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OVERHEAD

Crossover Prog • Finland


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Overhead biography
Founded in Helsinki, Finland in 1999

Inspired by classic prog giants like PINK FLOYD, GENESIS and KING CRIMSON, Finnish band OVERHEAD formed in the late nineties to record, and eventually release their first full version album "Zumanthum". Their music is refined and elegant with well-built melodies, clear and powerful vocals quiet and contrasted parts, sophisticated arrangements and great instrumental parts.

"Zumanthum" consists of 5 songs, including a 20 minute epic, and fits in the Neo Prog style, but with the perfect dynamics of keyboards and guitars, a symphonic sound is achieved. A new band capable of doing great things in the future.

"Metaepitome" (2005) is composed by six long and complex pieces, two of them being suites about 15 and 20 minutes long. The music still includes a few influences from PINK FLOYD, RUSH, MARILLION, DREAM THEATER or KING CRIMSON.

However, OVERHEAD's Progressive rock becomes really innovative and personal, when it's mixed with some strange psychedelic and electronic sequences. The tracks are performed with a power not unlike heavy-metal. The ingredients: Seventies keyboards sounds, lively bass parts, elegant vocals, nice flute soli, excellent guitar playing. (Musea)

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OVERHEAD discography


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OVERHEAD top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.73 | 71 ratings
Zumanthum
2002
3.91 | 125 ratings
Metaepitome
2005
3.17 | 68 ratings
And We're Not Here After All
2008
3.79 | 89 ratings
Of Sun and Moon
2012
3.56 | 45 ratings
Haydenspark
2018
4.14 | 34 ratings
Telepathic Minds
2023

OVERHEAD Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.62 | 13 ratings
Live After All
2009
4.00 | 1 ratings
Live at Loreley
2019
4.00 | 2 ratings
Live at ArtRock Festival
2020
4.00 | 2 ratings
Live at Festival Crescendo
2022

OVERHEAD Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.11 | 16 ratings
Live After All
2009
4.67 | 3 ratings
Bootleg DVD
2010
5.00 | 1 ratings
Tour Diary
2010
4.00 | 1 ratings
Live in Veruno
2015

OVERHEAD Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

OVERHEAD Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.75 | 4 ratings
Singles
2014
3.33 | 3 ratings
Tuesday That Never Came
2022

OVERHEAD Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Telepathic Minds by OVERHEAD album cover Studio Album, 2023
4.14 | 34 ratings

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Telepathic Minds
Overhead Crossover Prog

Review by alainPP

5 stars OVERHEAD founded in 1999, quickly inspired by prog giants such as PINK FLOYD, GENESIS or KING CRIMSON with refined melodic music, a clear and powerful voice, breaks where the flute takes its place, RUSH, DREAM THEATER and floydian breaks . An innovative psychedelic sound at times, heavy 70's in 2020. A double album, like in the good old days, in short, let's dive into this 6th double album.

CD1: "War to End All Wars" sympho hard prog intro that moves, just enough to give vocal space to Alex with his flute that slots easily; it goes up, it breaks on voice-overs, it's complex; it takes several readings and Alex uses his flute wisely; an instrumental on organ la DEEP PURPLE, THRESHOLD as in the good old days, breathtaking before returning to the central air and Jaakko who releases a moving solo, on the border of hard, prog metal, a bluesy touch; in short, a must already. Sound reminiscent of the flights of STRATOVARIUS and SYMPHONY X of the great era, grandiloquent. "Ghosts from the Future" in two drawers on a warm intro, Alex modulates his voice on a psychedelic rise, lament that makes you shiver; break in the first third with heavy guitar and flute riff that goes much better in the studio than live. Riff la BLUE OYSTER CULT, oriental flute solo, it's well done, the keyboard also twirls; the second atmospheric break with drum roll, the epic and symphonic side of metal emerges, go for an Andalusian arpeggio now and the heavy, metallic tune resumes for a vibrant crescendical finale. "Sail Across the Universe" riff and flute, yes reminiscent of JETHRO TULL; his AOR with aerial riff, break growl and muscular dithyrambic attack; it speeds up Alex fills the title with his very particular voice, Jaakko's solo wants to be crystalline, lively and captivating, its stunning. "The Pilot's Not Fit to Fly" on a melodic ballad, you'll laugh I thought of SADE's hit! Langoureux, always this AOR connotation which goes well between neo and heavy, flute which rolls and rolls for a long time; second part which highlights this fabulous guitar held by Jaakko, very knowledgeable pulling heavy notes with smoothness, almost too simple. "Sleep Tight Sweetheart" country western spaghetti tune, slide sweetness and psychedelic pop vibe; the guitar wants to be bluesy during a long solo taken as a musical framework.

