ARTENSION – Future World

ARTENSION - Future World


Lion Music
Release date: July 21, 2004

Vocals: C+
Guitars: B-
Keyboards: A
Bass: B-
Drums: B
Recording Quality: B-
Lyrics: B-
Originality: C+
Overall Rating: C+

User Review
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Artension can be considered somewhat of a supergroup, being co-founded by the Ukraine’s extraordinaire keyboardist Vitalij Kuprij. Vitalij is also once again joined by hard-hitting drummer Mike Terrana (Yngwie Malmsteen, Tony MacAlpine, Rage, Tony Hernando, Axel Rudi Pell), guitarist Roger Staffelbach, and vocalist John West. Future World represents the group’s seventh album with this being the first new material in the last two years. Before this the band was on pace delivering a new release every year since 1996.

The tempo of the music on this album is pure Neo-Classical and aggressive. Sounds somewhat typical? What sets this Neo-Classical musical group apart from all others is the fact that the music seems driven by the keyboard playing of Kuprij. In most bands of this type, the keyboards act as no more then background filler, providing eloquent touches during quiet phrases and are oftentimes lost in the mix on heavier tracks. Not true on this album. Kuprij’s presence is immediately felt on the opening track of “Dark Before The Dawn” with it’s opening piano-like runs. Kuprij is amazing at how he varies the sound coming out of his keyboard. The CD is abound with different keyboard jabs, buzzes, bells, tones, etc. It really keeps the music sounding varied from track to track, but at the same time allows Kuprij to steal the spotlight on this release. In retrospect, this really couldn’t be avoided when he’s afforded the opportunity to perform solo tracks like “Moonlight Sonata – 1st Movement” and “Prelude” (J.S. Bach).

The remaining musicians, while technically adept, deliver a rather typical performance. The rhythm section consisting of drummer Terrana and bassist Steve DiGiorgio, while not overtly complex, remains competent and solid throughout the album. The same can be said for guitarist Staffelbach, who won’t, quite honestly, be dethroning Yngwie Malmsteen as the Neoclassical “Guitar God” anytime soon. Vocalist West, on the other hand, while not terrible, just doesn’t seem to deliver the power or vocal force to do this music justice. He simply doesn’t have the range or ferocity we’ve come to expect from other Neoclassical lead men, which, in the end, detracts slightly from the overall experience.

Bottom line, this release is a typical Neoclassical package showcased by some over the top keyboard playing passages by Kuprij. The songwriting is purely average, and enthusiasts of this type of music might find very little reason to come back to this disk after a few spins.


John West: Vocals
Roger Staffelbach: Guitars
Vitalij Kuprij: Keyboards
Steve DiGiorgio: Bass
Mike Terrana: Drums


  • Scott Jeslis

    Scott is one of the partners at Metal Express Radio. He handles a lot of Metal Express Radio's public relations, screening of new music and radio scheduling. On occasion, he also does reviews and interviews. He has been a proud member of the Metal Express Radio crew since 2004.

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