Space Odyssey - The Astral Episode


Year of Release: 2005
Label: Regain Records
Catalog Number: RR 059
Format: CD
Total Time: 53:35:00

Evaluation:

Space themes. Again. Science fiction, heavy on the fiction, looow on the science ?. Space is no longer the final frontier. It's the last straw.

Analysis:

Well executed, beautifully recorded, technical, expertly played, complex, Astral Episode has all of the hallmarks of the genre. A tremendous amount of work must have gone into producing music of this caliber, and the dedication, passion and single-minded focus of these guys must be applauded.

BUT?

This is music for musicians. The only soul present here is in the vocal delivery. Like Russ Allen from Symphony X, and Jorn Lande (Ark and others), Nils Patrik Johansson has a tremendous voice, but the lyrics and subject matter render his heroic efforts void. The music doesn't speak to me, and I bet to not a lot of other listeners either ? at least those who are looking for a frame of reference ? something emotional, insightful or at worst controversial.

Don't get me wrong ? I love technical music, but it has to inspire an emotion in me. Any emotion.

I'm a musician; technicality for technicality's sake used to at least inspire me to go and practice. As I've aged, I practice no less, but technical music that doesn't speak to even the basest of emotions leaves me cold.

Lyrics have to speak to me, be sardonic, cause me to think, or at least be so infuriatingly stupid that my ire is raised. Nothing about this music even remotely inspires any kind of response from me. I can only ask, "why?"

Rating

2.5-/5. The minus is for the hideously derivative solo section in "Astral Episode," the hopelessly banal lyrics and oh, heck, just for even bothering to make this kind of music and to attempt to sell it as a unique package.

Summary:

Terrific vocalist, killer musicianship; devoid of any significant meaning and therefore ancillary.

Instead of buying and listening to this album, go get a book (remember those things? paper, words, sometimes pictures) and broaden your horizons. Feed your mind. Listening to this is like watching CSPAN with the sound off?.

Remember in Spinal Tap when Nigel Tufnel leaves the band and they end up playing gigs briefly as the Spinal Tap Jazz Odyssey?


Tracklisting:
Through Dreams And Reality (5:48) / Astral Episode (8:35) / Lord of the Winds (6:43) / Dazzle The Devil (7:29) / Back To The Dark (5:35) / Presence of Mind (4:40) / Reversation (6:20) / The Seventh Star Fantasy (8:25)

Musicians:
Richard Andersson - keyboards
Nils Patrik Johansson - vocals
Andreas Brobjer drums
Magnus Nilsson - guitars and bass

Discography:
Embrace The Galaxy (2003)
The Astral Epsiode (2005)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin SE

Added: October 30th 2005
Reviewer: Jan-Mikael Erakare
Score:
Artist website: www.anderssonmusic.com
Hits: 733
Language: english

  

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