Beyond Twilight - Section X

8 songs
44:45 minutes
***** ****


When you need four years to release your second album, it can well happen that people will forget about you. With a band like Beyond Twilight from Denmark, this shouldn't be too much of a problem though, because they are such an amazing sounding metal band that people won't mind getting to know them again.

Section X is a concept album, the story of which is summarised at the band's website. Although I am not into concept albums that much anymore since King Diamond's Abigail (still the queen of all concept albums), the dark and slightly futuristic music gives you immediately the impression what this is all about. Beginning with cyberpunkish intro Be Careful, It's My Head Too, we see instantly that this is not your average happy-go-lucky power metal album. The Path Of Darkness, the first regular song, is very dramatic, with a strong sense of gloominess, due to the talents of all six band members involved. Even though Finn Zierler, Danish keyboard virtuoso, is responsible for the song writing, he never overdoes it (except in the short but astonishing instrumental Portrait In Dark Waters) and leaves enough space for new American vocalist Kelly Sundown Carpenter (also singer of Outworld) whose multi-facetted voice adds the necessary schizophrenic atmosphere.

Other highlights include Sleeping Beauty with moving piano parts and the shorter but really dark The Dark Side. I doubt that Beyond Twilight is a real band, with Zierler being the sole centre of the band, and the headbanging factor is very minimal, but then why should Beyond Twilight do what most other epic power metal band does? Section X is a masterpiece, very progressive, and therefore not something you will fully grasp at the very beginning. The rather short running time helps you to get into the different mostly long songs, and once you have been there, you will leave fully enchanted.

For an album that has been written in three different locations (in a pitch black cell, under water and living in the streets of London), and then recorded on over 500 tracks (long live the digital future), we can proudly state that Section X is an ambitious yet never pretentious heavy metal album, maybe less technical than WatchTower, and much darker than Dream Theater, that should appeal in the end to every friend of intelligent metal music.

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