Interview by Marcy Bell
A new band from Denmark is carrying new good symphonic Power Metal waves. That’s Infinity Overture with their new album “Kingdom Of Utopia”. We have the pleasure to talk with guitarist Niels and vocalist Ian about the band and about this new project.
What does your name, “Infinity Overture”, mean?
Niels: Hi Marcy, The name is inspired of the classical approach to the music, but roughly it just means infinity introduction to a piece of music.
Can we consider “Kingdom of Utopia” a concept album?
Niels: Yes, Ian came up with the story for the lyrics.
Where did you get the inspiration to write the songs? What is the message inside it?
Niels: I get inspiration to write music from listening to other bands, and art and films. The message in the music is mainly to express drama, romanticism and mood.
What is your “Kingdom of Utopia”? Where is it? Do you find in nowadays life a Kingdom of Utopia?
Niels: I think that question is maybe better for Ian, since he wrote the lyrics.
How did you make Infinity Overture project alive?
Niels: When I started the recordings for the album, it was a project to get great musicians play my music, but now I have gathered a fantastic band who plays live, it has been a long journey, and we are only just at beginning.
Do you think in Northern Europe there is a special interest about the so called metal-symphonic and power-metal wave? I mean, there are a lot of good groups coming from there… What do you think about the scenario?
Niels: To me it seems that a lot of power metal bands are from South Europe, whereas Symphonic metal is also from Northern Europe. I like a lot of progressive bands from Sweden and Norway, and of course USA, and also Death and Black metal from Sweden and Eastern Europe. In general I think there is a lot of great metal in all the sub genres.
How did you get involved in Infinity Overture’s project?
Ian: Back in 2005 Niels contacted me via MySpace and asked if I would be interested to work on lyrics and vocal melodies and then record lead and harmony vocals for his new songs. I loved the melodic style he’d composed and then came up the idea of writing a concept story, which I could base my lyrics around.
Besides singing as male lead vocals what was it you contributed in the band?
Ian: I sent Niels my lyrical concept story which he thought was cool and so I would record vocals at my studio at home, send an MP3 file. Once Niels confirmed he really liked the vocal melodies I would move onto the next song and that is how we did this debut Infinity Overture album.
Did you write any songs, didn’t you?
Ian: Only the lyrics, vocal melodies and the concept story for the album. Niels wrote all the music.
Can you still combine your other projects along with Infinity Overture?
Ian: Working this way was easy to combine my other projects like Consortium which I was working on at the time. Actually having working with Niels on Infinity Overture I then asked him to perform live with Consortium Project.
Who entered in the band after you? How much important is having a female front girl in a band like yours?
Ian: Later Niels brought Lene Petersen into IO which in my opinion was a great move and her voice works perfect with my heavy approach and we seem to compliment each other.
Label : Pervade/Manitou/Thundering Records
Review by Tony Cannella
You have to give France’s Amphitryon huge marks for doing something a little different and so ambitious. Their new release is titled “Drama” and it is a live CD/DVD set and really a beautiful package. I will review the CD portion of the set here with the DVD part coming in a separate review. “Drama” is quite a complex concept album based on a story from the imagination of guitarist/vocalist Mathieu Scarpa. Completing the line-up in Amphitryon are: Laurent Desvignes (Guitar,Vocals), Sarah Barisèle (Vocals, Flute), Barbara Haignere (Vocals, Flute), Gianni Leone (Bass, Vocals, Percussion) and Christophe Demazeux (Drums). The band play some truly complex avant-garde metal, with some elements of doom and death metal fitting into the equation. As already mentioned, “Drama” is a live CD/DVD. The studio versions of these songs can be found on their 2006 CD “Sumphokeras”. The intro track “Archeia” starts things off and it is successful in creating a definite aura and theatrical vibe. This leads us into the next track “Theocracy”. The mix of the harsh male vocals with the pretty, operatic female vocals provided by Sarah Barisèle and Barbara Haignere are pretty cool. Of course it’s nothing that hasn’t been done before, but the way it is presented gives it a fresh and exciting feel. The pounding rhythms near the end of this track are quite simply crushing as the song gets heavier and speeds up near the end. “Omen” is next and it begins with a melancholic guitar riff and the clean male vocals come in and soon give way to the harsh male vocals. The vocal styles are split pretty evenly between harsh male vocals, clean male vocals and the soprano female vocals. The vocals have an almost choir-like feel on this one. This was a definite highlight for me. The harsh male vocals are quite good as well. Sometimes you either like that style or you don’t, with Amphitryon the harsh male vocals are done in such a way that they don’t overwhelm anything, you can pretty much understand every word and it blends in nicely with the other styles. The next track is the instrumental “Cadence of the Rowers”. The drums have a tribal feel to them and they are mixed with arabian-like rhythms and then the heavy guitar riffs accompanied by the flute join in and make this quite a unique track and an instrumental that does a nice job in keeping your attention. It builds and builds and leads us into the next track “Armadas Conflict” which begins with a cool riff and the female vocals once again come in before they give way to the harsh vocals. “Saundeha” is only about 1 and a half minute long and features some eerie organ music accompanied by some chanting and it leads us to the next track “Pantheon”. This is probably my favorite song. There is so much going on in this track that you have to love the complexity. The CD is completed by a trio of epic numbers. “Paths of Dementia”, “Phthoneros Daimon” and “Samsara” all clock in at 8, 9 and 10 minutes respectively and it brings the CD portion on this set to a close after 57-minutes. Amphitryon are a band that are sure to evoke mixed opinions from metal fans. It’s true they can be a challenge to listen to, but for fans who are looking for something a little different and indeed conceptual, than I would wholeheartedly recommend taking up the challenge with Amphitryon. It is definitely a challenge worth accepting.
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