CD 2: "Telepathic Minds" in 5 parts, conceptual river title on Life, musical atmosphere flirting on the OVERHEAD sound of today made of FM rock, prog metal and prog atmo-electronic tricks where the flute is ideally used, bringing warmth and reminiscences of the past. Alex channels the title through his borderline phrasing, hypnotic, plaintive vocals; the mid-term break with the whiff of a VANGELIS 'The Apocalypse of the Animals' for the emotional touch, a Gary MOORE-style guitar solo which shows the extent of Jaakko, a real 'beast' to think musico-solo-finger of 'elf! Last break on a touching Floydian background. "Tuesday That Never Came" for the single released in preview which in no way reflects the atmosphere of this double album; a moving rise that refers to the rock FM ballad of a Bon JOVI for example. "Planet of Disorder" Jethrotullian flute and Rainbowian riff; ballad with Alex who puts himself forward as much in vocals as in breath; the guitar solo on BLACKMORE, strikingly realistic and the flute to remind us that the sound is that of OVERHEAD, quite simply. "Sheep Stay Silent" electro intro that changes, its Kashmirian riff, jazzy-country-oriental break, hilarious, second break with a heavy metallic riff like METALLICA, that's to say; finale which returns to the languorous ballad; the best of the album for me. "Almost Always Near the End" concludes this thundering set with juicy, symphonic synths; flute jamming, air-hymn to get high, throwing an endless jig, and I see that after violins, trumpets, cellos, flutes can also be progressive.

OVERHEAD therefore releases a musical slap, that's said. A clean sound, through the singular voice, the flute, instrumental parts with keyboards and guitar solos; an album where the progression is done gradually, from the intro, on the breaks, on the atmosphere in general; on groovy riffs, on a rhythm that hooks from the first listen. A sound that stands out, which evolves, which does not hesitate to juggle different atmospheres, eyeing the old but showing a recent range for the rhythms generated. Texts on this inevitable pandemic which never ends, music... which never ceases to upset me over the course of my many pleasant listenings, it starts well 2023 with an OVERHEAD which evolves well and transcends itself.

 Haydenspark by OVERHEAD album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.56 | 45 ratings

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Haydenspark
Overhead Crossover Prog

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Finnish prog band OVERHEAD was founded in 1999 and they are till going strong, which is an achievement in today's music business. In the beginning their sound was a bit more melodic and closer to Neo Prog, and there were some longer pieces on the first two albums Zumanthum (2002) and Metaepitome (2005) that I still tend to enjoy more than what has come ever since. As an anti-metal minded listener, I always feel rather frustrated when a prog band increases metallic flavour in their musical expression. That has happened with bands such as Arena and Overhead. But in the end one cannot say this band would have changed their style dramatically over the years, and at least hints of the harder edge have been there right from the start, for example in the vocals of Alex Keskitalo. In fact this new release shows that they're definitely still more about prog than [prog-]metal.

Whereas Overhead's other albums have been released via central European prog labels, this fifth album was released independently late last year. The other change concerns the line-up: keyboard player Tarmo Simonen has left the group (but he is involved on 'Last Generation' that he co-wrote with Keskitalo). Now the guitarist and the main composer Jaakko Kettunen plays most of the keyboards -- that still belong to the overall sound although in a more background role than guitar.

