ROSWELL SIX – Terra Incognita – Beyond The Horizone

  • 7.5/10
    ROSWELL SIX - Terra Incognita - Beyond The Horizone - 7.5/10


ProgRock Records
Release Date: 2009-05-08

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“Sailing ships. Sea Monsters. A clash of religions. And a love that will reach the end of the world”. What more is needed to create an epic concept album? Just a bunch of quality musicians which the American Progressive Metal band Roswell Six surely possesses.

Roswell Six is a project that the head of ProgRock Records; Shawn Gordon, came up with. And for this album he put together an incredible line-up that sets alive the epic journey born in the mind of author Kevin J. Anderson. Terra Incognita – Beyond The Horizone is actually a novel he wrote which is now brought to the musical level. Alongside his wife Rebecca Moesta he has also written the lyrics for the album.

The music is composed by the mastermind Eric Norlander (Rocket Scientists, Lana Lane) who also plays the keyboards on this record. In the role of different characters that appear in the novel are a bunch of great singers that are well known both in progressive terms and in music generally. James LaBrie (Dream Theatre), Lana Lane, Michael Sadler (ex-Saga) and John Payne (ex-Asia).

The album opens up with a ten minute long masterpiece entitled “Ishalem”. The song features all the four singers in a blending atmosphere of wonderful harmonies and epic melodies, truly a great opening indeed! It sets the standard for the rest of the album as well, which follows on the same path. Third song “I Am The Point” features Dream Theater vocalist James LaBrie in the character of Omra, the leader of the land Uraba. He does a tremendous job on this song and the rest of the album as well. The songs give him the opportunity to reveal both his high pitched vocals and the lower registers and he truly reminds us of what a great singer he is! Another thing that is worthy to be mentioned is the work of drummer Chris Quirarte on this one. His drumming is tight and controlled and he never does more than what is needed. During the verse he creates a very cool effect to the riff by using his octobans.

The fourth song from the record is a wonderful acoustic ballad entitled “Letters In A Bottle” which features the voice of Michael Sadler, a very talented singer indeed. There’s nothing really special about the song, but the singer definitely makes it interesting.

Further out in the album we find the song “Anchored” which is a fine song but one might think that Erik became a little too inspired by Deep Purple when writing this one because the main riff is almost identical to their trailblazing tune “Stormbringer”. However it takes another direction a little later.

The album in overall is a masterpiece. The music is quite atmospheric, very melodic, complex and at times very dark. There are many interesting twists musically on the album, for example Eric explores Arabic music, using the characteristic scales many times. This can be heard on “I Am The Point” for example. The keyboards become a little too much sometimes, but apart from that there’s nothing negative to say.

The production is crystal clear and delightful to listen to and musically this is a dream coming true. What is a little negative is the constant arpeggio shredding from keyboardist/songwriter Eric Norlander which appears an awful lot of times throughout the record, especially on song # 2 “ The Call Of The Sea”. Apart from that there is nothing negative to say. Terra Incognita – Beyond The Horizon by Rowell Six is one of the definitive Prog Rock albums to purchase this year. It has an outstanding quality in many ways. Check it out and see for your self.

Track List:
1. Ishalem 10:59
2. The Call of the Sea 6:25
3. I Am the Point 5:40
4. Letters in a Bottle 5:02
5. Halfway 4:05
6. Anchored 4:39
7. Here Be Monsters 5:28
8. The Sinking of the Luminara 5:40
9. The Winds of War 4:48
10. Swept Away 4:18
11. Beyond the Horizon 5:07
12. Merciful Tides 5:07
13. The Edge of the World 4:40

Erik Norlander – keyboards
Lana Lane – vocals
Kurt Barabas – bass
Chris Quirarte – drums
Gary Wehrkamp – guitars
Chris Brown – guitars
David Ragsdale – violin
Mike Alvarez – cello
Martin Orford – flute
John Payne – vocals
James LaBrie – vocals
Michael Sadler – vocals
Produced by Erik Norlander
Executive producer – Shawn Gordon


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