Produced by: Collin Leijenaar
Video clip: Album teaser
Review: 97/100 @
Ever wanted to find out what inspired a particular song?

Was it based on personal experience or simply passive observation?

What happened in the recording studio or on stage to make one song sound different from the rest?

These are just some of the question bands and musicians attempt to answer in Line 'em Up - the newest page of The Power Of Metal.Dk.

This is where your favourite bands comment on their albums, track by track, because as someone once said, “Ideas are the building blocks of ideas”.



Here’s a chance for you to tell our readers about your new album “Harmagedon”.

But could you please start off by introducing the readers to Affector?

Affector is founded by Daniel Fries (DF) & Collin Leijenaar (CL - me). The foundation for that what would become Affector was laid in 2005, when I was on tour with Neal Morse with whom I have been playing drums for in the past 7 years or so during his European tours. After one of our concerts Daniel Fries came up to me and gave me a CD with demos of his music and asked me if I would like to listen to it. When he popped in the CD of his car, and started playing his music, I was intrigued. I liked his playing but also his songwriting. So we kept in contact. Somewhere in the back of my mind I wanted to see if I could hook up with Daniel to make some music together, and that idea stayed for a year or so, until the time was right to start working on our plans to record a CD. Daniel knew Ted Leonard (Enchant/Thought Chamber/Spock’s Beard) & Mike LePond (Symphony X) and asked them to collaborate on this album. And while working on the album we noticed that the material was just too good to be just a project, so we morphed it into a band.
It took a while before our album was ready, but that had to do with the fact that in the past 4 to 5 years while writing & recording our album, we where well as living our ‘normal’ lives. For Daniel that means working at a hospital and taking care of his family with three kids. For Ted & Mike it means working in other bands. For me I’ve been working as a musician and I did six European tours with Neal Morse, I did a world tour as tour manager with Transatlantic, and in 2006 I started a music school in my home town which grew fast into a school with 400 students and 17 teachers. So you can imagine that with only 24 hours in a day, time flies! :)

And now onto “Harmagedon”… track-by-track, what inspired you, what topics are you dealing with, what do what to express with this song etc.

I will let Daniel Fries (DF) answer this question as well, since he is the mastermind that started all of this:

01. Overture Pt. 1: Introduction

CL: The opener of the album is played by the Polisch
Sinfonietta Consonus Orchestra. Its an arrangement of the chorus of the title track Harmagedon.

DF: Michal Mierzejewski is a very talented conductor and arranger. I love this introduction which also has some vibe of movie music.

02. Overture Pt. 2: Prologue

DF: Overture pt. 2 features all the main musical themes. This piece should prepare the listener for the musical journey.

CL: Alex Argento played all keys in this track. I love his solo in the end part. He’s a phenomenal player!

03. Salvation

DF: First piece with Ted Leonard on vocals, he is one of my favorite singers and his vocal range is awesome. There's a hooky chorus and some "gear changes"; lyrically it deals with the prophecy of the passion of the Messiah in Isaiah 53. You can also hear a short "Bach influence" towards the end of the song.

04. The Rapture

DF: I think this is musically the most difficult piece because it has many time signature changes and modulations. I'm excited to play it live someday, my fingers are in constant motion and the running time of over 14 minutes is a true challenge. Collin's drum work is kicking ass especially in this one and Jordan Duress's leads rock...

05. Cry Song

DF: This one is a ballad which is dedicated to my father who sadly passed away in 2007. Lyrically it just reflects my heart at that time. I love Lipoid's bass solo and the vibe of the song. It's also like a breath taking break within the album.

CL: Neal Morse played keys on this track and with all the Moog and Tron stuff, it really stands out. Great stuff!

06. Falling Away & the Rise of the Beast

DF: A rocking piece with some fast alternate picking doubled by Derek Sherinian. John Petrucci's alternate picking style really inspired me in that intro, along with Steve Morse's way of alternate picking. Once again you can hear Ted's vocal range and great leads by Neal Morse and Derek. Lyrically it deals with the Anti-Christ and the change of moral of the people who start following him. 

07. Harmagedon

DF: This is another complex piece along with The Rapture. It again features hooky choruses and some "gear changes" and breath taking moments. You can again listen to the "Bach inspired" passage. Jordan plays three amazing leads and I personally love the grand finale of this song. Lyrically it deals with the war the Anti-Christ leads and which would be stopped by the returning Messiah.

08. New Jerusalem

DF: I think this song has radio potential as a radio edit along with Cry Song. It's a straight song, less prog but rocking. The orchestra perfectly fits into that chorus. The lyrics tell about the new city Jerusalem after the defeat of the Anti-Christ.

Tell us a bit about the artwork – who made it etc. and how important do you feel it is to have a cool artwork?

DF: A close and gifted friend of mine, Daniel Latsch created the artwork. The artwork should show literally a musical picture which reflects not only the music but also the lyrics.

CL: I think it is important to give the listener a complete experience. Not only with the music, but with the artwork as well. Many people are going digital download all the way, but not me. I need to hold something in my hands. To experience the artwork intended by the artist that made it. That’s why I love vinyl. It makes listening to music a real happening, instead of unconsciously putting on some music and not really give it the attention it deserves. First time I listen to a new album I always sit down listening to the music while readying and going through the artwork, it is part of the music, and this way gets me deeper into the music.

Any last words you want to round this interview off with?

DF: The feedbacks from all over the world are amazing and we/I feel honored. Please so called "fans", get the album legally as we live in a time of illegal downloads, support us so that we can tour and release another album in the future.

CL: Thanks for supporting and writing about us. Spread the word about Affector! :)


Kenn Jensen, June 2012