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progVisions

progVisions is a progressive rock e-zine, published in English and made by an international group of members. Our objective is to become a centre of information that contributes to the knowledge, growth and development of progressive rock.

album reviews

album review

Twin Age - Moving the deckchairs - 2000

"How can you dream / when your eyes aren't even closed
How can you lie / when you've never told the truth
How can you see / what you never have seen
I'm just trying to find my way home"

In 1993 John Löwenadler and Johan Hansson together with three other guys were playing Dream Theater covers in a band called Illusory Dawn. When they felt they were on the wrong track. Johan and the drummer left. So John and the other two (Petter Pettersson and keyboard player Thomas Jansson) changed the music style more in the vein of Rush. First they used a drum-computer. But later Jörgen Hanson joined on drums and they got a new singer Joakim Canz. They called themselves Altair and played now a kind of music, which were far from heavy metal. Due to personal conflicts Joakim and Thomas left the band. John, Petter and Jörgen were on their own and looking for a innovative singer and a good keyboard-player. With a great deal of luck John met Carl-Johan Kilborn on the local train. He played piano and after joining the band he bought a keyboard. When they asked their old singer Johan back, the band was completed and they start to play some Genesis covers. In early '96 they recorded some own songs which became their first CD release "Month of the year". The album had a mystical atmosphere and had some Genesis references. The band knew however they could do much better. So in early '97 the second Twin Age release "Lialim High" came to us. The music was more up-tempo and powerful. You could describe it as keyboard orientated sympho. The album was a little gem to the lovers of the old Genesis. For me it was one of the best albums of the year. This was how Genesis would have sounded if they never had changed music directions. But you could also hear an own style, which was developing already then. The band does not want to think of themselves as a typical progressive rock band. Everyone in the band listens to a lot of other music in their spare time, but they believe that this kind of music is more fun to play because of the wide range of possibilities when composing. Before I got the new album, Johan Löwenadler already told me there were some surprises on "Moving the deckchairs".

The Twin Age line-up: Johan Hansson - vocals, Jörgen Hanson - drums, Petter Pettersson - bass and cello, John Löwenadler - guitar and Carl-Johan Kilborn - keyboards.
Additional vocals by Ida Röhn.

So "Moving the deckchairs" is the new third album of Twin Age. After three years the band has still the same line-up. Which is a positive thing and we can now follow the development of the musical direction of the band. I think the band doesn't want to be a kind of Genesis clone anymore. They showed us in the past that they could write that kind of music. Personal I don't find it a punishment to receive another album as "Lialim High". But they didn't choose the easy way. Twin Age is walking the right path here. They want to develop their music and skills and give us better compositions and arrangements. So don't have a negative impression if you here the album for the first time. If you listen right you can find the pieces of "Lialim High" also in this recording. But there is so much more.

The album opens with a song called "Days long gone" (4:56). The voice of Johan still sounds the same and with electronic equipment his voice is a little bit distorted. The same kind of effect Steve Hogarth uses a lot these days. The combination with the second voice of Ida Röhn is the first positive surprise on this CD. The music sounds more songmatic and arranged as before. The keyboards and guitar are part of the music now and lies not on top of it. Further Twin Age sounds more modern. The recording however sounds a little bit too dry to me. There are some nice keyboard melodies in this track. And sometimes the music has also his symphonic/orchestral moments. After the opener we get a song called "It never ends" (5:01) It begins up-tempo and has a catchy refrain. We also here some electronic programming loops in this song, the second new element in their music. Petter plays some nice bass riffs, but the song is not very special to me. The third track is "Losing the time I've won" (7:01) one of the better songs in my opinion. We here a combination of the new and old Twin Age. There are beautiful keyboard parts accompanied by an also beautiful acoustic guitar. This is the Twin Age I love with a lot of keyboards and music that builds up a kind of tension. "My dreams are fulfilled" (5:09) is again an up-tempo songmatic song with a catchy refrain. "The last Itas" (4:05) is an instrumental song. This is a very nice song and has a lot of tempo changes. Again we can hear the beautiful keyboard sounds of Carl-Johan Kilborn. This track has the keyboard and guitar solos we know from the first two albums. "Waking up" (4:44) starts with some electronic loops but develops into a nice ballad. There is again some acoustic guitar in this piece. The refrains on this album are great.

Then it is time for "Two stories" (9:14) which mysteriously opens with drums and bass. Later the keyboards and guitar are joining. Ida is doing some "instrumental" vocals. The refrain has again beautiful vocal lines. Also we hear some melotron in this track. We can find melotron on this album but it is not so much in front this time. The bass is more in front on this album. The melodies in this track are great. And the piece has enough changing melodies to avoid becoming boring. "How can you dream" (3:57) opens only with the vocals of Johan and an acoustic guitar. Later joined by keyboards, additional vocals of Ida Röhn and surprise; a cello played by Petter. A slow song in which the cello is on it's place. A beautiful track. The last track "The gates will open" (8:05) is for me the best track. It starts with a Genesis-Twin Age synth and the piece has that old Genesis atmosphere. The first vocal lines are beautiful sung where after the song gets more up-tempo with still that same synth sound. The song has a lot of tempo changes. And the vocals are sung with great passion. The music builds up with nice keyboard and guitar solos. This is Twin Age from Sweden.

The positive thing about this album is that Twin Age wants to develop their music to a next level and stage. And I think that we can value the weight of this album after their next product. In overall it is a good album with some great vocal lines, melodies and keyboards. But you have to listen to it a couple of times. Don't compare it immediately with the first two albums. The only thing that I didn't like is the dry mix. It's like there is a blanket over the music. I like the long tracks best so "Losing the time I've won", "Two stories" and "The gates will open" are my favourite songs. Twin Age is still a very talented young Swedish band who deserves to be heared.

Douwe Fledderus - November 2000
rating - Altair Music

 

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