My first listening of Haydenspark was coloured by the forementioned frustration dealing with metal-ish nuances. I had to listen to their earlier albums to realize that the differences, especially in the singing style, weren't as huge as I had imagined. I must admit that this one began to sound better after I won my personal prejudices. If the preceding album Of Sun and Moon (2012) felt very cold -- I actually never really tried to get to know it well --, Haydenspark has a good chance to be a grower. The playing is energetic and the songs have more in them that meets the ear in the first round. The production by Jaakko Kettunen is very confident.

Tracks are mostly around 4-5 minutes long and they use the time pretty effectively. However, the two longer ones stick out as highlights. The 9-minute title track operates between bombastic and atmospheric, and the Keskitalo's flute brings nice connotations to Jethro Tull or Tabula Rasa's debut. 'The Fall' features just an acoustic guitar and soft keyboard layers at first to accompany Keskitalo's passionate vocals. This is a very strong sad song emotionally. The final piece 'Gone Too Far' is the other extended track and has bigger sonic similarities to Metaepitome. All in all, Haydenspark has a positive vibe that turns its harder edges into strengths (especially if you're not as allergic to metal as I am) instead of becoming too self-poignantly metallic.

 Haydenspark by OVERHEAD album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.56 | 45 ratings

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Haydenspark
Overhead Crossover Prog

Review by TenYearsAfter

4 stars "First review of this album"

"An exciting, dynamic and varied Heavy Prog album, but pretty overlooked"

The interesting and acclaimed Finnish formation Overhead has released five studio-albums, I am only famliar with their second effort entitled Metaepitome, from 2005. That one succeeded to generate a lot of excitement, and I noticed that Overhead did their best to create an own progressive sound. After my first Haydenspark listening session I conclude that this new album sounds harder-edged, and the keyboards are more on the background. The atmosphere on the nine compositions is very dynamic and energetic, with strong, good English vocals and often heavy guitar work (Steve Vai and Joe Satriani come to my mind). Also interesting are the lyrics about our endangered society and earth, and the fascinating artwork. My musical highlights.

A heavy and bombastic climate (like early Black Sabbath), metallish guitars, synthesizer flights and a thunderous rhythm-section in Last Generation.

A biting wah wah electric guitar and finally flamenco guitar runs ("wow", I say as an aficionado) in Count Your Blessings.

A captivating contrast between the sound of the flute traverse and heavy guitar in the exciting titletrack.

From dreamy vocals and tender acoustic guitar to blistering electric guitar in the alternating Across The nation.

Between Black Sabbath and Metallica with a lot of tension between the mellow and heavy parts, from classical keyboard orchestrations and acoustic guitar to sparkling flute and biting wah wah guitar, how exciting and varied!

And the wonderful ballad The Fall, first with fragile acoustic guitar runs and warm vocals, then more lush and dynamic with beautiful vocals and soaring keyboards.

Although the level on the compositions is very good, my absolute highlight is the final track Gone Too Far. In my opinion this one epitomizes how varied, dynamic, adventurous and, last but not least, progressive Overhead sounds! First a catchy rhythm with a sparkling flute traverse work (close to Ian Anderson), electronic inspired keyboards and heavy guitar riffs. Then a mid-tempo featuring powerful vocals and dynamic drums, followed by fat synthesizer flights. Halfway the sound turns into more heavy, the interplay between the flute traverse and heavy guitar evokes huge tension, fuelled by a propulsive rhythm-section.

Progressive rock in the true meaning of the word is alive, just listen to the new CD of this awesome Finnish prog band. These musicians have succeeded to blend elements from classic hardrock with a variety of other styles, loaded with surprising and adventurous musical ideas. I am looking forward to watch this exciting Heavy Prog band on stage!

The first edition of this review was recently published on Dutch progrock website Background Magazine.

