Label : AFM Records

Review by Tony Cannella

Fans of Progressive Power Metal rejoice! The new project from Virus IV guitarist Samuel Arkan is here and he is joined by an outstanding array of talented musicians for the debut of Epysode titled “Obsessions”. For 14-songs, totaling about an hour’s worth of music, the listener is drawn into a conceptual story (which sounds like it would make a killer movie) with each singer playing a role as the story unfolds throughout the album. After the opening intro of “File 4180-1” the next track “Silences of Dawn (Poetry)” is a beautiful minute-and-a-half piano peace featuring the vocals of Valentine and Dial frontwoman Liselotte Hegt as this segues into the majestic “First Blood”. This is a multi-faceted dramatic track featuring some cool interplay between all of the vocalists on the album, Kelly Sundown Carpenter (Beyond Twilight), Oddleif Stensland (Communic), Magali Luyten (Virus IV), Hegt and Rick Altzi (At Vance, Thunderstone) all turn in epic performances. From there the album moves forward with a lot of momentum on the equally awesome “Obsessions” featuring some more great vocal work performed by Carpenter and Luyten. “Invisible Nations” is next and features a melodic up-tempo atmosphere with Carpenter and Altzi once again taking the lead role in the vocal department. I must say, the chemistry between the two is breathtaking. This song also includes a pretty cool prog rock style keyboard section in the middle. The next track “Gemini Syndrome” – with Liselotte Hegt and Kelly Sundown taking the lead – is a beautiful piano dominated ballad that allows the listener to catch their breath before the crushing riff of “Fallen’s Portrait” should get those heads banging once again. Other highlights: “Season of Redemption”, “The Other Side”, “One Chance” , “Divine Whispers” but I could on. There is no doubt that Samuel Arkan from Virus IV is the creative force behind this project; he wrote the music, lyrics, story and produced, but he has also surrounded himself with some top-notch talent who also put their unique stamps on “Obsessions”. Doing a concept album on this grand a scale can be quite risky and the possibility exists that it could be viewed as hokey or cheesy, but thankfully Samuel Arkan and the rest of the stellar cast put a lot of care, effort and thought into Epysode. For a concept album this ambitious, “Obsessions” never comes off as overblown or overdone, it strikes the right balance between music and drama which is one of the best things about it.

Rating – 90/100

 

Tracklist

  1. File 4180-1
  2. Silences of Dawn (Poetry)
  3. First Blood
  4. Obsessions
  5. Invisible Nations
  6. Gemini Syndrome
  7. Fallen’s Portrait
  8. Season of Redemption
  9. The Other SideShadow LordOne Chance
  10. Divine WhispersMarch of the Ghosts
  11. Last Sunset

 

Line Up

The Cast

  • Kelly Sundown Carpenter – Kallon (The Profiler)
  • Magali Luyten – Esh (The Soul)
  • Oddleif Stensland – Yae (The Fallen / Killer)
  • Liselotte Lilo Hegt – Valma (The Medium)
  • Rick Altzi – Maymos (The Ghost)
  • Michael – Shawn (The Child)

 

The Musicians

  • Samuel Arkan – All guitars on the album (electric and acoustic)
  • Christophe Godin – Guitar solos
  • Kristoffer Gildenlöw – Bass
  • Léo Margarit – Drums
  • Julien Spreutels – Keyboards and piano

 

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