Wuthering Heights - To Travel For Evermore

Year of Release: 2002
Label: Sensory
Catalog Number: SR3014
Format: CD
Total Time: 55:00:00

Wuthering Heights' To Travel For Evermore is a really great release. I know that sounds like I'm surprised by that, but I'm not. I mean, firstly, I've come to trust the Laser's Edge family of labels, and by extension, Ken Golden. So I knew going in that I was more than likely going to like what I heard. Many things struck me ? classy (and classically influenced) epic metal, that begins like it knows something big is about to ensue (the lovely instrumental intro "Behind Tearstained Ice" with flute like keyboard passages, string like keyboard passages, and elegant, sparse guitar leads); vocalist Kristian "Krille" Andr?n sounds a lot like John Wetton, making WH sound like the speed metal version of Asia (he also sounds sometimes like Freddy Mercury, with the same smooth way of singing, as on the first part of "Lost Realms"); the medieval/Celtic textures (especially the brief interlude in "See Tomorrow Shine") add dimension to what would otherwise be just very solid, speedy progressive metal; that there are some really great pieces like "Lost Realms," which puts a medieval spin on growing older ("tell me, why must my childhood's oceans turn into lakes," Andr?n sings), with the innocence of youth lost, and the intricately arranged "Dancer In The Light" (the title phrase seems to echo, consciously or unconsciously, the classic song "Strangers In The Night," popularized by Frank Sinatra), well, the whole album really? The gentle, semi-acoustic "River Oblivion" is both uplifting and sad, just a few lines evoking a very rich scene (something true of the whole album, actually), though it is a song about death, it is also about the passage into the afterlife. Now, while I don't subscribe to the notion, I can see how that idea can be comforting, at least for those, as in the song, "left on the bank."

I'm not good at reading music at all, but in listening to WH (though not to say they're unique), I imagine that their charts would be a complicated and twisted arrangements? evolving? progressive. Wuthering Heights have a twin guitar attack of Erik Ravn (who also plays bass and keyboards) and Henrick Flyman, and, as it happens, twin keyboard attack, as along with Ravn, Rune S. Brink plays keysboards,? and it is keys that are at the forefront of the energetic rollercoaster ride of "Battle Of The Seasons." That's not to say there aren't guitar leads in there, too; this track features a number of them, showing some fleet- fingered playing. It's the kind of piece that'll leave you exhausted at the end. Good thing then that the track gives you a brief respite with the darker, atmospheric passage about 2 thirds in ? even though someone has won the battle, both are losers. The funereal and gloomy, bell-tolling atmosphere here certainly implies a death of a hero. But before long, we're off and running again. The "madman" on drums is Morten S?rensen.

The centerpiece is the multipart epic, and epic is the right word, "A Sinner's Confession" which begins with the tour de force of "Dawn" and powers its way through nine-plus minutes speedy metal, ending with the ? "Dusk." This dark and cynical piece traces a life from it's doomed beginning to its doom, all a metaphor for a much larger concept ? the rise and fall of humanity. All the varying textures heard elsewhere on the album are elements here, from the driving metal to the folky interludes.

Really, it's hard to say what I like most about this release as it's such a complete package with solid performances from everyone. They are tight, and can turn on a note with great precision, which makes their complicated charts all that more impressive. The chiming guitars that open "The Neverending Stones," another one of my favourites here, are another highlight of this release.

Fans of Kamelot, Rhapsody and Blind Guardian alike will eat this up. It's great stuff and I forsee Wuthering Heights being a band to be reckoned with within short order. If they only get better with their next release? man, that will be something to hear.

Behind Tearstained Ice (2:15) / The Neverending Stones (6:25) / Dancer In The Light (5:31) / Lost Realms (8:28) / Battle Of The Seasons (8:50) / A Sinner's Confession (Parts 1- 4) (9:37) / See Tomorrow Shine (5:13) / Through Within To Beyond (6:50) / River Oblivion (3:51)

Erik Ravn - guitars, bass, keyboards
Rune S. Brink ? keyboards
Henrik Flyman - guitars
Morten Sorensen ? drums
Kristian 'Krille' Andren - vocals

Within (1999)
To Travel For Evermore (2002)
Far From The Madding Crowd (2004)
The Shadow Cabinet (2006)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin DK

Added: February 9th 2004
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website: www.wuthering-heights.dk
Hits: 869
Language: english


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