Fireworks

CD Reviews

Aspera - 'Ripples' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/61/9d/07/314_AsperaRipplesbyEneas_1272804747.jpg Hot

Added by James Gaden     May 02, 2010    
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
3741   0   1   0   0   0

Artist

Artist

Title

Title

Label

Young Norwegian prog rock quintet.

There are several indecent things about this album. Firstly, it’s indecent that the protagonists were all under 20-years-old when they created it. It’s indecently good not just because of their age, whilst both the musical arrangements and musicianship are also indecently clever. I think you will have got the impression that I like this album a great deal, and I will be as bold as to say that I think that our readership will feel the same way.
Being very churlish I will say that if there is one small failing then it is that many of the songs follow a similar pattern with a big opening and then a quieter passage when the vocals start, but that might just be a product of the band’s youth and something they will work on with subsequent releases. That, I must stress, is a minor criticism and doesn’t detract from a truly wonderful collection of songs, amongst which there is not one filler or substandard offering.
The five piece from Skien in Norway featuring Atle Pettersen (vocals), Robin Ognedal (guitars), Nickolas Main Henriksen (keyboards), Joachim Strøm Ekelund (drums) and Rein T. Blomquist (bass) are set for great things if this debut album (there have been three EPs prior to this) is anything to go by, with a brand of Melodic Progressive Rock that will give them appeal across a range of genres and not just the Prog scene. Indeed, I could imagine these guys going down a storm at Firefest with their strong melodies, hooks and choruses.
The album opens with a short but haunting instrumental that features spoken sound bites in the background. It builds the atmosphere until the title track kicks in with its superb keyboard refrain in the manner of Stratovarius or Symphony X and a lovely gritty guitar riff that brings John Petrucci (Dream Theater) to mind. Consequently, when the vocals arrive on the scene it’s slightly surprising that they are mellower than this introduction would leave you to believe. The guitar work is wonderful on this track and throughout the album with the solo being beautifully executed, as is the keyboard solo.
The chorus on the following track, ‘Do I Dare?’ is a thing of utter beauty and I defy any reader of this magazine not to be enchanted by it. Again the solos from guitar and keyboards are spot on in terms of fitting with the flow of the track and very well delivered. The harmony vocals are exquisite and are another strength of the band and astounding for players of such tender years.
‘Remorse’ is a track that shows a number of different facets as it passes from a Dream Theater-ish riff to a more laid back section before the sound toughens again. There’s a neat shift in to a restrained but complex sounding guitar solo. The ending has Euro Metal overtones.
‘Between Black & White’ is the longest track on offer at a little over eight minutes and it immediately struck me that it is forged from similar raw materials as Saga with that familiar choppy guitar signature on the intro. There’s also something of fellow Scandinavians, A.C.T. in the arrangement not least because of the memorable and huge bridge and chorus. The way they bring together the heavy and the melodic is inspired as are the wonderful instrumental passages; particularly the classical piano interlude.
‘Catatonic Coma’ features another brilliant chorus and some heavy riffs whilst the following ‘Torn Apart’ moves matters in a slightly mellower direction. A piano and picked guitar refrain builds delightfully into a lovely strong and melodic riff. The little keyboard accentuations are wonderfully observed and the piano is beautiful. The chorus is sensational and has been locked into my head since the first time I heard it. Half way through they change into a higher gear but the glorious melody remains.
‘Traces Inside’ is another lengthy number and opens with another terrific riff which Ognedal peels off with ease. Again the middle eight and chorus are stupendous. Dream Theater are once more a reference point for certain passages, but I could throw a number of other influences into the mix. The guitar solo, once more, is so well delivered, the young man is bordering on a genius. ‘Reflections’ has a lovely acoustic guitar refrain which is followed by a sumptuous piano. Pettersen’s vocals are a delight on this short piece that you wish went on a bit longer such is its pathos.
After that, the closing number, ‘The Purpose’ hits you like a 10 ton truck as it bursts forth on a furious riff. The use of some vocals that come perilously close to growling is mercifully used sparingly. There’s a hint of deliberate discordancy, making this the most challenging of the songs on offer but they seem to instinctively know when to rein themselves in and the switch to a lighter feel (again featuring wonderful harmony vocals) arrives at just the right time to break up something that could have been overcooked.
This is without doubt an early contender for my albums of the year. Yes, it is that good.
Gary Marshall
Share this on the web.

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.

