Humanity’s second chance: heavy prog quintet from Switzerland embrace global reincarnation on their second album.
No matter how down-to-earth they were trying to be on 2013’s “Escape To Reality” after a decade of preparing to debut on record; on its follow-up the Swiss collective take the listener through the circle of life and death, although not particularly in that order. Starting with funereal chant in “End Of The World” that unfolds into a power metal panorama, and taking off on “One’s First Step,” a short Phoenix rise of orchestral proportions, the group clearly enjoy this adventure where a melody is never hidden behind a clever twist but is always in full frontal view.
What’s unexpected in such a context is the blues sway of “Testament Of A Simple Man” where Daniel Brönnimann’s vocals shine, and Yves Linder and Beni Zahno’s guitars wail, yet the group don’t forget to let their heads down and rock, as they do on “Just One Minute” before a concept kicks in from its infectious chorus. And whatever heaviness rolls over “So Long,” it’s lifted by a variety of folk tunes woven in the mini-epic’s flickering fiber. There’s irresistible vigor in “Fountain Of Youth” as it shifts from ballad to a squeal, and a mighty prog pull in the harmonies of “Another Friend Of Mine”: enough to convince one in the wonder of rebirth – as opposed to its “too late” refrain.
A spiritual experience.