Beyond Twilight - Section X
Nightmare Records
Technical Progressive Metal
8 songs (44'50)
Release year: 2005
Beyond Twilight, Nightmare Records
Reviewed by Ben

Section X is Beyond Twilight’s second album. I haven’t heard The Devils Hall of Fame (on that album the vocals were performed by Jorn Lande) so I can’t compare the two or comment on whether or not I feel that the band has matured in between releases. For this release however the first thing that struck my interest was that this time around Kelly Carpenter from Outworld is giving the vocal treatment to this album. I don’t intend for this to be a slight to Jorn Lande but after hearing Kelly’s performance here, I couldn’t imagine Jorn even trying to replicate the difficult vocal lines and melodies. His voice ranges from soaring banshee like highs to mid range laments and is never in the same place for too long. Once people hear this and the upcoming Outworld full length, Kelly Carpenter will be a new name in the stable of premier Progressive singers.

Like any successful Progressive release, the musical styles present on Section X run the gamut, from hard driving metal, soothing classical piano, fifties’ musical noir, jazz, and very anthem like chorus every now and then. Sleeping Beauty for example, the guitar melodies being played in that song are so chaotically beautiful it’s amazing that the song is as excellent as it is. From off time harmonies to jazz sections and then coming back to Progressive Metal this song is a showcase of songwriting talent. I must also point out that this album is permeated throughout with an overbearing darkened despair, the music is a wall of very unhappy melodies that pull the listener into the shadowy story of Section X. Going along with the theme of the mind and insanity, there is also a sense of hysterical madness that although it is obviously planned, seems genuinely unsettling. However, I do feel that sometimes the band decided to go a little overboard and the “conversations” the main character has at times sound forced. I honestly don’t think that these were necessary in the first place, with Kelly’s normal singing and the already depressive music the unsettling atmosphere was already there. Ecstasy Arise (which follows the gorgeous instrumental Portrait F in Dark Waters) is the most straightforward of all the songs on Section X yet still stands out in another way with its slithery snake like feel to it. Manic voices and a desperate vocal delivery, this song has a huge surprise with a hooky chorus. Filled with driving guitars and stuttered licks this song is at the same time difficult and easy to fall into. Ending the album with the epic title track, Section X goes out with a bang. From top to bottom this is one hundred percent technical metal with a theatrical flair to it and is the best way to leave the listeners wanting more.

Beyond Twilight have created a truly unique cd here in Section X. This was a difficult review for me to write but then again I think that is a good sign when it comes to talking about Technical or Progressive Metal. If you can easily identify and familiarize a band with something you’ve heard before then that isn’t real Prog. This cd on the other hand pushes the listener and makes them work for their listening experience. That to me is what Technical Metal is all about.

Killing Songs :
Shadow Self, Sleeping Beauty, Section X, Ecstasy Arise
Ben quoted 88 / 100
Other albums by Beyond Twilight that we have reviewed:
Beyond Twilight - For The Love Of Art And The Making reviewed by Marty and quoted 92 / 100
Beyond Twilight - The Devil's Hall Of Fame reviewed by Marc and quoted 60 / 100
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