Friday, February 26, 2016

SECTION IV: Superhuman (2015)

  [Starting this I should say that this is not a new release, but I discovered it recently. Also, because I believe that many people have no idea about this band or this album yet, I added it under the "New Releases" category].

  Superhuman is the debut album of the UK-based Neo Prog band Section IV. And what a debut it is! 70 minutes of really beautiful and melodic modern Progressive Rock, with good production and a very good sound. The band seems perfectly tuned, and their musical skills are without a question very high.

 Let’s take a closer look, shall we?  

  ‘Superhuman’ includes 9 songs, and has a running time of almost 70 minutes. Most of the songs are between 4 and 8 minutes long, with 2 exceptions: The opening and the closing song.  

  The album begins with the – almost 13 minute long - Superhuman, which is a perfect example of how modern Progressive Rock should be played; with numerous twists throughout the song, very characteristic keys, and killer guitar riffs from time to time. Some very clever and impressive sound effects render the song wholesome. Needless to say that Superhuman is one of my favorite songs here.

The next song ‘Out of the Dark’ begins with an impressive car accident, and continues with a gentle melody played in piano. The song evolves as it becomes more intense and more instruments join, but it doesn’t move far from its melodic main line.

In Danger’ begins with a Galahad-like synth intro, but when the guitar enters it changes totally, and comes closer to the band’s sound.

Inside’ is a melodic ballad, but it doesn’t add something to the album, and it’s followed by another impressive song named ‘So Far Away’. Nice and powerful guitar riffs, and some audio effects once more. ’So Far Away’ is connected with ‘Idwtstwt’ which I have no idea what it means. Another fast-paced and kind of powerful song. Next comes ‘Guiding Light’ which is also connected with ’Idwtswt’, and it is almost in the same style with the 2 previous songs.

Take you Down’ is a powerful song with strong guitars, many changes, and some surprisingly good effects that I really loved. (Like for example the change in 3:15, with the piano and the slow guitar solo); another favorite of mine from the album.

And we reach ‘Exile’ which can be characterized as the album’s “epic” song. With a length of almost 16 minutes, and so many twists that I lost count, is the most impressive and musically interesting song, and the best way to close the album. After listening to the album lots of times, I still can’t decide if Superhuman or Exile is the most impressive song here, so I’ll have to pick both I guess.

  So far I wrote about the compositions, the sound effects, the nice changes in the songs, the very good guitar riffs etc, but I haven’t said a word about the very talented singer. He fits perfectly in the band’s sound, and his vocal skills and overall performance is raising the band to a whole other level.

  As for the band’s influences, I’m not sure to be honest. There are some small parts that remind me of Galahad, some others that sound like IQ or Pendragon a little bit, but the overall outcome sounds rather unique.

  Concluding this, I have to say that this album is a MUST for the fans of Neo Prog scene, and for all those who can enjoy a really good & well-built Progressive Rock album.

If I had to rate it, I would give a minimum of 3.5 out of 5.0 stars
 By clicking on the following link you will be able to listen to the song 'Take You Down' in order to get a small idea.