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On disc: Twinspirits

The Forbidden City - Claudia Ehrhardt - 8 stars
Legacy - Claudia Ehrhardt - 9 stars


(Lion Music - 2011)

Twinspirits are back with Legacy! In September 2009 they presented The Forbidden City, but Daniele Liverani and his mates not just worked on the follow-up, so some might expect a so-so album. The album is split into two parts - the first 6 songs aren't connected and other 5 songs are a small metal opera, but can stand on their own.
They kick off with Senseless, a songs which swings between slow, balladesque passages and heavier, riff-based parts. Singer Göran Nyström is ennobling the song with his voice. This time Twinspirits are a bit more song-oriented, so you get some catchy hooks and memorable riffs. It seems that touring helped Twinspirits to become a unit... Guitarist Tommy Ermolli's play is more prominent this time, but drummer Alberto Rigoni and bassist Dario Ciccioni deliver the basis for Liverani's and Ermolli's excursions. After the emotional Pay For Their Art they present Blind Soul, a song which has an 80's hard rock feel - with a dark edge. With Slave To This World they deliver a powerful progressive metal tune with some slow passages. Great tune! One of my faves on Legacy!

Piano and vocals leads you into the balladesque Don't Kill Your Dreams. Not a typical ballad, more a balladesque tune with bombastic rock elements. Over And Over Again combines the catchiness of 80's hard rock tunes with progressive sounds. A song you'll soon sing along.
Time to head into the suite The Endless Sleep with the same titled intro, a truly symphonic overture. With heavy riffs they head into What Am I Supposed To Do, but then they take you onto a sonic journey. The story? Here is was Daniele Liverani said about it: "The second part, the suite, is covering a concept story that runs through a journey that the main character is undertaking after a premature death, whereby he's discovering a role that he's involved in after he passes away, and the meeting with a superior entity that is giving him a sort of second chance to get back to the human life to accomplish a human rescue mission as a second millennium messiah...a very struggling story that will be revealed part by part of 'the endless sleep' 30 min. suite. The key points of the concept are in part I'm Leaving This World where the main character describes the moment he passes away and his extra body experience, the song Legacy where we have the relationship between him and the superior entity that is explaining his new role in the afterlife, the songs What Am I Supposed To Do is a very moving moment where he meets his parents while he's back to human life temporary, and the final part Tell Me The Truth continues the description of the relationship of the main character with his afterlife guide mentor."
The suite shows once more that Daniele Liverani can write concept albums / metal operas. This compositions support the story, but give everybody enough space to show off skills. Kudos!

9 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt


The Forbidden City

The Forbidden City
(Lion Music - 2009)

The Italian progsters deliver a new album called The Forbidden City via Lion Music. The quintet kicks off with the title track, a 10+ minute long prog rock opus. And so new vocalist Göran Nyström joins in after more then 2 1/2 minutes, but the others manage to create an atmospheric and almost catchy opening. When Nyström starts singing the song becomes darker... His powerful vocals add the certain something to it, he reminds me a bit of Andy Engberg.... The song has complex parts, but at the same time is as light as Asia's art rock... Especially Daniele Liverani's keyboard play make me think of Geoff Downes.... But the guitar riffs are more hard rock-based. With track #2 they slow down and offer an emotional balladesque tune called Taste The Infinity. Just enchanting. Time to speed up for Number One! An up-tempo prog metal track with a dash of aggression, this one represents the heavy side of Twinspirits - but you still get soaring melodies. Heavy riffs and keyboard dominate One Of Us, again Göran Nyström's expressive vocals give the song it's identity. Time for the instrumental BTR, guitarist Tommy Ermolli and keyboarder Daniele Liverani seem to be in a dialog... The basis for this 'conversation' is delivered by bassist Alberto Rigoni and drummer Dario Ciccioni. Slowly they start into Hide This Feeling, a duet. The ballad focus on the vocals, even if there is an instrumental middle part, and towards the end it becomes a bombastic powerful ballad. Reaction is prog rocker which has a retro intro, but then get's heavier and riff-based. Quite catchy. After a few spins this one will haunt you! The closer is another long track, I Am Free! The song takes you on a sonic journey and they pick up all the shades they showed on this album. And so this song is representing the album very well. And if the closer indicates where they journey will lead them to next time, then I'm looking forward to hear more of the Italian-Swedish cooperation!
Btw, the album was produced by Daniele Liverani and drummer Dario Cicconi is responsible for the artwork.
The four Italians and their Swedish singer present a good prog rock / metal album. The guys can show their craftsmanship in a song supportive way, even if there are some passages which are a bit lengthy.... But they have strong melodies and the expressive vocals of Göran Nyström can easily hook you up. The album is interesting for prog metal fans who are looking for melodies, well-crafted songs and musicianship.

8 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt


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