Andromeda - Extension Of The Wish

Year of Release: 2001
Label: Century Media
Catalog Number: 8000-2
Format: CD
Total Time: 44:18:00

I have always felt that prog metal was the ideal solution for any mediocre metal band to step out of the ordinary. Just add some keyboards and hey presto, the average metal heads have become leaders in the world of prog metal. Of course it's not like that, as it really needs a special skill to combine all of the various elements into one new smokin' ball of energy. The Swedish band Andromeda have done just that without becoming an obvious bland Dream Theater copy.

Initially an instrumental four-piece, the band have used the skills of session vocalist Lawrence Mackrory to complement the music. The album starts with the uptempo "The Words Unspoken" which already illustrates the clear way in which the keyboard sounds are integrated. Johan Reingoldz' guitars range from the rough rhythm guitar to the detailed speedy guitar solo. More flashy keyboard solos enter "Crescendo Of Thoughts," filled with breaks and rhythm changes. In fact the bass/drum tandem helps the music a lot as they kind of give the rest of the music a firm lift. Analysing "Crescendo Of Thoughts" a bit closer, it feels like heavy fusion what with guitars and keyboards battling it out. A death metal feel hangs over "In The Deepest Of Waters" delivering the goods at an incredible speed.

As an illustration of the band's sound without an occasional vocalist, Andromeda throws in the instrumental "Chameleon Carneval" which is like a question-answer thing between guitar and keyboards. God knows why they settled for this stand-in vocalist anyway, as this pure instrumental brew sounds just fine to me. Listen to Liquid Tension Experiment, Planet X or Anomaly: they don't need singers either! The vocals in "Star Shooter Supreme" are crap anyway, turning this song far below the level it should reach as an all instrumental version. I especially like the part where guitar and synths are kind of glued on top of each other. The title track offers room to experiment as is apparent when the synthesizer shows its many faces. I would, however, have loved to hear real acoustic guitars here, which could create an even bigger contrast and diversity in the music. Reinholdz shows off his guitar technique one final time in "Arch Angel" where all room is left for the vocals to add some melody yet it fails yet again to do just that.

For me it's obvious that this would have been [better as] an all instrumental album because Andromeda couldn't find the singer they were looking for. Rather than postpone the release of this album any further, they decided to draft in a session vocalist. Obviously his heart and soul is not in the band's music so it lacks melody and emotion. Extension Of The Wish would have been an outstanding prog metal album if only you'd have the option to delete the vocals. For a follow up, either they have to show up with a fifth permanent member as a singer or deliver an all instrumental album after all. Either way they decide, I'm sure this band will deserve it's place in the higher regions of prog metal in the not too distant future.

[The album was reissued in France in September 2001 with David Fremberg on vocals, two tracks were added as well "Eclipse" and "Journey Of Polyspheric Experience," the latter was also a bonus track on the Korean release in its instrumental demo form. -ed.]

The Words Unspoken (5:28) / Crescendo of Thoughts (5:25) / In the Deepest of Waters (7:07) / Chameleon Carneval (5:00) / Star Shooter Supreme (5:18) / Extension of the Wish (10:03) / Arch Angel (5:55)

Thomas Lejon - drums
Gert Daun - bass
Johan Reinholdz - guitar
Martin Hedin - keyboards
Lawrence Mackrory - vocals

Extension Of The Wish (2001)
II=I (2003)
Final Extension (2004)
Chimera (2006)
The Immunity Zone (2008)

Playing Off The Board (DVD) (2007)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin SE

Added: August 31st 2001
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

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Language: english


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