 Metaepitome by OVERHEAD album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.91 | 125 ratings

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Metaepitome
Overhead Crossover Prog

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Metaepitome, the second album by the Finnish prog band OVERHEAD (released by the French label Musea) has got very warm reception here, though it's now already four years since the last review. In my opinion here Overhead are at the peak of their musical expression, but undoubtedly the more Metal-oriented listeners can say that they have improved further since then. It's all about tastes in the end.

Nearly an hour long album starts gorgeously with the (nearly) 20-minute title track that contains slight PINK FLOYD influence. Thematically it's a bit cryptic in its metaphysical view on everything, but actually I haven't paid much attention to the lyrics anyway. The long piece succeeds perfectly in maintaining the emotionally powerful mood. There's a good balance between the instrumentality and vocals, and plenty of dynamic variety.

Rather clumsily named 'Warning: Ending (Without Warning)' reaches towards the aggressive metal-oriented style on the choruses while there's also soft, key-centred soundscape and some Crimsonesque angular complexity. The sad-mooded 'Point of View' starts delicately reminding of bands such as PORCUPINE TREE, as if to burst into loudness at any moment, but to my pleasure it evolves into a superb, long electric guitar solo... okay, in the end the song turns heavier.

'Butterfly's Cry' is a fast tempo song with some JETHRO TULL reminding flute here and there. The vocals perhaps try to be too versatile; I prefer the instrumental sections. The next short track is then wholly instrumental, an elegant and atmospheric keyboard piece. The final epic, deeply atmospheric and suitably Floydian 'Dawn' (16:22) is the ultimate highlight for me, as I said already in my review on the DVD "Live After All". Metaepitome is among the finest Finnish progressive rock albums from the early 2000's.

 Live After All by OVERHEAD album cover DVD/Video, 2009
4.11 | 16 ratings

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Live After All
Overhead Crossover Prog

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

4 stars OVERHEAD is among the essential Finnish prog-rock bands that have started their careers at the dawn of this century. I'm not happy with the way their style has turned more metallic (Of Sun and Moon, 2012, clearly isn't my cup of coffee), but this live DVD filmed in 2009 was a great enjoyment for me. It's very well done technically, with excellent multiple camera work and beautiful light setting. The place is Poland's Katowice, where there have been several prog festivals that have produced good live DVD's for a big number of interantional prog bands. A true European Prog Haven?

I started the viewing from the extras. The interview of vocalist-flautist Alex Keskitalo is amusing to watch. He deals with the band's progress in a charming way which is both informative and sympathetic (see Easy Livin's comment on it too!). The separate tracks from various gigs, mostly from France, are not as professionally done as the main concert but I appreciate them as bonuses, at least the ones that widen up the song selection. A special mention goes to the performance of 'Konevitsan kirkonkellot', the famous PIIRPAUKE number based on a traditional piece.

There's also a well written band biography, a photo gallery (of the Katowice concert) and a minimalistic but nice cartoon video for 'Butterfly's Cry'.

The main concert features material from Overhead's second and third albums. The latter, And We're Not Here After All (2008), marks the shift towards the heavier style - or "mellower" according to Keskitalo, which I don't quite understand. The Norwegian ULVER is mentioned as an influence of that style. A pity that Zumanthum's (2002) highlight epic is not on the set. But to my pleasure it became obvious with this concert that Metaepitome (2005), which I hadn't listened to before, is clearly their best album. The show begins with the gorgeous 19+ minute title epic. The most impressive track is the 16+ minute closing number 'Dawn', a Floydian Neo Prog epic. I deeply enjoy the atmospheric guitar and keyboards in it.

Keskitalo is indeed a naturally charismatic performer who shines in the center of the music's dramatic power, even without any overblown theatrics or fanciness. As an encore the band offers the KING CRIMSON classic '21st Century Schizoid Man'; I daresay this extended version is the most impressive I've heard! In total, this is among the finest concert DVD's I've come across for a long time, and undoubtedly the best ever by a Finnish band. Warmly recommended if you enjoy bands such as ARENA who mix Neo-ish and Metal-oriented Prog.

