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Forgotten Suns (Portugal) - 2001 - "Fiction Edge 1 - Ascent"
(70 min, "Galileo")


*****+

Tracklist:

1. Big Bang 6:31 (inst.) 

2. Creation Point 6:23

3. Rising 2:05 (inst.)

4. Nature 1:08 (inst.)

5. Child 1:28 (inst.)

6. The Warning 2:02

7. Wartime 7:43

8. A Journey 21:20 (inst.)

9. Arrival 1:20

10. Routine 12:19

11. Betrayed 7:51



All lyrics by Linx,

except:

10 (by Linx & R. Falcao)

&

2 (by Linx & Hugo Vasconcelos)



Line-up:



Linx - lead & backing vocals (+piano - on track 5)

Ricardo Falcao - electric & acoustic guitars

Miguel Valadares - analog & digital keyboards

Nuno Senica - drums & percussion

Johnny - bass



Produced by "Galileo Records" & Forgotten Suns.

Recorded & mixed by Paulo Vilares

at "Cais 14" studios, Portugal.

Mastered by Bob Katz

at "Digital Domain", FL.

Prologue. The only Portuguese band that I've heard until now were the Gothic / Doom-Metal / Alternative 'victims' of Moonspell (I didn't like their music). The debut Forgotten Suns album "Fiction Edge 1 - Ascent" was the third release of Galileo ProGductions.

The Album. Yesterday, while writing the review of the debut album by Scythe, I called them somewhat like the bearers of the Spirit of early Genesis. Today, I have all reasons to call Forgotten Suns the bearers of the Spirit of Marillion. However, as well as in the case of Scythe, the debut album of this Portuguese band is more complex than any Marillion albums with the exception of "Brave". "Sorry, this is almost the same story", - as a poet would say. Furthermore, as a whole, "Fiction Edge" is even a bit more complex and, in addition, much more diverse than Scythe's "Divorced Land". Yes, "T" takes the duties of vocalist and guitarist himself and he does it very good in both cases. However, the Forgotten Suns vocalist Linx and guitarist Ricardo Falcao are truly outstanding musicians. On the other hand, "Fiction Edge" is a less integral album than "Divorced Land". Also, unlike Scythe, Forgotten Suns could not avoid extremes, and their album opens with a terribly monotonous instrumental Big Bang. These guys' musical view on the big bang is comic rather than cosmic. This composition, which lasts more than six minutes, consists entirely of a slow-moving Church Organ and other chords of synthesizer, and a few flageolets of electric guitar. And that's all. Fortunately, all ten of the following tracks on the album are from another story, which would have been more than merely wonderful if only the album's track-list would've been 'constructed' in a different order. Well, having forgotten Big Bang somewhere in the backyard (or attic, if you will) of the universe of our memory, we have the 63-minute concept album about our place and us in that universe, which, perhaps was created as a result of the big bang. Well, since "Fiction Edge" isn't completely an integral album, allow me to tell you about it not in their original order. Moreover, I have the only yet all-absorbing wish, - to see The Warning (track 6) 'at the head' of the album's track-list. Then I'll have a very nice picture with regard to listening to the album and describing it as well. Unlike all of the other songs, the pseudo opener, The Warning, and real last track on the album Betrayed are based on the vocals almost entirely. However, as well as on all of the other songs on the album, the rich instrumental arrangements flow nonstop on both of them. This factor is typical for the Classic Progressive songs. So, despite the flavors of Neo that this nice pair is surrounded with, overall, they sound much better than any typical Neo songs. In fact, Arrival (track 9) and Routine (10) are the same monolithic song. There is no pause between them, and Routine begins somewhere in the middle of a theme, which, compositionally, is unified. The songs, Creation Point (track 2), Wartime (7), and (let's call it) Arrival To Routine (9+10), as well as the epic instrumental A Journey (8), represent the blend of Classic Symphonic Art-Rock and Prog-Metal, which is the most significant genre constituent of this album. The vocal and purely instrumental parts are very well balanced on those three songs. The instrumental arrangements that are featured on all four of the said tracks are both complex and very intriguing. They're filled with wonderful and outstandingly diverse interplay between all of the musicians (all of who are real virtuosos), the kaleidoscopic changes of tempo and mood, complex time signatures, etc. It seems the band have available all of the possible progressive ingredients. Although, as I've mentioned above, the instrumental arrangements are intensive regardless whether there are vocals, the parts of the latter are very diverse and impressive as well. All three of the remaining instrumentals, - Rising, Nature, and Child (tracks 3, 4, & 5), - flow nonstop. Actually, as well as in case of Arrival To Routine, this is a monolithic piece, which is unified both compositionally and stylistically. The lushly orchestrated Classic Symphonic Art-Rock, which is presented here, is marked by diverse, masterful, and very tasteful passages of various keyboards (including the piano) and semi-acousti

Summary. While the slight traces of influences of Marillion are here and there on this album, on the whole the debut Forgotten Suns effort "Fiction Edge 1 - Ascent" looks as in many ways truly original album. Perhaps, it's because that, along with Symphonic Art-Rock, Prog-Metal is one of the basic elements on most of the songs on this album. So the audience of Forgotten Suns should be noticeably larger than those of any other Galileo Records-based bands. Oh, almost forgot, the 'sidelong' instrumental A Journey (it contains only a couple of whispered phrases) is the most hard-edged and 'heavy' track on the album, which is undoubtedly the best one here. In my view, it is much better than anything ever created by Dream Theater.

VM. March 22, 2002


Related Links:

Forgotten Suns web-site: http://www.forgottensuns.com/
"Galileo Records" web-site: http://www.galileo-records.com/


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