SceneS - A New Beginning

Year of Release: 1999
Label: self-released
Catalog Number: -
Format: CD
Total Time: 27:14:00

SceneS (courtesy)A New Beginning represents the four track demo CD the band SceneS released in 1999, as a precursor to a full album that was planned to be called Understatement. While it seems that album was recorded, internal challenges have delayed that release. Vocalist Hubi Meisel (ex-Dreamscape) left the band in late September-early October 2000.

SceneS was begun as a project of guitarists Chris Lorey and Matthias Gamer, which evolved into a band in 1998. Replacing Gamer on guitar was Eddy Nowroth, and the line up was rounded out by Viktor Schönfeld on keyboards, Jan Ebert on bass, and Hendrik Edelthalhammer on drums. Meisel joined in July of 1999 (however, the recording dates for this demo are listed as April 24-25 and May 8-9, I'm not sure the exact timeline here).

SceneS is a progressive metal outfit somewhat in the Angra mold, in that Meisel has a very sweet voice along the lines of ex-Angra vocalist Andre Matos. The only flaw in this demo is the somewhat strangely balanced production, most noticeable in the first track and less noticeable in the last. What makes it strangely balance is that both the keys and guitar are upfront, almost in competition. In "Mysterious Bird," which opens the album, Meisel voice and the guitar are almost exactly matched, and while Meisel's vocals are doubled, this gives them a tripled effect...especially during the shriller parts of the track. Apparent here too is the influence of Dream Theater and Queensryche.

While Meisel isn't a bad vocalist, he has good range and fairly clear diction, his voice is a little too sweet and soft for me...even when he is spitting out lines. The acoustic intro to "Pain Is So Close To Pleasure" is very nice, a point where Meisel voice is perfect, making me think it is more suited to prog rock than prog metal. Of course, with Meisel now out of the band, the focus really should be on the musicians, as it is they who will have to follow this up with something. The guitar part here on "Pain" made me think of, oddly, Little River Band's "The Border." Oh, I'm sure it's just me, and I'm not sure how many of you out there are even going to know the reference, even if you do know who Little River Band were (and those of you who do, please stop your twittering; I happen to like LRB). It isn't long, of course, until this builds up to electronics with martial drums pounding out a tattoo while guitars keen and then chugg. Keys are up front by now, too, swirling busily. But, this is just too pretty at this point to have much oomph...the vocals and bass need to be a bit punchier. Okay, yes, I know, it's a demo. Nice piano-like keys, though, and a guitar arpeggio as it gets a little meatier closer to it's conclusion, ending on quite a high note, with a soaring guitar solo. Hmm...I think of Arena and Wilson-era Threshold here at the end, too.

"Away," starts with a The Stranger-period Billy Joel-like piano intro (and a gong), before harsh guitars rev up for a slow chug. There is also something very 70's about this track at times...I can't quite place it, but a bit like a folk-rock piece ... hmm, and a bit like Rush ... Dream Theater ... and Marillion ... all wrapped into one. Chaotic and energetic all at once, ending the album on a high note.

What can be said is that SceneS shows a great deal of promise, making me wonder what a full length release will sound like, especially as they'll have to find a new vocalist. Don't know if the already recorded album will see the light of day, though at one time the tracks were available online for download. Or, whether the material will be re-recorded with a new vocalist, for that matter. As I said, the band shows great promise, so I hope they continue at it and get a full length release out.

Mysterious Bird (7:59) / Display (6:04) / Pain Is So Close To Pleasure (7:45) / Away (5:18)

Viktor Schönfeld - keyboards
Eddy Nowroth - guitars
Chris Lorey - guitars
Jan Ebert - bass
Hendrik Edelthalhammer -d rums
Hubi Meisel - vocals

A New Beginning (demo) (1999)
Understanding (never released) (1999)
Call Us At The Number You Provide (2005)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin DE

Added: March 6th 2001
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website:
Hits: 764
Language: english


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