Beyond Twilight
For the Love of Art and the Making

Release date: April 21st 2006
Label: Massacre Records
Distribution: Target (Denmark)
Progressive Metal

Rating: 97/100
Reviewed by: Kenn Jensen
Date: April 5th 2006

Unique is the first word that comes to mind, closely followed by breathtaking, unbelievable and incredible, but words like weird or extraordinary does also pop up. Some people do take a chance in life - personal or professional - Finn Zierler and Beyond Twilight has with their 3rd album gone all the way and have pushed the boundaries for progressive metal not just a bit, but a lot.

The album is created like one big jigsaw puzzle, and is all up to you the listener to set the pieces together the way you feel right... This is one big metal symphony - and in this case this word is more than fitting - containing no less than 43 pieces to the puzzle. The whole concept has been brilliantly been graphical displayed in the excellent art-work, shared by Mattias Norén and Robert Sindermann, who respectively worked on "Section X" and "The Devil's Hall of Fame" - this time they have both contributed to the artwork.

This is still unmistakably a Finn Zierler composition, but this time he has not kept himself within the "normal" writing patterns you normally hear in progressive metal, this album pushes the boundaries of what is "acceptable" in progressive metal - creating a metal symphony of 43 variations, just like we know from classical music. So many words come to mind when trying to describe the concept; fast and furious, emotional, remarkable, twisted, classical, hard and heavy. This is still progressive metal but without ever just being progressive metal just for the sake of it!

Another impressive fact is that Finn Zierler has written the entire symphony in just 3 weeks! How on earth he has managed to not only create the structure, the concept, all the parts and putting it all together to one big piece is beyond me!

If you read so far, maybe I need to assure you - this is a metal album, just one the most challenging and most unique ones ever released! A full blown attack on your senses, 38 minutes of non stop impressions and new breathtaking twists and turns, that keeps you in suspense all the time, with only a small break around the halfway point. This album makes you sit and guess what could happen next... Nothing is repeated at all - well that's not completely true, the things are just played in another key or even backwards... No choruses or reoccurring vocal lines, no leitmotif at all, and when the narrator asks: "You're puzzled?" - Then the answer can only be: "Hell YEAH!"

To pick out parts or bigger pieces of this album would be like choosing your favorite piece in a puzzle. This album is one big picture, just divided into small sections. In case you hadn't guessed it by now: this album is a challenge to me every time I listen to it, in offers me new things and dimensions each and every time I put it on!

New vocalist Björn Jansson fits perfect into the big picture, his vocal acrobatics on this album makes no one wishing any of his predecessors back. The band is tight as the ass on a mosquito, the guitars are blistering and above everything else are Finn's extraordinary keyboards, and the variety of sounds and effects he is using on this album is massive.

The production justifies the great composition, Jacob Hansen, who's also playing rhythm guitars on the album, is off course also one of Denmark's premier producers, and the sound he has created together with Finn is outstanding. Finn has mixed the album together with living legend Tommy Hansen in Tommy's Jailhouse Studio.

Like the previous 2 albums from Beyond Twilight this album has struck a nerve with me and I simply adore it and can not stop praising it enough, and I am pretty sure when this year is over and done, looking back this album will belong among the 3 albums I listened to the most.

I have just one question left: "How on Earth are they going to top this one?”