From Finland comes Overhead, a five piece band that occupies the heavier end of the prog spectrum. Their latest CD Of Sun and Moon is a pretty bombastic release that has some pretty huge sounding guitar riffs and plenty of catchy choruses. I'm reminded at times of a less extreme Amorphis and a less technical Scar Symmetry, but their music overall is very addictive and engaging much like those two acts. If that sounds like your cup of tea, then read on...
Opening tracks "Lost Inside Pt. 2" and "Berlin" contain some catchy choruses and super crunchy guitar riffs, with just the right amount of keyboards for that progressive element. Lead singer Alex Keskitalo has a really good, memorable voice, and all the thunder is provided by guitarist Jaakko Kettunen, who really knows how to create riffs that grab you by the throat. The band loses some of the momentum of the first two hot tracks by the time "An Afternoon of Sun and Moon" kicks in, a spacey, trippy pop song that almost sounds like a different band after the first two heavy songs. Crushing metal guitars meet up with Porcupine Tree/Pink Floyd styled psychedelic pop/prog on the exciting "Aftermath", which contains some great atmospheric keyboards courtesy of Tarmo Simonen, and "Syriana" is a great slice of hook laden progressive metal. The short instrumental "Grotte" lets Kettunen rip on the guitar and Keskitalo get in on some wild flute solos, and the moody "Last Broadcast" takes the band into atmospheric prog settings quite nicely. The final two songs on the CD are the longest, each one close to 8-minutes in length, and feature plenty of symphonic arrangements and catchy melodies. "Alive" contains some bubbling keyboards and flute to go along with Keskitalo's endearing vocals, but then closes out with some huge guitar mayhem from Kettunen, while "Angels and Demons" borrows some dramatic themes from the legendary Kansas and mixes them with modern rock and prog arrangements.
Overall, Of Sun and Moon is a pretty polished and enjoyable record from Overhead. As this is album number four from the band, you can tell they've been around the block and really know how to create memorable songs with intelligent instrumentation. Some though might find the album a tad schizophrenic at times, as there are often too many styles going on here. I would have liked to hear the heavier end of their sound reveal itself a little more throughout the CD and the more pop based elements lessened, but this is still a very cool album from a talented band.
1. Lost Inside pt. 2 (5:03)
2. Berlin (4:13)
3. An Afternoon of Sun and Moon (5:14)
4. Aftermath (5:12)
5. Syriana (4:07)
6. Grotte (3:40)
7. Last Broadcast (7:05)
8. Alive (7:51)
9. Angels and Demons (7:26)