no ordinary metal band. With Finn Zierler on Keyboards and as producer and the driving creative force behind the band since their inception 10 years ago, they have brushed aside all conventions and created a truly unique brand of powerfully dark, brooding progressive metal. Section X is, to put it bluntly, a masterpiece. With that said, it must be noted that this is a "concept album", inspired by an epic science-fiction nightmare scenario complete with genetic experiments and computerized thought-transfers. The cheesy intro does a nice job of lowering your expectations for the album, "Log Entry 2004-Z Nucleic extraction successful..." Despite my initial disdain, by the end of the album the theme actually managed to fit in, and not feel so ridiculous, mostly due to their uncanny ability to write powerful emotion-filled songs. The lyrics themselves are nothing to write home about, but when combined with the atmosphere and force of Section X's brilliant songwriting and orchestration, and Kelly Sundown Carpenter’s stunning vocal performance, they take on a life of their own. Much like a skilled director can transform a flimsy script into a bone-rattling movie, Beyond Twilight manage to take a cheesy story and create an eerily foreboding piece of progressive Sci-Fi metal.

The Beyond Twilight sound really must be heard to be understood; and anyone familiar with their previous work will not be disappointed. With Section X, Beyond Twilight have shown they are not scared to innovate, and they have the creative dexterity to make even the most absurd things appealing—even downright delicious.

They combine unique rhythms (5/4 waltz you say?) with melodic passages and tearing riffs. The vocals come in to provide the emotional glue, and I must say despite any personality quirks, Kelly really delivers on this release. More importantly though, is the band's versatility as a whole. Able to switch effortlessly from quiet piano passages to mad guitar and keyboard riff-fests, they make you feel the terror of imminent mad-scientist-induced destruction.

The production is flawless, the songwriting masterful and original and never boring or repetitive. At times the keyboards sound a bit fake, they would have been better suited to finding a real wooden piano for some of the parts, but this is only a minor problem. This album is worth shelling out the money for, and worth telling your friends about. It has already gone down as one of the best releases of 2005, and has allowed Beyond Twilight to get the metal community’s attention through sheer musical ability, a feat practically unheard of in this age of absolute media saturation and control.

Production: 5/5
Musicianship: 5/5
Lyrics: 3.5/5
Overall: A-