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Active Heed - Visions From Realities Award winner

Active Heed
Visions From Realities
by Stephanie Hensley at 29 July 2013, 1:14 PM

Ever want to escape the trappings of reality and get lost in a fantasy? Hey, let’s face it, real life sucks sometimes. What better way to escape the stress and worries of real life, even if only for a short while than through some really good music? Some have described music as the best form of escapism, and the debut album by “Visions From Realities” by ACTIVE HEED is nothing if not an escape. It’s almost like a surreal dreamlike tale, gently nudging you from the here and now into the previously unchartered.

ACTIVE HEED is the brainchild of Umberto Pagnini. He chose the name “Active Heed” for his musical project to indicate an attitude that is always attentive and curious, never satisfied, which might explain his approach to creativity with music. Goals for composer Umberto Pagnini within ACTIVE HEED involve getting in touch with different artists from which to draw their special talents to produce quality tracks together. With debut album “Visions from Realities”, he has certainly accomplished his goal. By bringing together the talents of PelleK, Lorenzo Poli, Giovanni Giorgi, Mark Colton, and Marit Børresen they have created a beautiful eclectic album together.

As the album “Visions of Realities” unfolds, there is a story to be told and a journey to be taken. Classified as Progressive Rock, it is upbeat, yet in several places quite mellow as the fabric is weaved for the listener. Opening with track “Flying Like a Fly”, this tune begins a bit soft, the guitar gently moving the listener with a progressive rock tempo. As the timing builds the golden vocals of Norwegian vocalist PelleK (PELLEKDAMNATION ANGELS) beckon to join in the tale.  Tempo builds, but very soon it is time for the more mellow, softer “Awake?!”

Picking up the pace again, the catchy, upbeat “Now What?” pulls you even further into the story. Most songs on this album are between 1:30 to 2:30 minutes, which quickly and seamlessly blends “Now What?” to the faster, more urgent track “Me, Five Seconds Before”. Building more upon the landscape of the story that is “Visions From Realities”“With Joy” is more of a ballad with gentle guitar work and deep vocals by PelleK. In contrast, “Melting of Realities” is much more upbeat than the previous track, soaring ever higher. “Forest and Joy” is a softer tune with the guitar and vocals blending wonderfully.

“The Weakness of Our Spinning” is another softer, mellower tune with nice guitars and special effects added in. “Without Joy” is one of the more urgent, faster songs, questioning so many things.  Longest song on the album, “Every Ten Seconds Before” showcases the vocal abilities of PelleK quite well. It begins with a slower pace, with some great piano work, though the tempo builds in intensity, tapers off again, then rises to its full heights.  “F F F Flashing Fast Forward” is another upbeat, catchy tune which leads to the deep, slightly groovy “If I Will Never Be”. With great sound effects, the following tune is titled “Me, One Second Before Johan Robeck”.

Opening with the angelic voice of Marit Børresen, “Usual Plays in Heaven / Be Kind and Talk to Me” is a treasure. After a change of tempo the vocals are taken over again by PelleK. From beginning to end this song really shines. As with all tales, the story must end, and this case it does so with the song “Our Vast Emptiness”, another great effort, as are all tracks on this album.

Personal favorites on “Visions From Realities” were “Now What?“Melting of Realities”, “Forest and Joy” , “Without Joy”,  “Every Ten Seconds Before” , “F F F Flashing Fast Forward”“Me, One Second Before Johan Robeck”, and “Usual Plays in Heaven / Be Kind and Talk to Me”. Though it’s a story, each track can be a standalone and enjoyed by themselves. “Visions From Realities” is an impressive first album, packed with so much talent, and will quickly have fans eager for the next release. For a feel good, mellow momentary reprieve from the real world, ACTIVE HEED’s album “Visions From Realities” is a great escape and highly recommended.

4 Star Rating

1. Flying Like a Fly
2. Awake?!
3. Now What?
4. Me, Five Seconds Before
5. With Joy
6. Melting of Realities
7. Forest and Joy
8. The Weakness of Our Spinning
9. Without Joy
10. Every Ten Seconds Before
11. F F F Flashing Fast Forward
12. If I Will Never Be
13. Me, One Second Before Johan Robeck
14. Usual Plays in Heaven / Be Kind and Talk to Me
15. Our Vast Emptiness
PelleK - Vocals
Lorenzo Poli - Arrangements, Bass, Guitars, Keyboards, and Special Effects
Giovanni Giorgi – Drums
Mark Colton – Additional Vocals
Marit Børresen – Additional Vocals
Record Label: Independent


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