Overhead - Of Sun And Moon

(CD 2012, 48:44, Progressive Promotion Records PPR CD008)

The tracks:
  1- Lost Inside pt. 2(5:03)
  2- Berlin(4:13)
  3- An Afternoon of Sun and Moon(5:14)
  4- Aftermath(5:12)
  5- Syriana(4:07)
  6- Grotte(3:40)
  7- Last Broadcast(7:05)
  8- Alive(7:51)
  9- Angels and Demons(7:26)

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Overhead is a Finnish progressive metal band that already recorded three albums: Zumanthum (2002), Metaepitome (2005) and And We're Not Here After All (2008). So, Of Sun And Moon is their fourth studio album. Over the years the band slightly gained a more modern style, a more pop-like style you might say.

In the opening piece Lost Inside 2 the band firmly stays in the progressive territory drenched in the prog metal genre with Jaako Kettunen's strong guitar play. Alex Keskitalo's vocals remind me a bit of Marco Glühmann (Sylvan). The following Berlin starts promising with strong drum play, provided by Ville Sjöblom, heavy guitars and prominent keyboards; a good job done by Tarmo Simonen. This song has very accessible melody lines that last in your mind. An Afternoon Of Sun And Moon introduces a kind of reggae rhythm; the music tends towards a more programmed sound. The influences of Muse are obvious here especially in the main vocal parts, which make this piece a kind of modern progressive rock tune with a 'poppy' edge.

In Aftermath Porcupine Tree are added as an influence, although the programmed sound remains. Concerning the vocals there's still a Sylvan connection, but the music completely differs from this German band. Overhead easily changes from solid guitar play to mellower keyboard based passages, which is a fine combination in my opinion. Syriana sounds like a happy song due to the opening chords of the keyboards and the guitar with Janne Pylkkönen playing a nice and propelling bass part. Again there's a slight touch of Muse in this composition, but the keyboards influenced by The Doors make this song really work.

The jungle-like drums, the rumbling bass and Keskitalo's flute play make of the instrumental Grotte a kind of space rock tune. On top of this, Kettunen plays a spacey sound which makes this one a bit different from the rest; a nice interlude, anyway. Why do all songs that contain flute play remind me of a song by The Scorpions? I don't know, but I do know that Last Broadcast has nothing to do with these German melodic rockers. It's a nice slow and emotional ballad that pleasantly builds towards a powerful end with once more some Muse influences.

The penultimate song Alive reminds me of a hit by the Norwegian pop band A-Ha due to the keyboard-line. I don't know which one, but it makes this piece − with an annoying bass line − one of the more accessible songs of the album. It's certainly not my favourite track and even the heavy guitar sound can't change that. Angels And Demons is the bombastic finale of Of Sun And Moon, a strong composition sounding like an alternative rock track wherein the flute play is dominant and the guitar shines in a wah-wah drenched solo. The keyboards provide some tasty instrumental passages. I don't know whether this track was inspired by Dan Brown's book of the same name or not, but anyway, I like this piece the most. I think it represents the true Overhead without any reference to other bands.

Overhead's fourth album has many different perspectives. There's still a progressive part, although the pieces influenced by Muse prevail. The final song would be a nice direction to continue with since it contains a style of its own. Of Sun And Moon has been perfectly produced, which makes it a pleasant album to listen to. I'm curious to know in which direction Overhead will go on their next album, but a good foundation has been laid.

***+ Pedro Bekkers (edited by Peter Willemsen)

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