Byrd - Flying Beyond The 9

Year of Release: 2001
Label: Lion Music
Catalog Number: LMC2102-2
Format: CD
Total Time: 44:38:00

"Symphonic metal for the new age" - this is the descriptor underneath the title on the CD booklet. It's a very good description and I will agree with it, although it is missing the fact that the word "neo-classical" should be inserted after "symphonic" to make it just about exactly what this band / project sounds like.

James Byrd leads the way with his neo-classically influenced style that certainly reminds of Malmsteen, but Byrd takes the entire musical sound into a slightly different direction by orchestrating most of the music, and relying less on the speedy, double bass-led styles that put most into the Malmsteen category and that might otherwise doom a band. Byrd is quite the guitar master, easily holding his own and being able to make a loud statement with his guitar-playing abilities, but instead of making it a show, he adds in a great vocalist who is capable of layering tons of harmonies to make this sound like a huge interpretation of some Yes / Queen / vocal melodies. Without the harmonies, Michael James Flatters is quite the pleasant / powerful / melodic singer who blasts effortlessly through the maze of symphonies and guitar pyrotechnics and sounds completely comfortable surrounded by such epic sounds.

Brian Hutchinson fills out the rest of the band by playing everything else on the disc. Of note is the nice display of dramatic keyboards, which really make this disc shine sonically. Throw in a superb production and you have basically a great, symphonic, epic, neo-classically influenced piece of music that is quite a surprise given the many attempts to make something different of this genre. Byrd and Hutchinson are also responsible for the great production, which tells me that they have been around for quite some time to be able to write, play and produce such a bombastic piece. Overall, this is a nicely performed piece of symphonic metal that should please most fans of the style that want something more than just the casual passing attempt at neo-classical metal.

Flying Beyond The 9 (4:15) / Dark Heart (5:00) / W.T.O. (We Took Over) (4:59) / Nevermore (5:10) / Everything To Me (6:20) / Unity (While You Were Sleeping) (5:58) / Paradise Tonight (5:03) / All Of Me (An Allegory) (4:58) / Avianti Suite Op. 1, No. 63 (4:15)

James Byrd - guitars, backing vocals
Michael James Flatters - lead and backing vocals
Brian Hutchinson - keyboards, bass, drums, backing vocals

Fifth Angel - Fifth Angel (1983)
James Byrd's Atantis Rising - James Byrd's Atlantis Rising (1990)
Octoglomerate (1993)
Son Of Man (1995)
The James Byrd Group - The Apocalypse Chime (1996)
James Byrd's Atantis Rising - Crimes Of Virtuosity (1997)
Flying Beyond The 9 (2001)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin US

Added: March 9th 2002
Reviewer: Larry "LarryD" Daglieri

Artist website:
Hits: 823
Language: english


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