 Metaepitome by OVERHEAD album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.91 | 125 ratings

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Metaepitome
Overhead Crossover Prog

Review by FXM

5 stars I had forgotten what a great album this is. I am going to see Overhead perform in Veruno at a festival in a couple of weeks so I have rooted out their albums for another listen. I first came across Overhead at another festival, ProgResiste at the Spirit of 66 in 2006, the year after they released "Metaepitome". I was very impressed with their performance, very powerful and Alex Keskitalo had a great stage presence. The intensity of the concert reminded me of Riverside, another great band to see live.

The album opens with the epic title track clocking in at 19:40 minutes. This is a superb progressive suite with a number of changes in tempo ranging from mellow to aggressive.

"Warning: Ending (Without Warning)" follows this. It opens with some interesting keyboard playing, the bass then joins in forming a nice introduction before the remaining players become involved, there is some good flute playing as well from Alex Keskitalo in this introductory section.

"Point of View" is the third track and starts in a mellow mood with Alex Keskitalo's vocals backed by acoustic guitar, then electric guitar. Jaako Kettunen puts in a fine performance on this track with some excellent guitar playing upto about the 4:30 minute mark when Alex returns on vocals.

"Butterfly's Cry" displays nice interplay between keyboards and bass at the start. It is one of the more mellow tracks and features some fine work by Tarmo Simonen on keyboards

"Arrival of the Red Bumblebee" is a short instrumental track. This is a bit of a throwaway,

The album closed with another epic track, "Dawn", 16:22 minutes in duration. It is a splendid end to a superb album. It sounds rather like Riverside in places mainly in the interplay between bass, drums and keyboards. Some fine spacy keyboard playing comes in around the 8 minute mark. It is my second favourite track on the album, just beaten by the title track

Overhead have their own unique sound with a distinctive vocalist in Alex Keskitalo, you can't really say that they sound like any other band, apart from the Riverside influence on "Dawn". They represent one of best of the new generation of progressive rock bands which are forging their own sound rather than replicating the music of the 1970's.

It is a magnificant achivement from a young band. It is a shame that they have not been more prolific in the intervening years with only two more studio recordings added to their discography since "Metaepitome" was released. It probably merits 4.5 stars but since I can't award it that I will have to give it a five star rating.

 Of Sun and Moon by OVERHEAD album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.79 | 89 ratings

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Of Sun and Moon
Overhead Crossover Prog

Review by FXM

4 stars Of Sun and Moon is Overhead's fourth studio album released in 2012 ten years after their first album. While they may not be too prolific in output what they lack in quantity they certainly make up for in quality. This is an excellent recording. I am not sure why they are classed as Crossover Prog, this sounds like modern progressive rock grading into prog metal on some tracks.

They havn't tried to emulate the sound of the 1970's but have come up with their own refreshing sound. I remember one reviewer on Progarchives using the term "hard-edged prog" when discussing a Riverside album. That's a fitting discription of the music of Overhead. There is not a dull moment on the entire disk.

The musicianship is first rate, there is plenty of variation between the tracks so they are not repeating the same style track after track. The flute playing of Alex Keskitalo is not as prominent on this album as some of their previous recording, it is used more sparingly but where it appears it is applied to good effect. Alex Keskitalo vocals are good, he has a distinctive voice which is immediately recognizable.

Its hard to pick out a favourite track as most are excellent although track 8 "Alive" would be a standout.

I am not a big fan of progmetal, as it seems to have run its course, with many of the more established bands seemingly run out of ideas (eg. Dream Theater). While it is certainly not prog metal there are many passages throughout the album that morph into a more metallic style but it sounds fresh, innovative and interesting. This should be compulsory listening for all prog metal bands then they might refrain for rehashing the same old sounds.

