Elsesphere - Blind Leading The Blind

Year of Release: 2002
Label: Lucretia Records
Catalog Number: LU20013-2
Format: CD
Total Time: 55:24:00

Here is a new Swedish band playing progressive metal in the vein of, well, many of the classic prog artists. Intromental, their label, list such analogous bands as Dream Theater, Fates Warning, and Momento Mori and this is good reflection of the music that Elsesphere offer.

In fact, I would proffer the severely underrated Tunnelvision from Finland (their album While The World Awaits) as Elsesphere seem intent on dominating chunky guitar riffs from Mikael Bergemalm. The music is quite a technical mix that always volunteers something new, which is good for those who like a variety of creative musical solutions, but for those with a penchant for repetition and power - then leave this one alone. One thing is certain on this album and that is you'll find something new with every listen. There's a little bit of everything in here from the early Enchant like opening of "Andromeda Strain" to the Dream Theater-esque musically passages at almost every turn (is there any band they don't influence?). They are not as slick as those bands - not yet anyway - but they are well on their way with Blind Leading The Blind.

Elsesphere have taken a leap out of other prog peers and have not opted for traditional lyric topics instead delving deeper into the soul with track titles like "Luna Sea" (Lunacy), "Waging A War," "Seasons In Hell," and "Last Night On Earth." These almost disheartening titles are thankfully not sung in a depressive way with vocalist Jonny Berntsson concentrating heavily on flexible melody lines and his voice comes across perfectly in the mix. For comparisons I would consider Ray Alder (Fates Warning), Erik Rosvold (Zero Hour), but most notably Marko Waara from Tunnelvision.

The keyboard leads, and there are plenty of them, are reminiscent of any band that has managed to caress their songs with intelligent and fertile keys (Jens Johannson of Stratovarius or Kevin Moore ex-Dream Theater). Not necessarily in style but the fashion with which the keys are implemented into the overall music. They have their own space to do as they please and they are performed by one time Momento Mori keyboardist Joakim Floke. A couple of minor criticisms include lame backing vocals on some tracks and they have a penchant to be self-indulgent on some passages, but these are really minor critiques to what is essentially a fantastic debut disc.

Overall, Blind Leading The Blind is a demanding album and one that is not as technically superior as Spiral Architect or Spastic Ink but one that takes little time to appreciate. An album that will surprise many people so please, don't let this one go unheard!

Similar To: Tunnelvision, Fates Warning, Dream Theater

[This review originally appeared November 2003 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]
Intro (Mental) (0:46) / Hole Inside My Head (8:19) / Mastermind (6:45) / Luna Sea (7:33) / Andromeda Strain (9:03) / Waging A War (5:06) / Last Night On Earth (5:46) / Seasons In Hell (8:49) / Requiem For A Dream (3:17)

Jonny 'Bix' Berndtsson - vocals
Joakim Floke - keyboards
Lollo - bass
Mikael Kvist - drums
Mikael Bergemalm - guitars

Last Night On Earth (demo) (1999)
Blind Leading The Blind (2002)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin SE

Added: December 18th 2004
Reviewer: Gary Carson
Hits: 1086
Language: english


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