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For the Love of Art and the Making
Artist: Beyond Twilight
Label: Nightmare Records
Time: 8 tracks/44:48 min (Section X)
43 tracks/ 37:50 min (For the Love)
Beyond Twilight is a Danish Metal band, which formed from the ashes of a previous project named Twilight. As the name suggests, they have tried to stretch and expand their sound. What started from the mind of keyboardist Finn Zierler has now turned into a full-fledged band.
In 2005 they released their second album, Section X. It is a hard-charging concept album based around a story of a scientist who maps the human brain, creates a clone of himself, and rages in his lust for new knowledge, power and experiences. Only when it is too late does he realize the need/value for a soul. It is a dark story, with no happy ending, but many a moral can be learned from the fall of the man.
Musically, it is aggressive metal, with good progressive touches. Theatrics are employed, including spoken words portions & soaring vocals. All instrumentation and vocal delivery is top-notch. Highlights include “The Path of Darkness,” the piano instrumental “Portrait F in Dark Waters,” “Ecstasy Arise,” and the title track.
Now, in 2006, Beyond Twilight has stretched itself musically & thematically. For the Love of Art and the Making is as complex and interesting as its title implies. The band, rather than doing another story album decided instead to write one long composition (divided, for ease on the listener, into 43 sections) built around multiple themes. The band says each note & word is part of a “puzzle” to be explored by the listener. The themes addressed by the album, according to the band’s website are “the larger things in life. Such as life, death, love, the very essence of being dishonest, lies, sin, the essence of truth, the essence of creating, art, theft, moral values, bdsm, freedom, sadness, joy, anger, every possible emotions humans have, human nature. But most and foreall the concept deals with the passion for composing, creating, art and the essence that is music.”
Don’t be threatened by the concept, though. The disc is enjoyable from the first listen. It is hard to separate it and recommend individual tracks. As a whole, the CD takes what is great about Section X and turns it up another notch. Hard edges, symphonic flourishes, plenty of keyboard and guitar wizardry, and a rock-solid rhythm section all lead to a very satisfying prog-metal experience.
If you want you’re a more complex Metallica, or something to supplement your Symphony X craving, you are in the right place. Stay away if you fear dark lyrics that cause you to seek the moral truth, without easy answers. Dive-in if you are wanting a challenging listen both musically and lyrically.
By Jonathan Nelson