So in conclusion this is a superb recording, well worth a four star rating.

 Of Sun and Moon by OVERHEAD album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.79 | 89 ratings

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Of Sun and Moon
Overhead Crossover Prog

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 'Of Sun and Moon' - Overhead (8/10)

To those who attest progressive rock is dead, I would suggest they simply aren't looking hard enough. To be sure, the 'vintage' approach to prog has long lost its contemporary relevance, and it's become fairly clear that many of those bands have missed the point of what the artistic movement was all about. At the same time however, there are bands out there that have been doing their darnedest to expand the scope of current-day rock music. Bands like Porcupine Tree, Radiohead, and- to a lesser-known degree- The Pineapple Thief, The Tea Club, and Finland's Overhead have successfully revived the spirit of progressive rock music. While some of these- namely Muse- have received recognition that even dwarfs the popular success of bands amidst the progressive scene's early 70s zenith, many of the modern, or 'post-prog' scene's brightest stars have garnered limited attention outside of the style's fans. Overhead are one such act, and one I may never have had the pleasure to hear, had the band themselves not introduced their music to me. Their fourth album and latest venture, 'Of Sun and Moon', consolidates their proggy-yet-accessible style, offering up something that should appeal to prog rock aficionados and newcomers alike. In a word, it's modern progressive rock done right.

Not unlike Muse, Overhead find a powerful blend of styles between alternative rock, prog, and electronica. Also in the vein of Muse, there is a notable focus on traditionally effective songwriting conventions. Although Overhead dares to experiment with 6-8 minute songs towards the end of the album, it's a rare occurrence for Overhead to long ignore a hook, chorus or recurring motif. 'Berlin' and 'Aftermath' each sport anthemic choruses that would rock the airwaves if given the proper chance. Catchy rock rhythms are often paired up with electronic instrumentation to give the band's more energetic moments a nearly danceable element to them. It's commonplace throughout the album to hear frontman Alex Keskitalo's vocal melodies leading the rest of the band. On paper (or screen?) alone, this may appear a more apt description of a pop record than a rock album, much less one of the progressive variety. In fact, it's this use of accessible elements that makes Overhead feel modern in the first place.

I may be misquoting Steven Wilson on this, but the Porcupine Tree frontman once stated (around the time of 'Lightbulb Sun', I believe) that it wasn't the songwriting per se, but the way the songs were executed that made Porcupine Tree a progressive group. The same principle applies to Overhead as well. In spite of the catchy songwriting, Overhead fuel their performance with plenty of sounds plucked straight from prog rock canon. Underneath 'Berlin's driving chorus, there is a thick, spacey keyboard arrangement that makes it sound like they could be rocking out on the moon. 'An Afternoon of Sun and Moon' pairs up memorable melodies with a weird syncopated rhythm and eerie synthesizer atmosphere. 'Grotte' represents Overhead's most proggy elements rolled into a short instrumental; psychedelic guitars, flute solos and musical madness prevail for a few minutes before returning to a relative normalcy. The production and standard of musicianship are as good as you're bound to find, even compared to some of the most successful rock acts out there. Keskitalo's voice can sound a little gruff at times for the band's hook-centric melodies, but he's got a great, distinct tone to his vocals, particularly during the melancholic 'Last Broadcast'. There's some greatness to be heard in the way Overhead present these tracks, and by the end of the album, there's no doubt as to their prog-credibility. I mean, their singer also plays flute, and I'm almost absolutely certain that's had to have happened in progressive rock somewhere.

'Of Sun and Moon' is an ultimately fitting title for this album. There are plenty of things that- at first glance- seem contradictory going into the album. At the end of the day however, Overhead make it work. Darkness and light. Pop and prog. It's a musical direction that's been taken before, and Overhead certainly aren't the first ones to be successful with it. Of course, that shouldn't go any lengths to discredit what the band have accomplished here. To those who may have thought progressive rock was dead, check out Overhead. You might leave the experience with another opinion.

