Ageness - Imageness

Year of Release: 1997
Label: Musea
Catalog Number:
Format: CD
Total Time: 52:17:00

You know how a really great album cover will just grab you, pull you in, and make you want to know what's inside? Well, this cover doesn't do that exactly. And while it doesn't represent the music inside conceptually, it sure as heck does structurally. It takes a moment to figure out what the cover art is, and when you do, you find that it's not all that impressive. Though not clearly seen in the scaled version above, in looking at it, I expected this to be a concept album, given that there's what looks like a king, having some sort of lifeforce either sucked into or out of him. But, no.

So, too, is it with the music inside on this disk by Finland's Ageness. All surface, no substance. It begins with the bass way out in front, blasting through the speakers as the first thing heard. But, their sound soon becomes a mix of Marillion and IQ influences, heavy on the IQ. I mean, really heavy on the IQ, as vocalist Tommy Eriksson has a voice similar to Peter Nicholls'. There are hints of Pendragon in the sound, too, but mainly IQ.

Well, actually, on the second track, "Fear" I thought of the Monkees' Davy Jones. Admittedly, here Eriksson sounds like a sharper, more angular Davy Jones.

I can't say I'm impresed with the epic length track "Metamorphosis" - parts seem clumsily arranged and this isn't a strong vocal performance. Maybe it'll grow on me, but right now it doesn't seem likely. The intro section is okay, more IQisms here.

The track that takes up the bulk of the album, "Sequels" is probably the weakest overall. It is an epic suite in ten parts, lasting over twenty-six minutes. While the explanatory text for this track mentions the Feast of Fools (as this song is subtitled) and what it is, nothing really seems to relate to it. Well, I suppose if I rolled up my sleeves and dug deep I could find little fragmentary bits of imagery that might fit the blanket theme, but despite its IQ flavour (I like IQ), there isn't enough of interest hear that I'd care to bother. I don't think it's because it doesn't yeld it's "secrets" obviously (cf. Citizen Cain), but because it just doesn't impress. The album started off well, but the IQ influence only goes so far.

However, the one exception is the instrumental section of "Sequels" called "Second Line of Force" ... it harks back to the opening track, and is good.

Despite Jurriaan Hage's less than stellar review of Ritual, I was curious to see (hear) if I came away with a different impression. I don't. While Nicholls' vocal style works for IQ, that quality doesn't work here.

They need to write stronger, more focused material than this. Something that holds interest and brings the listener back for more.

Line of Force (6:25) / Fear (4:24) / Chain Reaction (5:31) / Metamorphosis (10:04) / Sequels (26:33)

Tommy Eriksson - vocals, synthesizers, guitars, keyboards, choirs, organ, odd noises
Jari Ukkonen - bass
Kari Saaristo - drums
Jari Laasanen - organ
Marko Karhu - guitars

Showing Paces (1992)
Rituals (1995)
Imageness (1998)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin FI

Added: September 1st 1999
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website:
Hits: 1394
Language: english


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