TWINSPIRITS – The Forbidden City

TWINSPIRITS - The Forbidden City
  • 7.5/10
    TWINSPIRITS - The Forbidden City - 7.5/10


Lion Music
Release date: September 11, 2009

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Since the release of The Music That Will Heal the World, Twinspirits has acquired a new vocalist in Goran Nystrom. The music however, remains the same. The band continues to contribute to the genre that put it on the map – Progressive Metal. The musicianship is nothing short of exceptional, but it doesn’t really have a catchy feel.

For those that are fans of concept or themed works, this is precisely that kind of album. Essentially, The Forbidden City is about breaking free from oppressive influences. It seems there’s a power struggle between a disciple/slave and his master. The former wants to experience growth, while the latter wants to keep him shackled. These characters, both of which go unnamed, are played by Nystrom.

The problem with this concept is its familiarity. We’ve all heard the countless Metal tunes that center on freedom and escaping from ties that bind. Now, imagine all of those tracks, but expressed repeatedly over an entire release. “Screaming in Digital” off Queensrÿche’s Rage for Order serves as a fitting way of envisioning this album. Essentially, the “Father” in that song uses propaganda in order to keep his son from a genuine sense of growth and there’s a very similar theme going on here.

If there’s anything impressive about this album, it’s the ability of the musicians. Prog Metal is known for its endless amount of technical meandering, but The Forbidden City doesn’t give off a sense that the band’s all about flash. Rather than being overly showy, they seem to be trying for a solid musical foundation and support it with tastefully performed solos.

Daniele Liverani’s keyboards are a soothing and supportive force throughout. This is evidenced in tracks like “One of Us”, which proves to have one of the only choruses on The Forbidden City that’s actually catchy. “Taste The Infinity” is another good showing for Liverani. This track is one of two ballads, and there’s a good deal of versatility shown by Nystrom as he explores the lower reaches of his vox. There’s a duet (“Hide This Feeling”) between Nystrom and a female singer. Though it’s more than a bit sappy, it also proves the band can change things up a bit.

As Prog goes, this is a solid album. If it didn’t plod about so much and feel slow paced, it would merit a higher score. Still, Twinspirits deserves credit for a varied expression of emotions. The concept isn’t new and could’ve been a lot more innovative. Hopefully, this capable group of musicians will keep that in mind in the future.

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