 Of Sun and Moon by OVERHEAD album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.79 | 89 ratings

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Of Sun and Moon
Overhead Crossover Prog

Review by Gallifrey

4 stars For those who know me through my facebook page, you'll know I am currently listening to basically every album released in 2012 in the hope that my album of the year would be less biased. Overhead's "Of Sun And Moon" was high on my to-listen-to list, so while searching for a link, I actually found the band were offering downloads for reviewers, so I cashed in. This is also why I am writing this review early, rather than waiting until January to post it in the album of the year reviews. But I can tell you know, with about 200 albums listened, this one sits in 9th place.

I give a lot of 4 star reviews and ratings, so I want to make clear that this is a very high-end 4 star. I could easily justify it being 5 stars, but it would take a bit of avoiding the point. There are definite drawbacks, but what we have here is an accessible, catchy modern prog album with quite a few elements of metal. I personally would have this band in the Heavy Prog section, but I don't know their back catalogue, and there are some definite crossover elements.

This album is metal in a good way though. I have never like the progressive metal where 10 minutes is the minimum and it's not a song without 12 guitar solos and 5 keyboard solos. Overhead use the distortion to good effect, countering the rather wonderful vocal melodies. Anyone who knows me knows that for me, melody is king. Nothing else tops it. If you have a great pop melody, but apply it in a progressive way, I will love you. Always. Even in styles I don't like, such as the Dream Theater clones, I still love bands like Haken and Seventh Wonder for their epic melodies. The vocal parts in "An Afternoon of Sun and Moon", "Aftermath" and "Alive" are enough to make me love it, no matter what style it is in.

So why the 4 star rating? I don't know how to particularly say it. I think it's the crossover-ness of it, along with some of the unnecessary heavy parts. The band takes some odd influences and fuses them into some otherwise great songs, which sometimes sounds off.

But, having said that, I will re-write this review when I do albums of the year in January, and I've got a feeling I'll put it up to 5.

Essentially, this album is Crossover Prog Metal. Another band that's taken this 'style' has been the latest Beardfish, but it's hard to define. This is a great album however. It falls short in musicality and complexity, but makes it all back up with those sort of choruses that you want to blast in your car and sing at the top of your lungs.

Definitely worth a listen, as I can't really compare it to any bands, or even list influences, and any band with their own signature style deserves a listen from everyone.

 Of Sun and Moon by OVERHEAD album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.79 | 89 ratings

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Of Sun and Moon
Overhead Crossover Prog

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Overhead is a progressive band from Finland and their fourth and latest studio album is a real treasure full of innovation and masterful musicianship. Each composition has a diverse structure, rather different from the track preceding it, and in this the album exudes a refreshing feeling as the music tends to move from heavy metal riffs to tranquil passages of beauty. The emotional music is helped by the diversity in musical instruments; Alex Keskitalo is an excellent flautist, along with very effective vocals throughout, Jaakko Kettunen adds aggression on heavy guitars, and some wonderful soloing, Tarmo Simonen augments the sound with ambient keyboards, and piano, along with swathes of synthesizers, Janne Pylkk'nen holds things together on bass, with some infectious grooves to hook into, and all is overseen with the accomplished percussion work of Ville Sj'blom.

The album begins with definitive prog metal on 'Lost Inside 2', with some Dream Theater riffs, and an epic chorus. This is soon followed by 'Berlin', that has a melodic guitar phrase and some soaring solo work sprinkled over the top. Almost seamlessly 'An Afternoon of Sun and Moon' takes over and is definitely a break away from the heavy intricate riffing to make way for the sweet sound of keyboards and gentler nuances. It even has a reggae rhythm and some odd vocals that move from clean low tones to a high register. The chorus builds well with electro melodies and retro synths. Next is 'Aftermath' that sounds unique with an electronic pulse and lovely harmonies. The guitar reverb has a spacey vibe, and alternative style vox enhances the feel. The chorus gets heavier as the guitars crash in. The synth really shines on this and is effectively high pitched and smooth in texture, and there is a flute sound combating the more heavier sounds; like Ultravox meets Dream Theater.

