Review: Beyond Twilight – Section X

Band: Beyond Twilight
Country: Denmark
Album: Section X, released June 15, 2005 in the USA
Label: Nightmare Records
Genre: Sci-Fi themed Progressive Metal

Section X is, to put it bluntly, a masterpiece. With Finn Zierler on Keyboards and as producer and the driving creative force behind the band, they have brushed aside all conventions and created a truly unique piece of dark, brooding progressive metal. With that said, it must be noted that this is a “concept album”, complete with cheesy intro, “Log Entry 2004-Z Nucleic extraction sucessful…” The lyrics themselves are nothing to write home about, pretty much standard “sci-fi” fare, but when combined with the atmosphere and force of Section X’s brilliant songwriting and orchestration, they take on a life of their own. Much like a somewhat flimsy script can be transformed into a truly bone-rattling movie by a skilled director, Section X is transformed into an errily forboding piece of Sci-Fi metal.

The Beyond Twilight sound really must be heard to be understood. They combine unique rhythms, 5/4 waltz you say? with melodic passages and tearing riffs. The vocals come in to provide the emotional glue, and I must say despite any personality quirks, Kelly really delivers on this release. More importantly though, is the band’s versatility as a whole. Able to switch effortlessly from quiet piano passages to mad guitar and keyboard riff-fests that make you feel the terror of imminent mad-scientist-induced destruction.

The production is flawless, the songwriting masterful and original and never boring or repetitive. At times the keyboards sound a bit fake, they would have been better suited to finding a real wooden piano for some of the parts, but this is only a minor problem. This album is worth shelling out the money for, and worth telling your friends about. It has already gone down as one of the best releases of 2005, and has allowed Beyond Twilight to get the metal community’s attention through sheer musical ability, a feat practically unheard of in this age of absolute media saturation and control.

Production: 5/5
Musicianship: 5/5
Lyrics: 3.5/5
Overall: A-