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BEYOND The Beyond Twilight - 96%

waxlrose, August 19th, 2012

Finn Zierler surpassed his own imagination. Songwriting & composing core, the central source of creative electro-magnetic force field in BT, broke his own standard, set by the 2001 debut, "The Devil's Hall of Fame" with this majestic, again very well orchestrated and assembled conceptual exploration of psychological, science-fiction-like realms and states where experiences and nirvana's rule the expression and ambience of this concept.
This is their version of Transcendence.

The story and the concept gradually grows and expands in your imagination until the final creative, sonic and glass-shattering implosion coupled with fantastic choirs, melodies, excellent orchestration, high-pitched solo vocals and symphonically rich keyboard/piano tabs all grounded on solid sinister, unforgettable lyrics with few sing-alongs, making it a one unforgettable & truly dark sinister but victorious record.

Here we have the ballad-like sounding & gravitating tracks like the self titled, or the initiating power-piece "Be careful it's my head too" with no resemblance to the catchy and quite magnetizing almost simplistic (in that sense) song like "Crying" sang by Lande on the predecessor, whatsoever. Finn has completely jumped out of his own trademark box by expanding the atmospheric moods and emotional horizons through introduction and emphasis on sudden choirs. Following the nature of a concept, he introduced well arranged audio effects of psychotic reactions to evoke in a sounding way, mental maze of the schizophrenic protagonist in the mind of a listener, tracking was sampled through hundreds of layers to create more organic ambience. Less emotional pipes of Kelly Sundown Carpenter that made the atmosphere even more appositely darker, rawer, atmospheric, at the pinnacle, made this LP unforgettable.

Production, engineering, mixing and mastering were again done by the hands of producer Tommy Hansen whose perfectionistic approach coupled with Finn as an arranger himself once again, made this into another crystal clear standard of collaboration and production, reinforcing the overall image of this cult Danish progressive metal quintet (sextet). Instruments and vocals are warm and alive and I hope some day there will be Vinyl release for the full audiophile experience.

There are 7 full songs excluding cinematically & thematically adapted intro to condition the mood and set the conceptual path of the record. The most notable again, stereotypically is an introduction of the American vocalist, Kelly Sundown Carpenter who was in the same time, simultaneously working with guitar virtuoso Rusty Cooley on his own side project, Outworld, sadly also not that time lasting project as his work with Zierler here will be the last. His style is high-pitched reminiscence of the likes as Midnight, in some screams audibly similar but nowhere near powerful as Daniel Heiman (he is edgier and strains on the minimum or not at all, but still his full voice is thinner and more lightweight, Jan Thore Grefstad of Highland Glory has much more conviction and the muscle support on higher ranges and still ability to smoothly transition backward to the middle ranges, while still sounding thick), Dio, Tate (not to be confused with Geoff Taint :) ) etc. He's a very good addition to the high-end standard characteristics of the modern technical vocalists and to those underground influential heroes. His name will be remembered even if he never produces another vocally standard-smashing opus.

Section X, concept evolves and revolves around the "black sheep" who managed to reverse-engineer the map of the human brain enabling him to modify the almighty organ in whatever mode his creativity desires, utilizing the whole resting and unawakened potential of his hidden genius at once. After transferring the hidden potential to his own clone's brain and using the fragments of the Einstein's own brain in the process, the protagonist realizes his capability to improve and upgrade through the clone's own progression, mentaland creative potential and possibility to elevate himself on any creative level and frequency of rapid cognitive functioning where suddenly every answer is available and any problem resolvable, where the matter's boundaries and intellectual limitations, are easily surpassable. What he doesn't know immediately is that as his clone grows exponentially more thirsty and hungry, that he himself expands without control. He starts stealing other people's thoughts and synapses to fulfill his megalomanic addiction, transferring their minds into the clone then himself. Suddenly people start dying in the process of him taking over their senses and leaving them and then he realizes the threat, finalizing it by ... well buy the album and discover the message by yourself. The album cover is also very enigmatic and suggestible, picture communicates the message and the concept very well.

Essentially this record is overwhelming in every positive way and highly praised with the ground in not just few reasons. You should add it undoubtedly to your progressive collection since this will complete the nucleus of what breaking the standards in creative museums of life truly reflects and maybe here and there make your recall that you can do better in life by yourself, examples and ideals are set by exactly this standard of musicianship and creativity.