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Counter-World Experience: Music for Kings

Counter-World Experience is a progressive/jazz metal band from Germany who have recently released their fourth CD Music for Kings. In the band are Benjamin Schwenen (guitars, guitar-synth), Sebastian Hoffmann (bass) and Thorsten Harnitz (drums) as well as a number of guest musicians.

This is not your typical progressive metal album. Imagine if you will the technical prowess of bands like Meshuggah and Cynic combined with the jazzy intonations of Pat Metheney. This is imaginary stuff thanks in no small part to Schwenen's interesting riffs upon which this music is built upon. His ability to inject a heavy dose of jazz fusion into his technical metal assault is quite impressive.

Best tracks include the album ending "Beowulf", perhaps the most 'progressive' track here with its superb drumming, delicate acoustics and fusion-like guitar and the intriguing "Karl the Great" where the band ventures from metal to jazz with a single brush stroke. The opening track "Overture" is also pretty cool with its abundant use of church organ. Very dramatic indeed. The ambitious "Trois filles du roi" also deserves to be mentioned. This one has an industrial feel that has the band traveling from metal to fusion seamlessly. The operatic choral vocals are also a nice touch.

One minor complaint - the booklet is almost impossible to read, at least for my eyes. It is not a big deal but should be mentioned nonetheless.

I liked Music for Kings. The marriage of metal and jazz works quite well. If you are looking for something a little different in your metal give Counter-World Experience a try.

Track Listing:
1. Overture - The Coronation
2. Trinity
3. Trois filles du roi
4. Priamos
5. Gilgamesh King of Uruk
6. David
7. Tiger of Qin
8. Karl the Great
9. Beowulf

Added: September 15th 2012
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Band's Official Site
Hits: 1853
Language: english

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