 


Comments (0)add comment

Write comment

security image
Write the displayed characters


busy

Member Login



Calendar

<<  May 2019  >>
 Mo  Tu  We  Th  Fr  Sa  Su 
    1  2  3  4  5
  6  7  8  9101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031  

Search Here

Shout Here

Latest Message: 5 days, 21 hours ago
  • Rocktopia Te : @Johns Band: Can you please contact us here: «email»
  • Johns Band : Fireworks Magazine 88 did not arrive by post. paid by PayPal. Any Suggestion.
  • Berny : @bpomper: Can you pls. contact the Rocktopia team here: «email»
  • bpomper : i found the problem..old email i can not access.i have tried to change it by editing my info but it wont allow. any suggestions
  • Berny : @bpomper: A reply was sent yesterday, We recommend checking your spam/junk mail to see if our message was filtered there. The magazine was already sent to your shipping address. Please let me know if you do not receive it within the next couple of days. Thanks for your patience!
  • bpomper : Thanks didnt of that. I still have not heard about fireworks 88 was it sent out. Thankyou
  • Rocktopia Te : @bpomper: For security reasons, we removed your previous message. Please do not post your private e - mail address. Many thanks for your understanding.
  • bpomper : Thanks for the reply. I see download but can you confirm that hardcopy was or is sent ou .thanks.the email i used is inder the contact me info of the website
  • Berny : @bpomper: Apologies for your troubles. Where did you send the email to? We haven't received anything. I will send you a longer reply via mail. Also, you can download the free CD from the "Fireworks" menu on top, but the CD links are only shown if you are logged in.
  • bpomper : 3rd email inquiring about my purchase of fireworks #88. i purchased on the 2oth of sept and today is the 24 with no response...paypal has taken the payment. should i have a down load of the cd for mu usa magazine. Looking forward to an answer
  • bpomper : hello i purchased fireworks #88 through paypal on9/23 and have not recieved an email from rocktopia. purchase is for a hard copy of the mag. should i have cd download instructions.when should i expect it
  • Berny : @Johns Band: I've just sent you an e - mail. Best regards, B.
  • Johns Band : I have ordered FM Live video and £1.99 taken from my PayPal account. How do I download video. Something gone wrong at processing with Fireworks. The links to report it do not work.
  • Berny : @kevinw01: Have you received the mail containing the donwload instructions? It seems as if you are downloading the bonus CDs from the "Fireworks" menu, those are meant for our readers in the USA and Canada whose copies do not come with the CD. I will send you a mail now. Thanks, B.
  • kevinw01 : I have ordered several issues of Fireworks but when I press the download button I only get a copy of the MP3 but not the PDF files. I have an iPad. Am I doing something wrong? Kevin
  • Berny : @ARONITY: Thanks for your order. As stated in the item's description, it can take up to three hours for your purchase to be processed. You should have received a mail containing the download instructions by now. Thanks for your patience!
  • ARONTY : Hi, Just ordered #88 pdf, Paypal show the payment, but no d/l link, please help..
  • Berny : @John: Pls. check your mail, this should have been sorted by now. Apologies for the delay!
  • johnmason : Hi. I paid for #88 and it doesn't show up in the licenses/Downloads and I never received any email telling me how to download it.
  • Rocktopia Te : Fireworks Magazine #88 is out now!
  • SeaDog57 : Thanks Berny got it
  • Berny : @SeaDog57: Not sure why the password disappeared, but it's back. Pls. download your copy from the usual place (i.e. Fireworks - > Bonus CD 87 on the TOP menu). Have fun! :)
  • SeaDog57 : Berny looking for the link and password to Issue 87 free music
  • Berny : @yvesrock: Apologies for the troubles. I've just sent you an email.
  • yvesrock : Hi,I ordered the 11th june the new Fireworks' magazine (issue 87) and I didn't receive it. Can you see if you sent it ? Best wishes Yves
  • yvesrock : Hi,
  • Berny : @Gazza2005: Please accept my apologies for the delay in processing your order. You should have received a confirmation mail by now. We are really trying our best to fix the payment issue as soon as possible. Thanks for your patience! PS: It seems as if you sent the payment twice, we sent you a refund.
  • Gazza2005 : I have bought issue 80 and I still ha e not had confirmation of my download. Please could this be sorted out
  • Gazza2005 : Hello. Can someone direct me to my download please
  • Gazza2005 : Can someone help please

Only registered users are allowed to post

Follow Us

FacebookTwitterYoutubeGoogle

This website uses cookies to help us give you the best experience when you visit. Cookies used for the essential operation of the site have already been set. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our Privacy Statement.

I accept cookies from this site