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Scenes: Call Us at the Number You Provide

Call Us at the Number You Provide is German melodic prog metal band Scenes' first full-length album. Unlike their demo with Hubi Meisel on vocals, this one has Alex Koch (ex-Powergod, Spiral Tower) at the helm. Koch may sound a tad flat at first, but he gets better with each listen. He doesn't necessarily have a very wide range; however, he is mixed excellently on the album and he delivers a fitting performance over melodic guitar harmonies, solid rhythms and curious arrangements. Original vocalist Nektarios Bamiatzis still appears on two tracks, the melodically engaging "My Own Life" and the relatively more concise "Save the Light". Both songs have almost poppy vocal styles with a more fortright songwriting approach.

According to guitarist Chris Lorey, Call Us at the Number You Provide deals with "misunderstandings and problems which could have been avoided with the right communication". This is best explored on the opening song, "So (Father)", a number about the generation gap between parents and children. It also defines the musical scope of Scenes. Great, warm keyboards; heavy and powerful rhythms, pounding drumming which is all over the place; and ethereal keyboards. Similar to Threshold a bit, Scenes also loves using the dichotomy of musical soundscapes. Very heavy rhythm guitar and bass lines are played over velvet-like keyboards. Then vocalist Koch places his vocals almost delicately over them. The 10-minute monster, "Start Again", is easily my favorite song. It begins with electronic samples and then moves on to show Koch's darker singing. The music encompasses a wide variety of styles, going from a serious guitar-keyboard duel to powerful vocal harmonies and lush, orchestrated textures. Lorey plays some of the best guitar solos on this track.

There are also more compact numbers such as the short piano ballad "Deep Inside My Heart", the amazing bass-driven number "I Will Stay" (note the killer keyboard solo here) and the almost AOR-oriented hard rocker "Such a Shame". I personally don't think this song fits the flow of the album, since it's completely focused on a multi-layered chorus that is simply repeated too many a time.

The Dream Theater-inspired album closer "Nothing Left to Say (Unforgiven)" wraps the album up. Beginning with something that wouldn't seem out of place on Scenes from a Memory, it quickly retreats to the band's signature melodic sound, lots of Threshold meets Vanden Plas sort of vocals melodies, neverending guitar and keyboard solos that wail, soar and rule. Producer Tommy Newton (Conception, Ark) has given the band exactly what they needed - lots of reverb on the vocals, a very crisp and warm sound, and lots of punch in the rhythm section. One of the better debuts of 2005. Let's see what they'll do on their next release.

Track Listing
1. So (Father)
2. You Walk Away
3. My Own Life
4. Start Again
5. Deep Inside My Heart
6. I Will Stay
7. Save the Light
8. Such a Shame
9. Nothing Left to Say (Unforgiven)

Added: April 30th 2005
Reviewer: Murat Batmaz
Related Link: Scenes Website
Hits: 3101
Language: english

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