Overhead is a band from Finland. With Telepathic Minds, they show the world their sixth studio album. The band saw the light of day in 1999. So in almost 25 years they created six albums. The band consists of Alex Keskitalo who plays the flute and is their vocalist, Jaakko Kettunen who plays the guitars, Ville Sj÷blom who plays the drums and new members Janne Katalkin who plays the bass and last but not least Jere Saarainen who plays the keyboards. The first three people mentioned have played together since their debut album. I think we can conclude that the three members can really interact with each other. I now can tell you that Janne and Jere also fits to the other members.
In the last review colleague Erik Neuteboom told us that Overhead played harder-edged prog. It made me curious if Telepathic Minds also gives us the harder-edged material. My conclusion is that Overhead gave us an album that is really long, 89 minutes to be exact. In the one and a half hour you can expect to hear a mix of diverse styles of music. From soft to heavy and everything in between. There are a lot emotional rollercoasters in the music and every instrument has their moment now and then. For me this album is a huge highlight and extremely recommended to all music listeners. I think that no album that will see the light of day in 2023 that can reach this album. So now I told you what is in my opinion album of the year. Let's have a look at the songs on the double album. So here we go!
War To End All Wars
The song opens theatrically with a short singing together, a bombastic passage and the flute of Alex.
Overhead takes the time to take you into the music. After a minute or six the song is at full speed with at first a keyboard solo from at least one minute and after the climax the guitar takes you for the second solo, which is a lovely solo, top notch. The rhythm section pushes you to the end of the song. For me the first ride in a roller coaster took place. And let me tell you I really like rollercoasters.
Ghosts From The Future
Some extraterrestrial keyboards comes your way, menacing and ominous. You are immediately alert for what is to come. And what will come? A dreamy atmosphere that hypnotizes you. After Alex has sung you swoon in emotions that the music radiates. Sometimes you hear duels between the instruments and you ask yourself which instrument will win the battle. All in all this is the first real epic on the album clocking above the 10 minutes and this kind of songs with atmosphere and power may continue for a long time.
Sail Across The Universe
The song opens with aggressive guitar playing combined with fine keyboards. Even a growl of Alex comes in and that is superb. Also in this song the singing of Alex is really important, he can do that so amazingly emotional, wow! A duel between flute and guitar takes places and it touched me. After the duel the song ebbs away which is heavenly good, I am left enraptured.
The Pilot's Not Fit To Fly
This song also starts with wonderfully dreamy drum parts, immediately again the hypnotic characteristics that we heard before, but here again in its own style. You are immediately in the song, you don't have to do anything for it. Also in this song the vocals determine the direction of the music. You can even call this song a bit commercial, although it is 9 minutes long. In this song the flute shows that it is a special instrument, although that of course also depends on who plays it and that is well spent on this flautist. During the solo, which may last a long time, support is provided by a rhythm section that does this with great conviction, without compromising the flute playing. How nice is it to listen to progressive music, things like this are completely allowed there. After about 6 minutes there is a reprise of what we heard earlier in the song, after which a killer guitar solo takes you to another world and which fortunately lasts a while. After this we return to the theme of how the song started and the song is complete again. The more than 9 minutes flew by in no time.
Sleep Tight Sweetheart
The last track on the first disc is Sleep Tight Sweetheart. A bit slow, mellow and immersive the music comes to you. Breath in, Breath out sings the singer, and that is exact what it is. It is a bit of a quirky song. You cannot categorize it and that makes it a special one. Live this will be a highlight because it can lead you to a kind of climax.
Before you can start with the second disc, it is time to reflect of what you heard so far. Great progrock that fits very well, is emotional, great solo's on all the instruments and in my opinion original music. All right, be prepared for the what is to come. Fasten your seatbelts.
To get straight to the point, the longest song on the album is also the best as far as I'm concerned. Everything you can think of is in this song, so from quiet to heavy, from less emotional to very emotional, solos and beautiful oriental sounds. I could go on about the song for a long time, but don't. Simply a gem of a song.
Tuesday That Never Came
Wonderful guitar strumming starts the song. Again Alex's emotional vocals take you straight into the song. There is a video of this song on you tube. I recommend it to watch. The drumming is finely bombastic, every slam hits the mark and touches you deep in your soul. The song really wants to tell you something emotionally. You also feel the tension building up in the song, the acceleration comes with phenomenal bass work. This band is able to do exactly what it should, every second just adds up. Clear keyboard work that sounds nice and optimistic and moves you again; almost hypnotic. We dive back into the guitar strumming after which the song fades away. Blessed. This song could become a hit single, or is that what I wish for...
Planet Of Disorder
The hypnotic keyboards enter in with immediately very compelling flute playing. You don't have to make an effort to get into this song. In this song the vocals are somewhat similar to those of Marco Gluhmann from the band Sylvan. At first I thought he was borrowed for this song. Listening further learns that this is just Alex. Guitar sound is a bit heavier and something tells me that this song can be called a bit more progressive rock than other songs. Also in this song there is a lot of variety as well as peace, space for a flute solo, supported by birdsong. It's all possible with Overhead. I keep being touched by Alex's emotional vocals, what a whopper of a singer. The drumming is directing the song and this is nice, the direction is set. Then there is room again for a guitar solo that is not every day but also pulls you into the swamp of emotions, you almost drown in it. Then there is support from the flute, it feels like a duel between flute and guitar. You can decide who wins, it's all delicious. The song ends as it started, namely with the hypnotic keyboards in combination with the blissful flute.
Sheep Stay Silent
Keyboards threaten, flute and drums banging and the keyboard keeps going. After this spectacular intro, the guitar and vocals slow down. This reminds me a bit of the Israeli band Amaseffer. The guitar riffs are so tasty and chop into it nicely. As the keyboards threatened at the start, the same thing returns in the middle part. The flute is important in the song, it sends the song from left to right and back again. The guitar riffs sound fat and menacing, a kind of prog metal for that matter. Another great song.
Almost Always Near The End
The last song then. We are immersed in a nice keyboard carpet after which the song slows down and the emphasis is on the vocals, which are again emotional. When the song is up tempo again, the flute blasts through everything. A lot of menace in the song, where is it going? Nice up tempo work interspersed with more subdued work, especially when the singer does his thing. A repetition of flute that blast like life. Towards the end there is a tight flute solo that is taken over by a keyboard solo that is fantastic. Then the bass makes itself heard briefly, after which the guitar screams ferociously in the solo where it releases steam. And yes, the drums can also play a short intermezzo. After this the song comes to a conclusion and the album is over. Funny that in the last song all instruments are allowed to perform a short solo; nicely made up.
After listening to the album you are left with various emotions, the whole spectrum has passed by. This is music that is timeless, beautifully composed and everything you expect from music is there. For me this is a fantastic discovery, I need to buy all their music and actually think everyone who respects themselves should do the same. Hopefully I have some influence on you in that regard. Now it is time to see these guys live, hopefully they will tour nowadays.
***** Michel Stolk (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)
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