P:O:B – Crossing Over

P:O:B - Crossing Over
  • 10/10
    P:O:B - Crossing Over - 10/10


Fishfarm Records
Release date: June 4, 2007

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

P:O:B, formerly known as Pedestrians Of Blue, finally released their first full-length album. For many Hard Rock and Prog fans, this was what they have longed for after two demo EPs that already were nothing less than astonishing. What you can already judge from the score this release received, the debut Crossing Over does in no way fall behind, and meets the best albums of the genre and the best productions eye to eye.

But step by step: First is has to be said that this basically is still a demo CD. The band consisting of the two main musicians, Johannes Stole (vocals, keyboards) and Torfinn Sirnes (guitar and programming), with the addition of Rudolf Fredly on Bass and Daniel Flores or Harald Levang on drums, financed the album themselves and recorded without a record company. Still, with the product in hand, which was mixed by Daniel Flores of Mind’s Eye and mastered by Mika Jussila who worked for Nightwish or Masterplan before, they could not find a label. In this case, remaining label-less is not only surprising, it’s an outright abomination! They must have managed to find the only deaf A&R people in the industry (where are the guys from Inside Out, Lion Music, Frontiers, or Atlantic that would normally sign this gem and make a fortune?). So, they have distribution in Norway, and are available only through the usual suspects in underground distribution, but you won’t see this album in stores outside of Scandinavia.

For this album, they re-recorded all the tracks from their two demo EPs and added half a dozen new songs, which are of the same quality as their former songs. Johannes Stole’s great voice carries the catchy tunes easily through the over 54-minute distance of the album, and the melodic brilliance will certainly make you push the play button again.

The album starts with their übersong, “Father And Son,” which is extended compared to the other two versions released before, and their hand for memorable choruses is evident. It is probably an unusual choice to start the album with 40 seconds of atmospheric keyboards, but maybe not such a bad one as emotion is the main theme in P:O:B’s music. As the second track, they already placed a new song that is one of the highlights of Crossing Over after a few spins, continuing the style of the second demo: Promises. Don’t listen to this refrain before you go to bed, or it will still be in your ear when you wake up!

“The Garden” is taken from that demo, and shows few differences to the version on Second Monologue. Why would it? It was perfect the way they recorded it the first time with some well-placed chords by Torfinn Sirnes that in a rather minimalistic approach accentuate the song rather than push the guitar to the front. “Where The Rain Falls” and “Crossing Over” from the first demo Circle Of Butterflies are next. The first one now has a strange middle part that needs some getting used to, as it is as non-Metallic as it could be, and the second is a slow tune with a nice solo that needs more than one listening to before it hits home. Both show the trademark of the band to be the incredible choruses that make it so hard to understand why they have not been discovered by the industry yet. “The Line” is a groovy instrumental with Jazzy parts, somewhere between Rush and Yes, before the highlight of the second demo appears –- and it is still the best track on this album, too: “World Of Things.” From verse to chorus, suspense is so brilliantly increased that after the four and a half minutes many people will just skip back and listen to it again.

As if they were a bit unsure of their new material, most of the previously unreleased tracks have been put in the second half of the album. A precaution that was not necessary at all. With tracks like “The Other Side” that features a great guitar solo by Daniel Palmqvist, or “Why,” they don’t have to hide behind the earlier tunes. Maybe the reason for that was the other two tracks that are more unusual — “How Much More Than A Dream” is the only real ballad on the album, and “The Altar Of Love” is the heaviest song with the most metallic riffing in the middle — but apart from that, it’s the track that is most difficult to digest.

Finishing with the epic 8-minute “Out Of The Rain,” this album is nothing less than a sensation.

The only way to fittingly describe what P:O:B managed to record is “brilliant.” The compositions are mature and show no sign of weakness even after many spins. The production is excellent, and the cream on top is Stole’s voice. Everyone who can think of himself enjoying a band that fills the gap between Rush, mellow Dream Theater, Marillion (with Steve Hogarth), and Queen – a gap the world was formerly unaware it existed – should get this album. Do yourself a favor and visit their Web page to find out how to get the album to your home.


  • Frank Jaeger

    Frank was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio, based out of Bavaria, Germany. He has worked in the games industry for more than 20 years, now on the manufacturing side, before on the publishing end. Before this, he edited and handled the layout for a city mag in northern Germany ... maybe that is why he love being part of anything published. Frank got hooked on Metal at the age of 14 when a friend introduced him to AC/DC. They were listening to The Beatles, Madness, and The Police, and he decided they should move on. Well, they did, Back in Black became Frank's first Metal album, and since Germany is reasonably close to England, they had some small New Waves Of British Heavy Metal washing up on their shores: Tygers Of Pan Tang, Samson, Gillan, Iron Maiden, Saxon, Sweet Savage, Diamond Head, etc. If he had to pick his favorite styles, Prog and Power Metal would be at the top of the list.

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