Improvision - Energy

Year of Release: 1998
Label: self-released
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 21:12:00

The Norwegian four-piece, Improvision, is finally out with a new, and thus far, third demo. The second demo was miles ahead the first demo, both musically and production-wise, and with this new demo the band finally hits bloom and show great improvement once again.

Of the four songs offered, they are all pretty different sounding, showing that the band master different directions within the prog metal genre. Being categorised as a prog rock band after the first demo, I have to say that based on the music and heaviness of this demo, the band is without doubt standing with all their feet within the prog metal genre.

Track one is a dark, semi-progressive song, based around heavy guitars, floating keys, tasty drums, sliding bass and dramatic vocals. The use of various samples seems to work out very well. Besides the good melody-line, the song has enough variation to keep the listener interested. Track two is a dead-heavy rocker, which moves into Haji's Kitchen territory, mainly due to the heavy and powerful grooving 7-string guitars. The superb melodic verse sees only vocals and a catchy bass-line, were the guitars kick in only for the chorus and the end of the song. This one must be heard LOUD! These two songs seem to differ from the two remaining songs, which are more in the traditional prog metal direction, focusing on heavy staccato guitars, huge keys, a lot of variation and technique. Both these songs have superb melody and vocal-lines, and a couple of outstanding instrumental parts, which show mellow beautiful parts as well as more up-tempo technical parts. All musicians are very competent and convincing as a band.

The demo is beautifully produced, the music is energetic, full and with depth, where all instruments come to its right. I know some people had problems with the vocals on the first demos, but I feel the vocals has improved a lot, coming off as very dramatic and actually singing this time. The vocals should not cause any problems for the listener this time around. There is not anything particularly negative to put my finger on, but it might be an advantage for the band to find one direction to stick to, as some might find the gap in musical direction between the two last songs, and song number 2, a bit too big. Having that said, this should not keep you from getting this demo, as the material presented is very good. There are at least a couple of prog metal gems to be found that prog metal fans should not be without.

The demo comes along with beautiful artwork, quite special and unlike what we are used to see by prog metal bands these days. Improvision is definitely ready for the studio; I hope I might hear a full-blown album sometime soon. To all labels, pick up this band, please! Recommended!

[This review originally appeared November 2002 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed]

Ageing Years (4:35) / Where Are You Now (6:52) / Think (5:10) / Fate Controller (4:35)

Tor Ola Svennevig - vocals
Dylan R Hopkin - guitars
P?l Svennevig - drums
Bjorn Thomassen - bass
Magnus ?stvang - keyboards
Henning Ramseth - loops and samples

Energy (1999) (demo)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin NO

Added: January 1st 2005
Reviewer: Bjørnar Bevolden
Hits: 938
Language: english


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