Lind... That's a new name for me, although the man behind this name, German drummer Andy Lind (who also contributes vocals and plays keyboards and bass) has credentials from at least one band that I have played before, jazz-metal act Panzerballett. The info sheet tells me that he also played with Schizofrantik and The Ancestry Program, both of which I do not know but a quick search on the web tells me both play (neo) prog. Well, that gives at least some hints of what to expect on A Hundred Years: The Justification Of Reality. Part I.
Andy Lind invited many guest musicians for the recording of this very long album (almost 80 minutes!), including some band mates from Panzerballet, guitar players Jan Zehrfeld and Martin Mayrhofer. Also Sieges Even guitarist Wolfgang Zenk can be heard on one track
The almost 12 minutes long opener Do I Really Notice brings complex progmetal with hints of King Crimson (riffs, dissonance) and even Gentle Giant (some of the vocal patterns), new artrock (e.g., Porcupine Tree, Riverside) and also some extreme metal (those growls I could definitely have lived without). This track goes over into the next piece which is the title track without me noticing. A Hundred Years is perhaps even more complex, the female lead vocals by Petra Scheeser are further back, there is a jazz-power fusion bit in the middle that I appreciate, but overall, I start to feel that this is going to be a very tiresome album (the loose saxophone solo by Axel Kühn gives very welcome breathing space). The music is very technical and well played, but maybe just a tad too much for my taste. And that is coming from someone who loves stuff over the top and jazzy.
And well, these two tracks characterise the album rather well, I think. The tracks are mostly long to very long (the shortest is 6:23 with a rather cool synth solo in there!), varied from eerie moments to super complex and chaotic passages where it seems as if every instrument and singer is just doing his or her own thing, and stylistic drawing from progmetal to jazz to power fusion to atmospheric prog.
One of the stand-out pieces is Invisible Tears that must be heavily inspired by Frank Zappa's music - just listen to those parts that sound as if they are played on vibraphone (but that instrument is not mentioned, so I assume they are done on keyboards). Cool also with the jazzy wind instrument section halfway through. The vibraphone (or whatever they are) return in The Schemes which has vocal parts that remind a bit of a Broadway musical (except that these don't typically include growling), but one that has gone completely berserk, pace-wise. Boy, I almost had to consult a physician because my hearth rhythm started doing funny things... Just kidding, but I hope you get my drift.
This is a very interesting album that surely will appeal to people who love complex and challenging prog. I wish it had been a tad less tiring and “full”, then my rating would certainly have been higher. This is to be consumed in small portions unless you are quite resilient and used to similar stuff!
*** Carsten Busch (edited by Dave Smith)
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