The drums are rather erratic on 'Syriana' that purposefully encompasses Oriental nuances. The rhythm is jagged and has a very different style to previous tracks. A spacey middle section reminds me of the glistening chiming keyboards on The Doors' 'Riders On The Storm'. A highlight of this is the extended lead guitar solo that powers out some tremendous licks. This one is a rollercoaster ride of eclectic styles and one of the highlights. 'Grotte' follows as an instrumental with tribal drums and scorching guitar work, absolutely mesmirising and with some very fast arpeggios and hammering. The flute is silky smooth and haunting. Parts of this have a spacey atmosphere and overall it is a beautiful piece of music leading to the bombastic final tracks.

'Last Broadcast' is a psychedelic track especially enhanced with fuzzy guitar and spacey textures. The vocals are nicely performed here, some of the best on the album, and there is an electronic vibe that is endearing breaking away from the heavier riffs. The lyrics are memorable, 'electrified, or to not let go, to softly say no, electrified, like I'm always lost in snow, gone.' Parts of this are very dreamy, but it has a downbeat darkness and the guitar distortion is lurking around the corner ready to break through. Eventually the guitars return and powers out a simple but effective riff, and the structure spins out of control in an extended coda to draw it to a satisfying conclusion. This is one of the best songs I have heard over recent years.

'Alive' is a mini epic with very strong vocals and uplifting melodies. The guitar soloing is incredible and it competes nicely with the flute as the two instruments trade off nicely. The melodies on this are more uplifting and again the vocals are excellent. The album is absolutely improving on every track which makes a pleasant change. I love the melodies on this and the lyrics in that infectious chorus, 'we're coming alive again, the silence has ended, it's morning the dawning of everything, coming in from the cold, the kaamos descending, tomorrow from beyond the sea.' After the second chorus the rhythm moves to a kind of techno disco feel and this is curiously effective. I love the synth swirls and the pulsating disco bass pulse. It is such a diverse detour into this style that it works beautifully balancing out all the heaviness preceding. As the crystalline synths chime and the flute warbles dreamily through there are outbursts of distorted guitar. Eventually a crunching riff dominates and I love that sound at 5:30. Synths join in with a darkened melody and some crashing percussion beats. There is a false ending and then we are treated to a glorious lead guitar break with soaring string bends and this culminates on another chorus to bring it to an end. Easily the greatest track on the album for me as I have rarely heard such a retro 80s sound merged with the current metal vibe done so brilliantly.

'Angels and Demons' closes the album with another melodic uplifting song driven by guitars and some wonderful flute. This one has a Therion style cinematic feel with bombastic epic intro and an odd time sig in the verses. Again the style diversifies with time changes, and flute trilling. An extended lead break balances out staccato piano breaks with Zorba the Greek banging notes, and more retro synths and operatic vocals. This one is deliriously all over the place and it is glorious.

The album packaging is creative with some weird schematic drawings of the human anatomy and other odd structures, and all is designed in 3D (it was a nice touch to include the 3D glasses with this album too!). The 3D images jump off the cover in a wonderful digipak gatefold, and it works well as an innovative bonus, along with the lyrics embedded in the design.

At the end of the album one is left with a profound sense that they have heard a special album with some moments of brilliance along the way. The album moves away from the prog metal that launched it, and towards the end the music has transformed into some psychedelic alternative rock. There is even a smattering of some oddball disco beats, but it all works well to maintain the interest of the listener. I would definitely recommend 'Of Sun and Moon' as a piece of very accomplished musicianship and accessible heavy prog. The vocals are never too raspy and at times are sung with powerhouse emotion. The riffs never dominate for too long and there is enough here to satiate the palate of most proggers who enjoy eclectic prog sounds tinged with spacey psychedelica.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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