by Franco Cerchiari
In certain circles they say a rose by any other name is still a rose. So is it safe to assume that metal, by any other name is still metal? Well, yes and no. With so many genres and subgenres, to say a CD is metal will revoke images of raised eyebrows and questioning looks. Power Metal, Progressive Metal, Death Metal, Black Metal, Symphonic Metal — the list is almost endless. To carry forth within the genre of metal, with traces of Death Metal (complete with guttural vocals as heard on many of these tracks,) and as well progressive, with the symphonic laying a subtle undertone, is Infinity Overture’s latest project, Infinity Overture, Part I.
The beautiful vocals of Kimmie Nielson are a standout, the guest vocal work by many of metal’s best must be pointed out and as well the shredding by Niels Veljyt while seemingly intense and each note is audible, and it must be stated, he certainly does have a massive amount of talent. Unfortunately this otherwise great guitar work lacks direction as the shredding comes out of nowhere, stops, and certain tracks seem to be everywhere.
As hard as it is to imagine, while metal is certainly all part of guitar solos and riffs, here they seem to jump out at you almost as if to hit you in the face with them. It is completely understood that a guitarist wants to showcase his “chops.” Solos are the way to do them — cut loose with one blistering solo after another. As long as one can feel of a reason for the solos. Solos should be there to continue a track’s message, or to emphasize a passage. Here the guitar solos are there for just the sake to have solos. To speak of, there was no harmony during the solos, there was just massive metal guitar. Almost as if the rest of the band was told to lay low during the guitar work. And in that light, they are almost bothersome.
One has to wonder what the reason for the throaty, guttural vocals. The music was symphonic with excellent keyboards laying a soothing undertone while mixed into the fold was vocal screams and grunts. This vocal style, while certainly does have a place in certain types of metal, on the type of metal heard here on this release, they just didn’t fit.
The lyrics of “Back From the Past,“ were questionable, and as a ballad, with a soft undertone were the synthesizers to give it depth. But it was a difficult track to sit through. The “harmonic” vocals, were rough, high pitched, but almost grating. The opening track, “The Hunger,” was strong, as was the symphonic intro of strings on “Smoke and Mirrors,” although it certainly ended abruptly enough. Just as one got into the lay of “Smoke and Mirrors,” it ended and leaves the listener wondering if something is wrong with their player. The vocal work of “Angels” was outstanding, the acoustic guitars and piano of the title track “Infinity Overture, Part I” (the CD highlight) was well done, and the bass and drums were certainly one to make mention of as, as time and again they both offered a strong accompaniment. The closing track, “Darkness of Mind,” again started with a well played piano.
What become evident quite quickly is this was a chance for Niels Veljyt to showcase his talent. But what it comes down to is how the completed music comes together as a band. How the band members cohesively use all it is they have to bring to the surface a feeling. Not just how fast one member can shred, a singer can sing or how fast a double bass drum can thunder. But rather how each of them – together – can come together and bring to the listener a completed work, a passage or an emotion.
Here on Infinity Overture, while the talents of each band member are certainly evident, what was missing is the cohesiveness. Once this band gets that, this could certainly be a band to want to play close attention to.
Genre – Symphonic Metal
Label: Lion Music
Back From the Past
Smoke and Mirrors
Infinity Overture, Part I
Darkness of Mind
Kimme Tenna Nielsen – vocals
Niels Veljyt – guitars, orchestration, grunts
Bernardo Fesch – bass
Jakob Vand – drums
Fabio Lione : Vocals (“The Hunger“)
Amanda Somerville : Vocals (“The Hunger,” “Secrets,” “The Infinite Overture Pt. 1“,
“Smoke and Mirrors“)
Marie Frifelt : Vocals (“Back from the Past,” “Darkness of Mind“)
Simon Holm : Growl (“Smoke and Mirrors,” “Darkness of Mind,” “Evernight“)
Hjalte Sejr Bertelsen : Growl (“Smoke and Mirrors“)
Thomas Jensen : Vocals (“Back from the Past,” “The Hunger“)
Mads Damgaard : Piano (“Angels,” “Secrets,” “The Infinite Overture Pt. 1“)
Hardrock Haven Rating: 5/10